Developers planning a two-tower, mixed-use project near downtown Jersey City have completed the $10 million first phase of cleaning up their 18-acre brownfield site.
The joint venture between Argent Ventures and H&R Reit, dubbed the Cove, is scheduled to begin construction in 2022 following infrastructure upgrades and land-use permitting.
Sited along Aetna Street and Jersey Avenue near Liberty State Park, the project will consist of mixed-use residential, retail and life-science buildings, plus a two-acre public park.
Included in the next phase of development is a site elevation of 10 to 12 feet to reduce flooding and account for sea level rise, according to land use consultant Dresdner Robin, which leads environmental remediation at the site.
Jersey City’s sewer system will also get an update as part of the project, birthed by the Grand Jersey Redevelopment Plan.
“The sewer improvements are a crucial early component to the Cove and its eventual completion,” said Chris Collins, project manager at Dresdner Robin.
Like New York City, Jersey City has a combined sewer system in which sewage from homes and businesses mixes with rainwater runoff. When the capacity of the underground pipes are overwhelmed by storms, the overflow pours into the Morris Canal, then into the Hudson River.
A dual-pipe system, to be designed as part of the Cove’s next phase, “will be the first of its kind in Jersey City” and will improve water quality downstream, said Collins.
The Cove involves a joint effort between Argent and Jersey City’s Redevelopment Agency and Municipal Utilities Authority to prevent sewer overflows, provide tidal flood resiliency for much of downtown Jersey City, and remediate a polluted site.
“This is not a typical redevelopment project,” said Douglas Neumann, director of environmental services at Dresdner Robin. “It is without question the most complicated remedial project that I have been involved with.”
Phase two is scheduled to begin in mid-2021. A saltwater tidal marsh will sit at the center of the development’s two-acre park and lead to Liberty State Park, which gets more than four million visitors each year.
A road connecting Jersey Avenue to Liberty State Park is scheduled for completion in 2022. Across from the Cove site, a 32-story mixed-use building is under construction at 88 Regent Street, reportedly by developer Peter Mocco.