National Real Estate Advisors (National) and its development partner, The KRE Group have officially broken ground on Journal Squared, a three-tower, mixed-use development adjacent to Jersey City’s Journal Square PATH Station that is expected to fuel the revitalization of the massive transportation hub and serve as the centerpiece of a resurgent urban neighborhood.
Rising at the intersection of Pavonia and Summit Avenues, the new development will comprise 1,838 rental residences and 36,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space in 53-, 60- and 70-story towers – the latter of which will be the tallest residential building in New Jersey. The transformative project will also include a pedestrian-friendly public plaza. The collective elements of Journal Squared will reenergize the City’s largest transportation center and benefit current and future residents, business owners, area employees and commuters.
Phase I of Journal Squared will be a 53-story building with 538 rental apartments that is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016. Phase II will include 700 rental residences in a 70-story building, while Phase III will feature 600 rental homes in a 60-story building. A total of 920 parking spaces will also be included in the development. The developers will pursue LEED certification for all three buildings.
National’s investment in Journal Squared is on behalf of the firm’s open-end, build-to-core fund, developing and re-developing properties at appropriate points in the real estate cycle.
“National seeks to develop and invest in transformative, modern assets in major U.S. urban markets,” said Jeff Kanne, President and CEO of National Real Estate Advisors. “This development will spark a renaissance in Jersey City, increasing economic and employment opportunities and we expect it to be a valuable investment benefitting our fund investors.”
Designed in collaboration by HWKN and Handel Architects, the new development will take full advantage of Journal Square’s extensive transportation network highlighted by covered access from the residential lobby to the entrance of the PATH Station which offers rail service to lower and midtown Manhattan, Jersey City, Hoboken and Newark. Approximately 1,200 NJ Transit and private buses also serve the neighborhood on a daily basis, offering residents convenient access to major employment and recreation centers on both sides of the Hudson River without having to depend on their cars.
A significant community element of the project will be a new public plaza that will be built along the Magnolia Avenue entrance to the PATH station. At the heart of the plaza will be an open space courtyard lined with trees, greenery and seating to encourage pedestrian activity and social interaction. The plaza will also feature a “kiss-and-ride” cul-de-sac for safe and convenient commuter pick-up and drop-off.
“While Journal Squared was designed to meet the ever-increasing demand for a desirable urban living experience near public transportation, the broader intent is to complement the existing mass-transportation infrastructure with new residential, retail and open space to create a well-balanced destination that becomes a center point for community life,” said Murray Kushner, Chairman of The KRE Group. “We successfully executed this formula at our Grove Pointe development across from the Grove Street PATH Station in downtown Jersey City, and believe Journal Squared will achieve similar results, but on a much larger scale. This development will help Journal Square reach its potential as a dynamic urban neighborhood for those who choose to live, shop, dine and work here.”
Phase I of Journal Squared will feature 538 studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom rental residences with upscale finishes and appointments, and stunning views of the Hudson River, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and downtown Manhattan. The first phase will also feature more than 10,000 square feet of amenities in the building, including the entire eighth floor. An outdoor swimming pool, full-service fitness center, golf simulator and children’s playroom will be offered. A one-of-a-kind, 2,000 square-foot entertaining space will be located on the 53rd floor.
The overall development is expected to create over 700 construction jobs and approximately 20 permanent jobs.
About National Real Estate Advisors
National Real Estate Advisors has more than $2 billion in assets under management for pension plan sponsors, investing in major U.S. urban markets using a build-to-core strategy. The company undertakes large-scale development and redevelopment projects in an open-end build-to-core fund and a separate account, building investment portfolios of stabilized modern property assets—apartment, office, mixed-use, industrial, data centers and hotels—with design features, technological enhancements, and amenities that drive high tenant demand and create value over time. An SEC registered advisor, the firm is a subsidiary of the National Electrical Benefit Fund. For more information, visit www.natadvisors.com.
About Kushner Real Estate Group
Headquartered in Bridgewater, NJ, KRE Group is one of the largest privately held diversified real estate companies in New Jersey. It owns and manages more than 6,000,000 square feet of office, warehouse and retail space. It also has a multi-family portfolio which exceeds 9,000 existing apartments, with an additional 7,000 in various stages of approval and construction. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.thekregroup.com.