New Jersey

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NJ: Tallest ‘Journal Squared’ Tower on the Rise in Jersey City

31 Jan, 2019


Vertical construction on the tallest of three luxury high-rise buildings in Jersey City’s Journal Squared project is underway. Dresdner Robin, a leader in urban design and development, is providing engineering, environmental and design services on the tower, which will stand at 71 stories, offer 18,000 square feet of retail space and boast a gross square footage of about 1,000,000 square feet. Altogether, Journal Squared is the largest development in the district in decades.

The new tower, the second in a three-tower complex at 615 Pavonia Avenue, will feature 704 residential units. Upon completion, it will be one of the tallest buildings in Jersey City. The first building topped out in 2015 at 53 stories. The third tower, to be constructed following the project’s second phase, will stand at 63 stories.

Jersey City-based Dresdner Robin is providing environmental investigation, planning, civil engineering and survey services for Journal Squared, including public utilities at the Magnolia Ave. plaza and roadway, near the Journal Square Transportation Center. Dresdner Robin is also providing construction administration services as construction progresses.

The developer, Kushner Real Estate (KRE) Group, tapped the New York-based firm Hollwich Kushner (HWKN) for the architectural design, with Handel Architects as the architect of record. Melillo + Bauer Associates is providing landscape architecture services for the ground level and rooftop areas.

“Journal Square is in the midst of a major revitalization,” said Dresdner Robin Senior Project Manager Tim Lavin. “Dresdner Robin is assisting the KRE Group in manifesting its vision of transforming the transportation hub into a new destination for living, shopping and enjoying the Manhattan skyline. I believe this district is well on its way to reaching that mark.”

Commenting on the development, KRE Group President Jonathan Kushner said, “Journal Squared helps reinvigorate this section of Jersey City. It stands as an immense project that will help transform the New Jersey skyline, and bring residents and retail to a completely reimagined destination. Dresdner Robin’s work on the project has been immensely helpful as it has moved through various stages.”

The Magnolia Ave. plaza portion involved coordination and input from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, as the project interacts with the parking garage as well as the loading entrance for the adjacent PATH station. The design team worked with the Port Authority for vehicle circulation, utilities, site improvement, stairways and an entrance to the station.

Journal Squared was first approved by the city council in December 2012 and was granted a 30-year tax abatement and $10 million in bonds. It is the first major development of its kind in decades. The area was once home to Jersey City’s central business district, as the waterfront consisted of railyards. Its time as an entertainment, office and retail hub declined during the 1970s. However, recent investment has attracted prospective residents interested in leveraging the district’s proximity to transportation.

“There is more investment in this area of Jersey City and we’re seeing it firsthand,” Lavin added. “Developers are now taking a serious look at this area, and moving forward with plans for development, thanks in part to this multi-phase Journal Squared project.”

Also commenting on Journal Squared, HWKN Principal Matthias Hollwich said, “We're thrilled to be continuing to participate in the regeneration of this area of Jersey City through the second phase of this project. This tower is much more than just an apartment building – it's a social hub that will energize street-life and strengthen community in this vibrant neighborhood.”

Melillo + Bauer Associates worked with the Port Authority on the design of the streetscape and Magnolia Plaza, addressing vehicular circulation and safety concerns. The result is a multi-functional space that serves as a main pedestrian entrance to the PATH station while also providing space for community events. The firm also created a multitude of amenity spaces for residents throughout the complex, including a rooftop pool and amenity deck, and a dog run.

For more information on the Journal Squared project, visit: https://journalsquared.com.

About Dresdner Robin: Dresdner Robin is a land use consultancy headquartered in Jersey City, N.J. The firm provides creative solutions that emphasize service, client satisfaction and technological innovation with specialties in site/civil engineering, land surveying, environmental service, planning, surveying and the revival of urban landscapes. With offices in locations across the New York City and Philadelphia metro areas, Dresdner Robin prides itself on being comprised of the most creative, multi-functional engineering team in the region. https://www.dresdnerrobin.com/.

About the KRE Group: Founded by Murray Kushner and Eugene Schenkman in 1979, KRE has grown into a full-service real estate investment and management company with properties in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. KRE remains a family business with a 30-year record of serving its tenants and partners with quality and integrity. The KRE portfolio consists of over 100 residential, retail and commercial properties. KRE offers an unparalleled breadth of end-to-end experience, from planning and acquisitions to development, construction, leasing and management. https://www.thekregroup.com/.

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