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Settlement between Jersey City and developer paves way for 42-story tower, community center and park

NJ.com logo NJ.com 7/22/2020 By Peter D’Auria, nj.com
a sign on the side of a fence: Empty lot at 500 Summit Ave. in Jersey City. © Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal/Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal/nj.com/TNS Empty lot at 500 Summit Ave. in Jersey City.

A settlement between a developer and Jersey City will transform Summit Avenue, paving the way for the construction of a 42-story residential tower, a community center, and nearly an acre of public park.

Two years ago, New York developer HAP Investments sued the city, claiming that the city had intentionally blocked its development at 500 Summit Ave. The proposal calls for 856 units, 191 parking spaces and 8,800 square feet of retail on the ground floor.

a gate in front of a fence: Empty lot at 500 Summit Ave. in Jersey City. © Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal/Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal/nj.com/TNS Empty lot at 500 Summit Ave. in Jersey City.

In April, HAP reached a settlement with the city, allowing it to move forward with the tower under on the condition that it provides a slate of neighborhood amenities.

Jersey Digs first reported the settlement.

Under the terms of the agreement, HAP will construct a 0.8-acre park at the location, as well as a $2.5 million community center, both of which will then be transferred to city ownership. The settlement calls for HAP’s development to be built first, followed by the park and community center.

a path with trees on the side of the road: Empty lot at 500 Summit Ave. in Jersey City. © Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal/Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal/nj.com/TNS Empty lot at 500 Summit Ave. in Jersey City.

Katrina Boggiano, a co-leader of the Hilltop Neighborhood Association, praised the settlement terms. The community group was heavily involved in negotiations over the development, according to court documents.

“We’re happy with what the community is getting,” said Boggiano, who is the daughter of Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano. “Overall, it did wind up being relatively fair to the community.”

Under the terms of the agreement, HAP will reserve 24 parking spots in the building’s parking garage for the community group and build 40 parking spots for the community center and park. HAP will also contribute $500,000 to the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency to increase green spaces in the Hilltop neighborhood, though there are no plans as of yet for how that money will be spent.

Councilman Boggiano, a longtime head of the community group and an opponent of the development, declined to comment.

HAP Investments could not immediately be reached for comment.

The settlement terms also grant HAP “automatic approval” for plans it submitted in 2017 to the Jersey City Planning Board. But on June 11, the developer posted what appear to be new renderings of the project on Facebook and Instagram.

“This 42-story luxury rental building will have sweeping views of NYC and include a brand-new community park,” the developer wrote. “We look forward to unveiling more details about the project as we continue into the design development phase.”

The project has been in the works for 10 years. The site’s previous owners sued the city in 2010 when the city did not include the property in the Journal Square redevelopment zone. The two parties settled in 2012, with the city agreeing to change zoning rules to allow the owner to build a tower up to 42 stories high and the owner agreeing to fund a nearby public park.

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©2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

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