Phase II of Downtown ShopRite redevelopment set to begin soon

A new 60-story apartment tower with 104,000 square feet of retail space on the site of the closed Bed, Bath and Beyond store on Marin Boulevard is the next phase of a long-term redevelopment plan for the Metro Plaza of Jersey City.

Developers have pledged to keep Metro Plaza’s Shop Rite open, moving it to the second floor of the new tower. The store will occupy 85,000 square feet with 802 apartments above, according to Abe Naparstek of G&S Investors, the company working to redevelop the 18-acre plaza into a residential, park and shopping area dubbed Hudson Exchange.

Of the 802 apartments, 80 will be studios, 399 will have one bedroom, 295 will have two bedrooms and 38 will have three bedrooms, according to JerseyDigs.com.

In addition to the grocery store, the 60-story tower will have 19,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and 538 parking spaces.

The building’s zoning was approved by the Jersey City City Council; G&S is currently applying for site plan approval, which Naparstek says typically takes three to four months.

Construction, if approved, would begin in the latter part of this year and be completed by early 2026, according to Naparstek.

Metro Plaza Jersey City

Render Metro Plaza

Naparstek told the Jersey City Times that the transition from ShopRite’s current to new location will be seamless.

“There literally won’t be a day when ShopRite isn’t open,” Naparstek said.

He added that residents will benefit from a “state-of-the-art” store, an upgrade from the current ShopRite which he said was built in the 1990s.

“It will be one of the best stores in the area,” Naparsek said.

The tower is the second phase of a six-phase, 20-year plan (a detailed map of which was presented by JerseyDigs.com in September 2021). In the first phase of the project, completed in 2020, “VYV”, an 850-unit apartment complex with two connected towers, was built on the site of the former Pep Boys store at the intersection of Sixth and Warren streets. .

Ward E councilman James Solomon said the developers had recently made changes to their plans to allow the ShopRite to remain.

“The ShopRite gets a lot of use. It’s downtown and citywide equipment,” Solomon said.

Beyond ShopRite, G&S is considering restaurants, cafes and fitness centers for the ground floor of the new tower, according to Naparstek.

The pace of further development of Metro Plaza depends on the market and other factors, Naparsek said. BJ’s Wholesale Club, located on the square, will not be affected by the last phase.

Recent changes to the Hudson Exchange redevelopment have increased the overall open space on the 18 acres from 115,000 to 138,500 square feet. According to Naparstek, this figure is made up of a 60,000 square foot (over 1.25 acre) park in the center of the site and 78,500 other spaces – some landscaped and some paved – spread in and around the buildings of the complex.

Naparstek declined to say when the central park would be built.

He said the plan now calls for fourth street between Marin and Provost to be closed to cars. “We are sort of reconnecting the road network that no longer exists,” Naparastek added.

Solomon supports the inclusion of pedestrian walkways in the plan.

“You won’t have this kind of giant parking lot blocking the connection between the waterfront in the district’s historic areas and the Powerhouse area,” he said.

Additionally, the Councilman noted that the Port Authority’s improvements to the PATH system, including allowing trains to approach each other and increasing capacity at the Grove Street station, will help accommodate new residents of the Hudson Exchange. .

However, he criticizes the way development has been planned in Jersey City.

“When they wrote this plan, they didn’t include schools, affordable homes, really none of the basic infrastructure that we need. Once the plan is written, it becomes very difficult to modify it. I want to think about where we can address these community-wide infrastructure issues. »

David H. Henry