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Construction starts on Jersey City apartment project that includes affordable units

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An autographed beam ready for use at the Hudson Exchange West project in Jersey City.
An autographed beam ready for use at the Hudson Exchange West project in Jersey City. - ()

Vertical construction is underway for a 35-story tower that will be downtown Jersey City's first residential building in more than three decades to have a so-called 80/20 mix of market-rate and affordable units, city officials announced.

Known as Hudson Exchange West, the $220 million project is being developed by Forest City Realty Trust and G&S Investors, according to a news release. It will include 336 market-rate units, 85 affordable units and 10,000 square feet of retail space, sitting between Marin Boulevard and Washington Street and just north of Second Street.

Plans also call for an accessory parking garage, new street improvements surrounding the block, as well as a public plaza that includes more than 10,000 square feet of new open space.

Executives from the development team and city officials gathered at the site this week to mark the start of above-ground construction.

“This is an historic moment, as construction takes off on the first significant onsite affordable housing development in downtown in more than three decades,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a prepared statement. “As Jersey City continues to grow, we are leading the state not just in new construction, but also in the creation of affordable housing.

“This is the first of several projects that will incorporate our vision of providing quality, affordable housing for residents throughout the city and will serve as a model for how to build diverse, mixed-income communities in places like Jersey City and around the country.”

The project is one of two in downtown Jersey City that will bring 165 affordable units to the waterfront, the news release said. For Forest City, a Cleveland-based developer known locally for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, it’s the first major redevelopment project in the Garden State.

“Forest City has a long and proud history of developing dynamic urban developments across the country,” said Abe Naparstek, senior vice president residential development for Forest City. “We committed to Mayor Fulop to take the best of what we’ve learned from all of our projects and bring that to the Hudson Exchange redevelopment.”

Demolition at the site and preliminary construction on the project began in November, with the first phase creating 350 full-time construction jobs and more than 15 full-time direct jobs.

“G&S Investors was an early participant in the revitalization of the Jersey City waterfront when it first developed its power center in 1993,” said Gregg Wasser, principal of G&S Investors, LLC. “We are now excited to participate in the next phase of the Jersey City renaissance.”

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