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Developers celebrate major NJCU project groundbreaking

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A rendering of the planned University Place project at New Jersey City University.
A rendering of the planned University Place project at New Jersey City University. - ()

Alongside joint venture partner Claremont Companies and project investment advisor Circle Squared Alternative Investments, the Hampshire Companies kicked off a groundbreaking celebration Monday in Jersey City for the start of a major redevelopment project on the campus of New Jersey City University.

The first phase of the $400 million mixed-use project calls for the creation of 163 market-rate apartments and roughly 10,000 square feet of retail space along the busy West Side Avenue corridor, with developers aiming to begin offering occupancy as early as next year.

The plan eventually calls for the redevelopment of eight buildings, including 100,000 square feet of space for a performing arts center and academic building. Work on the next phase of the project is set to be completed and available for use by 2018.

Near the redevelopment area, NJCU also held a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday to officially open a new 425-bed undergraduate residence hall on the western part of the campus.

Company officials say the new project, dubbed “University Place”, will help create a link between the campus and the nearby neighborhood.

“This project will transform NJCU’s west campus into a modern urban community with expanded access to retail and local amenities,” said Norman Feinstein, vice chairman at Hampshire. “Jersey City continues to evolve into place that people live, work, play and learn and University Place is an integral part of the continued evolution of the city. Through the vision and support of NJCU, Jersey City’s elected leadership, Claremont Companies, and Circle Squared Alternative Investments, we are bringing that vision to life and creating a vibrant community destination for residents and students.” 

Developers stressed that the redevelopment project is located just one-third of a mile from a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail stop, connecting students and neighborhood residents to Hoboken and New York.

“Our investors recognize Jersey City as one of the best and most developer friendly markets in the country for mixed-use residential and retail development and understand the importance of working with partners like Hampshire and Claremont,” said  Jeffrey Sica, Circle Squared founder and president. “The opportunity this development offers our investors is a chance to be a part of something that will completely transform a neighborhood. At Circle Squared, we do more than connect investors to real estate deals managed by the best in the business, we connect them with the communities that these development projects enhance.”

Phase one of the project will also include more than 25,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenity space, multiple bike terminals and 177 new structured parking spaces.

“This transformative project will offer all of the luxury and lifestyle amenities of comparable waterfront/downtown properties at affordable price points,” added Claremont Cos. director Richard Sciaretta.

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