When the Marketing Directors first started to market apartment units in the first tower of the Journal Squared complex, the firm had no idea what to expect.
“There’s been a huge wave of construction in downtown Jersey City, it’s been very established and very sought after,” Martin Brady, the executive vice president of the Marketing Directors, said. “Journal Squared is the new one.”
But after only 20 days, Journal Squared had signed 104 leases for that first tower. By Monday morning, four days later, the number was up to 122.
“We opened on March 3, and we have been incredibly busy since,” Brady said. “We probably had over 1,000 people who had expressed interest before we opened.”
By the time of its completion, the Journal Squared complex will house 1,838 units across three towers, as well as 36,000 square feet of retail space.
Brady said more than 50 people a week are coming to take a look.
“If we see on average 20 or 25 people during the week, we’ll see more than 25 people on the weekend alone,” he said.
Some of the first looks went to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who joined the Kushner Real Estate Group’s Jonathan Kushner and National Real Estate Advisors’ Jeffrey Kanne at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony earlier this month.
Fulop said the importance of the project cannot be overstated.
“It’s one of the most significant projects away from the waterfront,” he said. “It’s in what used to be in the heart of the city in Journal Square, it’s hundreds of millions of dollars being invested and it’s going to transform Journal Square into being the heart of the city once again.”
Fulop said the concept and location are perfect.
“Journal Square makes a lot of sense; it’s got one of the best transportation (elements) in the entire state,” he said. “The whole area is really changing.
More units on the way
The Marketing Directors are relatively new to Jersey City, holding leasing operations in only two properties in city — granted, the properties are Trump Bay Street and the whole of Journal Squared — but are set to manage leasing in an additional three luxury buildings.
“We are getting ready to launch, in the next two months, Vantage, which is Brian Fisher’s building, and we’re getting ready to lease Park Francis, which is on Hamilton Square, which is Silverman’s building,” Martin Brady, the executive vice president of the Marketing Directors, said. “The third one is 333 Grand Street; that’s going to open sometime in the late spring, early summer, and that is part of the Liberty neighborhood.”
Vantage, at 33 Park Ave., will house 448 units. Park Francis on Hamilton will be comprised of 99 units and 333 Grand Street will have 225 units.
“Many mayors talked for a long time about Journal Square coming back. We’re really excited to get the chance to get it going.”
Kanne, the CEO and president of National Realty Advisors, agreed.
“The development meets the demand for convenient lifestyles — direct mass transit connections into Manhattan commercial centers with upscale amenities — at an attractive value for residents,” he said.
So far, the first tower has made 538 units and 1,000 square feet of retail available to lease.
“Journal Square is a dynamic neighborhood that continues to grow in popularity among Jersey City locals as well as newcomers,” Kushner, president of the KRE Group, said. “We’re delighted that Journal Squared’s first tower is complete and ready for renters to enjoy.”
KRE manages the leasing of the 1,000-square-foot, single-tenant retail space in the first tower, and in March 2016, it began conversations with David Trotta, the founder of Whealth & Co., to house a café in the space.
“He is a Jersey City local guy,” Jason Segal, director of residential leasing for KRE, said. Segal works on leasing the space at the complex. “He grew up in the Journal Square neighborhood. He has a catering business in Jersey City. He’s worked in some of our projects doing events for our residents and was a great fit for the space.”
The Whealth & Co. café is set to open this summer, almost a year after the tenant signed the lease for the space, according to Segal.
Journal Squared was designed by Hollwich Kushner and Handel Architects. Upon completion, the complex will offer 10,000 square feet of amenities to its residents.
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