A rendering of Avenir, a proposed mixed-use development at 1072 and 1075 West Side Ave. in Jersey City — Courtesy: Meridian Capital Group/Design by Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects
By Joshua Burd
Brokers with Meridian Capital Group are marketing what they say is a rare opportunity — a development site in Jersey City with approvals for nearly 500 apartments.
Meridian Investment Sales, the firm’s commercial property sales division, said it was seeking a buyer for the 3.35-acre parcel at 1072 and 1075 West Side Ave. Located in the city’s Marion section, the site is approved for an eight-story, 659,000-square-foot project known as Avenir, which would include 486 apartments and 25,000 square feet of commercial space.
Meridian is representing the seller in the $50 million listing.
The proposal has been approved by the Jersey City planning board and is eligible for a 20-year payment in lieu of taxes agreement, or PILOT, Meridian said, offering the chance for a buyer to acquire a large-scale, as-of-right development in one of the state’s strongest submarkets. Brokers said the buyer would have the ability to begin construction immediately and would benefit from the shortage of Class A housing in the neighborhood.
The Meridian team marketing the site includes Senior Executive Managing Director David Schechtman and managing directors Lipa Lieberman and Abie Kassin. In touting the site, they pointed to a recent agreement between Jersey City and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to dedicate funds to a feasibility study for a new Marion PATH station, which would be located within two blocks of the Avenir development site.
They also noted that neighborhoods surrounding the existing PATH stations have several projects in the pipeline and have benefited from increased foot traffic, new retail and elevated property values. The site is just a few blocks from the Journal Square transit center.
Jersey City’s recent development boom has included more than 7,000 residential units completed from 2015 to 2017, Meridian said. In recent years, high-profile developers have ventured beyond the city’s waterfront and downtown, seeking new opportunities that still offer quick access to Manhattan and other parts of northern New Jersey.
That trend has included the three-phase Journal Squared project by Kushner Real Estate Group, which has delivered the 538-unit first phase and has broken ground on the 704-unit second phase. On Jersey City’s West Side, developers are building hundreds of new market-rate apartments on land owned by New Jersey City University, as part of a master-planned project known as University Place.
According to published reports, the Avenir site occupies the well-known former Puccini’s restaurant and a few surrounding lots on West Side Avenue.