Plans for Pathside, a 53-story residential tower developed Panepinto Properties and AJD Construction, call a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and a host of amenities at 499 Summit Ave. in Jersey City, as well as 3,200 square feet of retail space, a new landscaped public plaza, a 140-car parking garage with vehicle lifts and 304 bicycle parking spaces. — Rendering by HLW/Courtesy: Panepinto
By Joshua Burd
Panepinto Properties has broken ground on a 53-story residential tower in Jersey City, with plans to add more than 600 apartments to the burgeoning Journal Square neighborhood as its hails its latest investment during nearly five decades in the municipality.
Located at 499 Summit Ave., the project will soon rise directly east of the busy Journal Square PATH station under a $338 million project known as Pathside. Panepinto is spearheading the development in tandem with AJD Construction, which is also building the 605-unit high-rise, with a projected completion date of spring 2026.
At that time, the building is slated to include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and a host of amenities, as well as 3,200 square feet of retail space, a new landscaped public plaza, a 140-car parking garage with vehicle lifts and 304 bicycle parking spaces.
“The magic is the PATH station,” the firm’s Joseph A. Panepinto Jr. said, noting that Journal Square is one of only four stations in the city. “That’s where the density and demand can be justified because it is the connection to New York that makes it a unique market for us, so we’re competing with some of the neighborhoods in Manhattan in terms of size and scale and demand.”
Designed by HLW, Pathside will be among several soaring luxury apartment towers under construction in the blocks around the transit hub and in an area that was once the epicenter of Hudson County. It’s also the latest in a long line of investments by the Panepinto family — led by Joseph A. Panepinto Sr., a city native and longtime philanthropist — in the neighborhood and across Jersey City, including a 240-unit building at 3 Journal Square that opened in 2017.
The younger Panepinto said the project, as well as major investments by developers such as Kushner Real Estate Group, Kushner Cos. and Urby, have “proved the market” in Journal Square. And the multibillion-dollar construction boom comes alongside several other projects nearby, including a major renovation of the historic Loew’s Theater, the new Frank J. Guarini Justice Complex and a new location for Centre De Pompidou, the renowned Parisian art museum.
“When you look forward three, four, five years, this will be the heart of the city again from a culture standpoint, from a nightlife standpoint, from a livability standpoint,” Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said during a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday. “And it takes partners to make that a reality. You need partners that are familiar with the city, that believe in the city, that are willing to take risks because they know that the city will be there to support them and they know the wherewithal of the city. Joe Panepinto grew up in Jersey City, he knows Journal Square better than anybody and he is a believer in Jersey City.”
Fulop said Joe Panepinto Sr. “has really been an anchor for the progress that we’ve seen here.” The younger Panepinto also referenced his family’s history, noting that his father started his real estate business in Journal Square in 1977.
It was 20 years later when he acquired 499-507 Summit Ave., Panepinto Jr. said, noting that it was home to a Burger King that had a 20-year lease.
“That’s the mark of what my father did,” Panepinto said. “He would buy properties that nobody else really found interesting or financially feasible and then turned them into great projects.”
Tuesday’s groundbreaking came less than a month after JLL announced that Pacific Life had provided a $193 million construction loan for the project. JLL Senior Managing Director Thomas R. Didio, Senior Director Thomas E. Didio Jr., Director Gerard Quinn and Senior Analyst Salvatore Buzzerio represented Panepinto in sourcing the five-year, floating-rate loan.
The project team also includes Eugene Paolino and Gerard Pizzillo of Genova Burns PC. In a news release, the developer noted that the project is slated to generate more than 2,300 development, construction and operations jobs.
“As a company with deep roots in Jersey City, we are genuinely excited about the large-scale revitalization unfolding in Journal Square and are thrilled that we have this opportunity to further contribute to the neighborhood’s historic resurgence,” said Joseph A. Panepinto Sr., CEO and president of Panepinto Properties. “Today’s groundbreaking represents the culmination of years of thoughtful planning and design, ensuring that this project not only provides new, modern residential options adjacent to public transportation but also becomes a lasting neighborhood asset. We appreciate the support and guidance we have received from Mayor Fulop, the City Council and all of the other agencies and individuals who share our vision.”