JERSEY CITY | 500 Summit Ave | 458 FT | 42 FLOORS

Continuing the discussion from JERSEY CITY | Journal Square 2060 Redevelopment Plan:

HAP gets in on Jersey City redevelopment action

By Linda O’Flanagan
12:24 PM, MARCH 26, 2014

500 Summit Avenue is currently a parking lot

The transformation of Jersey City’s Journal Square took another step forward today (Wednesday) when HAP Investments LLC announced it is in contract to buy a nearly one-acre site at 500 Summit Avenue where it will build a high rise apartment building, offices and retail.

“We are excited to have purchased this strategic site in Jersey City and look forward to building a future development that will provide new rental housing for local residents as well as others in the Metropolitan area, in addition to adding needed office and community facilities to this thriving urban location. HAP Investments is also committed to sound environmental development, and to creating an open urban green space environment for this project,” said Eran Polack, CEO, HAP Investments.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the New York based investment and development company paid $28 million for the site, currently occupied by a parking lot.

The proposed tower, to be known as HAP Tower, will have views of Manhattan from a majority of the floors. The site can accommodate a 42-story rental building with commercial office and community facility space. The anticipated cost of the one million square foot development is estimated to be $400 million, according to HAP…

Further details of development plans have not yet been announced, but Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop is delighted nonetheless.

“Our administration has made the redevelopment of Journal Square a priority and we are pleased to welcome this 42-story residential tower to the substantial projects just underway on the Square,” said the Mayor. “HAP Investments’ announcement is further affirmation that our policies are working to attract such significant development.”

The City has approved an ambitious redevelopment plan for the area long considered the poor relation of its glitzier downtown, where luxury towers and office buildings hug the Gold Coast and drive a micro-economy of gourmet markets, daycare and restaurants and big names such as Trump, LeFrak and Mack-Cali have driven a development boom.

Revealed: 500 Summit Avenue


500 Summit Avenue, rendering via HAP

In March of this year, New York/Tel Aviv-based developer HAP Investments announced plans for a $400 million tower in Jersey City’s Journal Square neighborhood, at 500 Summit Avenue. The builder bought the site for $28 million from Robinhood Plaza, which had negotiated with the city to allow a 42-story tower with 1 million square feet of space, in exchange for building a park between Summit and Baldwin Avenues.

While HAP told the Jersey Journal that the preliminary design would take about a year, YIMBY has come across a few renderings by CetraRuddy that appears to show the project. HAP did not return YIMBY’s call for comment, so we can’t be sure of how current the images are.

500 Summit Avenue, rendering via HAP

As depicted, the building would be glassy and L-shaped, with one textured side and the rest smooth. The park also makes an appearance in one of the renderings, suggesting that HAP is planning on working within the already-entitled zoning limits – an entitlement that the previous owner had to sue the city to get, and which at least one local council member is none too pleased about (“Over my dead body they’ll put a 42-story tower there,” Journal Square councilman Rich Boggiano told the Journal).

Under Mayor Steve Fulop, however, Jersey City has been more accommodating to builders. He recently cheered on a 95-story waterfront tower proposal, and has offered tax breaks to developers who would venture beyond the riverfront – where most of the development action is – and build inland, in the Journal Square area. (In this respect, the development pattern in Jersey City resembles that of Long Island City, where the waterfront area was developed before builders began seeking sites further inland, around Court Square.) While much of the neighborhood is built-out with row homes and tenements, the downtown area still has a number of surface lots that will be ripe for redevelopment in the years to come.

HAP’s site has excellent access to mass transit, located right next to the Journal Square PATH station. The ride to Herald Square takes 27 minutes during the week, while the World Trade Center is just 14 minutes away.

New Look: HAP Tower, 500 Summit Avenue, Journal Square


HAP Tower, image from CetraRuddy

Update: Per HAP, both versions depict “different design studies for the site, and are simply conceptual at this time. They may not reflect the final approved design which is not expected for several years.”

Back in August, YIMBY featured a first look at HAP’s plans for a new residential tower in Jersey City’s Journal Square. That version would have stood approximately 40 stories tall, and the roughly 800,000 square foot development would have held rental apartments.

Now, we have a look at another possible scheme for the site, created by CetraRuddy, the firm also responsible for the first iteration. The new design is significantly taller, standing well over 50 stories, and could indicate the site may be geared towards condominiums rather than rental units.

HAP’s speciality is typically condominiums, which would explain the possible design change as well. Views are the driving factor behind New York City’s new skyscraper boom, and the same could be said for what’s rising across the Hudson River. In 500 Summit Avenue’s case, the project will overlook the entire Manhattan skyline, and the best way to take advantage of that is to make HAP Tower even taller.

Close-up of HAP Tower, image from CetraRuddy

Similar developments are underway or in the planning stages across Journal Square. Ground has already been broken at JSquared, which will eventually host three towers of 50 floors or greater, and another twin-towered project of similar heights is in the works nearby, tentatively dubbed City Center Towers. With Kushner Companies set to build another 40-story high-rise on the site of the old Jersey Journal building at 30 Journal Square, the neighborhood’s skyline is just a few years away from a very rapid evolution.

Possibly discarded design for 500 Summit Avenue, image from CetraRuddy

CetraRuddy’s new plan for HAP Tower is much more distinctive than the old, which was quite simple. The new version emulates another Jersey City project in the works, dubbed Urban Ready Living, in that it divides the residences between layers, stacking them slightly off-kilter, like an untapered 56 Leonard. Instead of relying on an all-glass facade, the skyscraper’s massing would be broken up by what looks to be concrete, which visually separates the stacks every four-odd floors, and results in a futuristic and iconic look — one which would offer the nascent Journal Square skyline a needed dose of distinction.

The ultimate design for 500 Summit Avenue remains up in the air, although HAP’s penchant for controversial but forward-thinking architecture could point towards the bold and transformative new look being final.

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Not much movement on this one, but surprisingly there is some movement. The developer’s reps met with the Hilltop Neighborhood Association on January 30. Here are the highlights of the latest plan, according to a posting on the Hilltop Association newsgroup on Yahoo:

  • 458 ft high - max 42 stories
  • Will be on the footprint on the parking lot and then a
    park behind it all the way to Baldwin Avenue.
  • Luxury rentals
  • It will have sustainable components
  • The park would have 3 entry points - Summit Ave, East St and Baldwin Avenue, have a neighborhood center, playground and retail.
  • The park will be a total of 800 ft long. (3/4 acre when finished)
  • The park will be given to the city but maintained by the building
  • Parking (230 spots) would be under the building and portions of
    the park (it would be underneath) - available to building residents and
    community to use
  • Proposed that parking would exit from Baldwin Ave and West St
    and spill onto Magnolia - that received a lot of negative feedback -
    they said they would look at Summit Avenue exit
  • Once the building gets approved - it will take 2 - 3 years to finish
  • They presented renditions of the building and the proposed park
  • Feedback was given about the traffic, the security, where would the construction trucks go, how would deliveries be handled.

The local councilman, Rich Boggiano, said in response that he wants it to be an 8-story tower instead.


Looking at the discarded rendering in the 2014 post, I wouldn’t mind that rising for this parcel. The original design is a little visionary in nature (taller, jenga like tower). Looks like a more complex URL in the sense., but max 42 floors isn’d bad for the area.

Given that its replacing a parkinglot I believe, thats always a plus.

This would be just the right project. Something in the 450 range. Although this appears to look like 550 ft, but still, 450 is decent.

Jeez, kinda low balling it councilman. I don’t think he has fate in JC or doesn’t understand the current demand.

He’s can be a big NIMBY for projects east of Summit Ave. He got a 6-story building shot down last December for being too tall. And he has convinced Mayor Fulop to look into downzoning Journal Square.

As far as this tower, he said in the Hilltop newsgroup that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to stop it from rising more than 8 stories. The city already lost a lawsuit seeking to block the tower 2 years ago, but I guess he wants to ignore the court order (see the first post in this thread–he says "Over my dead body they’ll put a 42-story tower there”)

I doubt that they’ll be able to build this tower without a tax abatement because new construction is taxed at a much higher rate than old construction, but that might change with the property revaluation later this year.

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Here is the lot as of yesterday



Thanks JC! It might not look like much, but your picture is actually pretty significant. The chain-link fence is new, and the parking lot wasn’t closed off when I last walked by the site a couple of weeks ago. It’s an important sign of movement for this long-dormant project. They must be at least somewhat serious if they’re willing to close the parking lot and lose that revenue stream.

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Good to know. It looked new but i wasnt sure how long it had been there ( few weeks… years…?). I hope they approve it soon but I remember this was the one boggiano opposed even years ago. So who knows if this will happen or not.

FYI - This project will be presented at the New JSQ Neighborhood Association meeting at 2737 Kennedy Blvd (Starting Points Inc) this Wednesday, April 5, at 7pm. If you live on Magnolia, West St, East St, Summit Ave, or Baldwin Ave, come out and be heard. Also come out if you’re just curious about the development.

They’re really moving forward with this.

Various developers are presenting proposals for TEN buildings altogether at this week’s neighborhood association meeting. News has spread about how quickly Journal Squared leased up, and everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon!


Takeaways from tonight’s meeting:
*Unlike most other projects in the area, the developers for this project said they’ve got financing all lined up and ready to go. They claim they’d get shovels in the ground as soon as they get their approvals.
*However, approvals are what’s holding them back. Under pressure from our councilman the city is refusing to issue permits despite a legal settlement that allowed them to build this tower. They’re suing and will probably win eventually because the city can’t just abandon its contract, but litigation is always uncertain and takes time to work its way through the courts.

Here are the renderings, courtesy of the architect, CetraRuddy:


As predicted, the city lost its latest appeal. Unfortunately it seems like they’re going to waste more tax money fighting (and probably losing) another appeal, to the NJ Supreme Court. The NJ Supreme Court’s decision would be final and can’t be appealed to any other court. The NJ Supreme Court only hears about 10% of cases that are appealed to it. So the odds don’t look good for the city. If the court does decide to hear the case, it should render a decision with 18 months or so.


So this one is now cleared by the courts. A judge has demanded the city allow the project to move forward. Before construction can begin, they’d have to go for site plan approval before the Planning Board (which should be a formality, unless the city wants to be in contempt of the court order and risk severe financial penalties).



their insta post

Hope this rises soon. Can’t wait for JS to become another cluster


HAP is redesigning this project with public space following a legal settlement with the city that was finalized in April. Some interesting details:

"HAP has agreed to dedicate 0.80 acres of the project’s land for a municipal park and neighborhood community center. The company will set aside $2.5 million towards the construction of the facilities, which will be deeded to Jersey City upon completion.

The tower would be built first under the deal and construction of the park and community center will need to be completed no later than one year after a Certificate of Occupancy is granted to the residential component. HAP will also need to provide no less than 40 parking spaces for patrons visiting the community center under the agreement."


Updated renderings of the community space and park released recently