Jersey City Residential Development Study

Jersey City, New Jersey

Look across the skyline of Jersey City and you’ll see a cityscape that would probably be unrecognizable 10 years ago. The bustling city is growing rapidly as more people flock to the New York City metro area. To meet the demand of this population boom, multifamily residential buildings of all types have popped up in different areas of the city. In the heart of Jersey City’s industrial sector, residential development is underway. One particular site in this budding neighborhood is eagerly waiting its turn.

Jersey City Residential Development Amenities

Our client engaged us to develop a design that will make full use of this block-long site in Jersey City near the area’s light rail. The new mixed-use building will include apartments that share amenities like a park-like roof terrace with a pool and dog run, a gym, and street-level retail. Jersey City tenants will also likely be driving to and from the building, so we incorporated a large parking garage into the podium. We iterated several configurations of the building that maximizes the amount of units we can include without losing access to views, sunlight, and amenities.

One iteration encircled the rooftop courtyard with apartments, but it closed itself off from the surrounding community – too fortress-like. Another concept completely enclosed the space, but divided the outdoor areas to include more apartments, but resulted in design that was too congested. A third iteration was presented as a zig-zag configuration that broke up the courtyard into distinct spaces that were open-ended, but ultimately lost the sense of open space that we were looking for with the project.

Working with developers, we understand that tenants are drawn to units that capture light and views. The design we determined would work the best, which was selected by our client, was a 500,000-square-foot, U-shaped massing that enveloped the expansive rooftop courtyard but was wide open on one side. Since the neighborhood was still developing, we wanted to focus views inward, across the large courtyard. All courtyard units feature angled, full-height windows that bring a vitality and texture to the façade that is more interesting than flat glass curtain walls. This configuration allows for the most units that are laid out with desirable views.

The exterior is composed of grey brick masonry that wraps the outer façade. At street level, full-height windows offer transparency to the building’s entry, gym, and retail spaces. These amenities help keep the building competitive with neighboring properties.