JERSEY CITY — Four residential buildings, two of them 25-stories high, are slated for the old Mueller’s pasta factory on Baldwin Avenue, another sign that the Downtown building boom is extending farther west.
The developer, Argent Ventures, wants to build 980 units on the 5.2-acre site, located less than half a mile from the Journal Square PATH station. The Mueller’s site is largely vacant, aside from a four-story, 300,000-square-foot former manufacturing plant that will be demolished.
“The site represents the largest, ‘shovel ready’ development site in Journal Square and one of the prime development sites in Jersey City,” the developer says on the project’s website.
The Journal Square area was largely devoid of large-scale construction until KRE Group went forward with a three-tower, 1,800-unit development called Journal Squared just east of the PATH transportation hub last October. Since then, Jared Kushner and KABR have announced plans to build a residential tower on the site of the old headquarters of The Jersey Journal, while that team is also expected to build two towers on the vacant lot just across the street.
Farther to the west, developers scooped up a four-acre site that included Puccini’s restaurant for $20 million earlier this year, and they could build up to 580 residential units there without any additional city approval.
“The inherent value of Journal Square is now kind of becoming front-and-center,” Robert Antonicello, former head of the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, told The Jersey Journal in February. Antonicello is advising Argent.
Argent is scheduled to go before the Planning Board on Tuesday night for site plan approval.
Councilman Rich Boggiano, who represents Ward C, where the property is located, has met with the developer and has given the plan his tentative approval. Boggiano noted that the two tall buildings proposed for the Mueller’s site are “set back” from Baldwin Avenue so they don’t tower over the small apartment buildings and residential homes across the street.
Still, he said, he won’t support the project is residents in that neighborhood are opposed.
“It’s up to the people of the area,” Boggiano told The Jersey Journal. “I want to see their opinion … I go with what the people want.”
The Mueller’s plant shuttered in 1997 when the company moved its operations to South Carolina, putting over 300 people out of work. At the time it was one of the largest losses of manufacturing jobs in Hudson County’s history.
The Baldwin Avenue plant was built in 1915.
The Planning Board meets on Tuesday, June 23 at 5:30 at City Hall, 280 Grove St.
Boggiano is hosting a neighborhood meeting on Monday, June 29 at 7 p.m. in the basement of St. Joseph, 511 Pavonia Ave. The redevelopment of the Mueller’s site is on the agenda.
Terrence T. McDonald may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @terrencemcd. Find The Jersey Journal on Facebook.