National RE, KRE Group Break Ground on Jersey City M-U Tower

National Real Estate Advisors and the KRE Group have officially broken ground on Journal Squared, a three-tower, mixed-use development adjacent to Jersey City’s Journal Square PATH Station.
Journal Squared

National Real Estate Advisors and the KRE Group have officially broken ground on Journal Squared, a three-tower, mixed-use development adjacent to Jersey City’s Journal Square PATH Station.

“The county that Journal Squared is located in is the most densely populated outside of Manhattan, so building in a place like that with access to transportation is a no-brainer that you will fill the place up in no time at all,” Jeff Kanne, National’s president & CEO, told Commercial Property Executive. “We’re going to be able to offer rents in a luxury tower for $40 a foot, roughly speaking, for a project that’s going to be second to none in Jersey City.”

Journal Squared will consist of 1,838 rental residences and 36,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space in 53-, 60- and 70-story towers, the latter of which will be the tallest residential building in the state of New Jersey.

Phase I will be the 53-story building, with 538 rental apartments, and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016. Phase II will include 700 rental residences in a 70-story building, while Phase III will feature 600 rental homes in a 60-story building. Residents will have panoramic views of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, plus the rivers and harbor.

According to Kanne, the project is expected fuel the revitalization of the massive transportation hub and serve as the centerpiece of a resurgent urban neighborhood.

“In our opinion, downtown Manhattan is undergoing an extraordinary renaissance, with the World Trade Center and Fulton Transportation Center, with millions of square feet of office space, so we see that as the epicenter of the New York area,” Kanne said. “Journal Square sits on the PATH station, and our three towers will have direct access to the PATH, so that station is a 10-minute ride to Ground Zero without changing trains and only 15 minutes to Mid-town.”

Located at the intersection of Pavonia and Summit avenues, the development will also include a pedestrian-friendly public plaza lined with trees, greenery and seating to encourage pedestrian activity and social interaction. Additionally, a total of 920 parking spaces will be included in the development.

National’s investment in Journal Squared is on behalf of the firm’s open-end, build-to-core fund, developing and redeveloping properties at appropriate points in the real estate cycle.

“Our basic investment strategy is to only invest in projects being developed or significantly renovated, because we think that’s the best way to create value and we avoid having to compete with a lot of other people for existing, stabilized assets,” Kanne said. “This gives us a modern portfolio, which is very green.”

As such, the developers will pursue LEED certification for all three buildings.