Much like the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a former shipyard now known as Kearny Point, on the banks of the Hackensack River in Hudson County, N.J., is being reborn as a center of commerce. YIMBY recently stopped by to check out some of its massive structures about to undergo transformation at this fine example of adaptive reuse. We also got our hands on some new renderings of the project.
Between World War I and World War II, 464 ships were built at the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. The 35,000 workers on site produced about one ship every five days, with a total of 60,000 to 70,000 people working on the surrounding peninsula.
Eventually, the Neu family, now part of the Hugo Neu Corporation, purchased the site and between the 1960s and 1980s, it was used to dismantle ships, including everything from aircraft carriers to minesweepers. It then turned to other industrial uses, such as distribution.
Now, the Neu family is redeveloping the 130-acre site, comprised of 18 properties representing three million square feet of development potential, into a thriving business district, only two miles from the New Jersey Turnpike and nearly adjacent to the Pulaski Skyway. The hope is that there will eventually be 4,000 to 8,000 jobs on the site.
The designs for the redevelopment come from STUDIOS Architecture and master planner WXY Architecture + Urban Design.
Building 78, at 78 John Miller Way, is the centerpiece, and its reuse was designed directly by WXY. It’s already up and running, with office space, a performance and event venue, a bar adjacent to the lobby, and a communal rooftop lounge with expansive views of New York City, Jersey City, Newark, and beyond.
Behind Building 78 is an annex, one of several very large craneway buildings on the site.
Not entirely dissimilar to Building B at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, these structures are long and have a large crane that runs along the ceiling, able to pick up and drop off cargo at any point.
Building 78’s annex, which is filled with natural light and is already used for television shoots, is in the process of being transformed into multi-level office space. Building 78 and its annex represent a combined 200,000 gross square feet of development potential.
Another craneway building is Building 54, which is three bays wide and includes 340,000 gross square feet of space.
At Building 100, 270,000 gross square feet will eventually see new life as office space. Its transformation is set to be a reality in 2018.
YIMBY has two exclusive renderings showing the revamped building’s exterior.
We also have a glimpse of what office space inside could look like, with a view towards Lower Manhattan.
Building 104, the former powerhouse, will eventually become a food hall. The project has already acquired two liquor licenses, a precious and limited commodity in New Jersey.
Hugo Neu also wants to reactivate the waterfront, which will involve the demolition of several existing structures. They hope for a water taxi stop and a marina, and are also planning a park and amphitheater. Building 197, which will be intended for smaller tenants, could also end up with vertical farming and indoor soccer fields.
Right now, the site sits about half a mile from a stop on NJ Transit bus route 1, which runs from Journal Square in Jersey City to Mt. Vernon Place in Newark, but the developers eventually hope to have a shuttle from the Journal Square PATH station. There is already a subsidy for workers who arrive at the site by Uber.
Right now, there are plans for redevelopment of Kearny Point to continue into 2020, though a phase on the site’s north basin still doesn’t have an estimated completion date. Cushman & Wakefield is handling leasing.