Developers have pledged to build a new public school for Jersey City as part of a $370 million housing development planned for the city’s Paulus Hook neighborhood.
The 200-student school, for pre-k, kindergarten and first grade students, will be the second privately funded public school to open in the city in recent years. Today’s announcement comes less than two weeks after the public-school district opened its first new public school in a decade, the state-funded School 20 on Ocean Avenue.
The 28,000-student school district faces overcrowding issues that it believes will become more acute as residents flock to the city’s new high-rises and families decide to remain city dwellers instead of fleeing for the suburbs. In a statement, Mayor Steve Fulop said initiatives like the new school, planned for Columbus Drive near Washington Street, will help ease those overcrowding issues.
“This project represents an amazing opportunity for Jersey City to be innovative at how we look at both development and creating new school facilities in an urban setting,” Fulop said. “What’s even better, without spending a dime, we’re getting more mixed-income housing, preserving affordable housing, and building a brand-new public school for young children.”
The new 35,000-square-foot school and residential tower are planned for 25 Columbus Dr., on an existing parking lot adjacent to the 23-story Paulus Hook Towers. The location is three blocks from the Waterfront.
The developer behind the project is PH Urban Renewal, a joint venture of L+M Development Partners and Low-Income Housing Corporation. Both have offices in New York. L+M is a part owner of Paulus Hook Towers.
The school district has agreed to purchase the new school for one dollar, a deal approved unanimously by the school board in August.
Details of the residential development that would accompany the new school have yet to be revealed. The city Planning Board is expected tonight to approve changes to the Paulus Hook Redevelopment Plan that would allow the developers to build as many as 750 new apartments on the site. Paulus Hook Towers has 308 units.
“We look forward to embarking on this project with the support of Mayor Fulop and to providing much needed school seats and mixed-income housing that is responsive to the needs of this growing community,” Jonathan Cortell, vice president of development at L+M Development, said in a statement.
Thirty seven of the units in the new tower would be set aside as affordable housing, the city said today.
It’s not known when construction is expected to begin. The final site plan would need to be approved by city planners, a step separate from tonight’s expected approval of changes to the area’s redevelopment plan.