Fulop bullish on Journal Square, says it’s ready to become ‘heart of city’

Calling Journal Square the most exciting market in the state, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said a number of development projects currently in the works will transform the area in ways many have dreamed of for years.

“If you fast forward five or six years, Journal Square will be a very different place,” he said. “It’ll actually be the heart of the city again — and it will be the destination that we always wanted it to be and be restored to.”

Steve Fulop. (File photo)

Fulop was talking in a previously recorded interview with Amir Korangy, the founder of the Real Deal, that was aired Tuesday as part of the Jersey City Summit for Real Estate Investment. Fulop said Jersey City still is in the middle of a renaissance — one that now is turning toward Journal Square.

“I still think that Journal Square is not fully realized,” he said. “Journal Square is a place I would be investing in if I was not in the seat I am today.”

Fulop rattled off a number of key projects in the area — including One Journal Square, the renovation of the Lowe’s Theater, the recently announced Pompidou Center and others.

All told, 13,000 residential units are under construction or approved for development.

And that number may soon be growing.

Fulop said the city has a memorandum of understanding to purchase two properties near Journal Square from Hudson County Community College.

“They are two large properties that we’ll be taking, pending approval from the city council,” he told ROI-NJ.

Fulop said it’s all part of an effort in the area.

“We’re just getting more involved in the revitalization of Journal Square,” he said. “We’re putting significant dollars and resources into it — and this is just another example of that.”

Fulop said he is confident there will be a lot of interest in the properties. Jersey City, he said, has not reached capacity.

“There’s a lot of investment there and a lot of interest still,” he said.

The only thing missing is the drama.

Last fall, Jersey City reached an agreement with Charlie Kushner, the head of Kushner Cos., who sued the city, claiming his company did not get the same incentives for his multitower project, One Journal Square, as Kushner’s brother, Murray Kushner, received when his company, Kushner Real Estate Group, got approval for its own multitower project, Journal Squared.

Clearing the suit was just one of the reasons that development is soaring, Fulop said.

“Journal Square is in a good place,” he said. “We’re through the litigation and, I think, looking forward four or five years, it’s going to be a very different place.”

The Jersey City Summit for Real Estate Investment continues Wednesday. Click here to register and see the agenda.