According to the administration at Saint Peter’s University, the construction of Saint Peter’s Tower and the future development of the McGinley Square Area will prove favorable both to the University community and to Jersey City as a whole.
“Basically, right now, what do we have? We have a surface parking lot, not particularly attractive, certainly useful, but not particularly attractive,” University President Eugene Cornacchia said. “So what this will do is to provide a facility that will give both neighborhood residents as well as university students and employees a place to go and shop, a place to go and relax and be entertained.”
But along with benefiting those who already reside or work in the area, the project will also hopefully attract higher enrollment to Saint Peter’s.
“Well, for one thing we think it’s going to be a big enrollment driver for us,” Michael Fazio, Vice President for Advancement and External Affairs at Saint Peter’s University, said. “The city of Jersey City is experiencing a renaissance right now. That term can be overused, but it really is a renaissance here when you look at what’s happening at the Waterfront and now what’s beginning to happen at Journal Square.”
In regard to concerns about residents being displaced as a part of this process, Fazio offered some remarks.
“Right now, there are no residents living on that parking lot, so the only thing that can happen would be to bring new residents in, so they won’t be displacing anybody,” he said. “This is a very strong rental market right now, so we believe strongly that there will be more than enough demand to fill these spaces without displacing anybody.”
Cornacchia stressed that no eminent domain is involved in this project, so no one will be pushed out by virtue of construction itself. However, how development will affect other properties in the area remains difficult to predict.
“Whether by virtue of the fact that it brings new residents into the community and then that has a kind of secondary effect on other people in the surrounding area wanting to develop their properties in different ways, that’s hard to anticipate,” Cornacchia remarked.
President Cornacchia also addressed student concerns about parking with the loss of the Armory Lot.
“The developer is required under the terms of our developer agreement to provide replacement parking during the construction phase,” he said.
As of now, Sora has not determined the location of that parking, but Cornacchia expects further information in the upcoming days as the construction plans go through the final stages of city approval.