Count on another residential high-rise going up in Jersey City’s Ward E now that the city Planning Board has laid out the conceptual groundwork for the prospective builder, Kushner Real Estate Group.

KRE, now in the process of completing the third tower to Journal Squared, a luxury skyscraper complex at Summit and Pavonia avenues, wants to put up a mixed-use, 600-residential building, with ground-floor commercial space next to the Battery View Tower senior building off Montgomery Street, city Supervising Planner Matt Ward told City Council at Monday’s caucus.

The project development area is bounded by Columbus Drive to the north, Montgomery Street to the south, Washington Street to the west and Greene Street to the east.

KRE has agreed to designated 15% of the new apartments as affordable housing, according to Planning Board records, in compliance with the city’s Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance (IZO).

The new structure would rise mostly on the eastern section of the outdoor parking lot currently used by Battery View tenants. But KRE has agreed to provide room for the 61 spaces that will be lost to those tenants in a parking garage that would be woven into the new development. Those tenants won’t be charged for parking there.

Moreover, the Planning Board notes, the development plan “does not contemplate a reduction of housing units in the Battery View Tower.”

Additionally, Ward said, the developer plans to add nearly 12,000 square feet of green space that will be accessible to the public.

The developer told the planning board it would “reconstruct and reconfigure the private open space located along Christopher Columbus Drive (and) improve sidewalk areas with new pavement, street trees and a landscaped plaza at Greene Street and Columbus Drive to improve pedestrian safety and the aesthetics of the pedestrian environment in the area.”

Also in the works is a 2,500 square foot dog run extending from Washington Street along Columbus Drive.

Carolyn Worstell, a planner with Dresdner, Robin of Jersey City, told the planning board that the project “is consistent with numerous elements of the city Master Plan including the land use, housing, open space and circulation elements….”

At the developer’s request, the Planning Board granted an exception that permits a canopy or awning to “infringe upon the building’s setback requirement up to and along the Columbus Drive property line … to be cantilevered with a minimum clearance of 20 feet above grade.”

Next step will be for City Council to act Wednesday approve amendments to the more than 50-year-old Paulus Hook Redevelopment Plan at a public hearing on March 20.

In other business listed on Wednesday’s meeting agenda, the council will be asked to ratify separate agreements with the Jersey City Superiors Association.

One provides for a new contract, retroactive to January 1, 2023, and running through December 31, 2026, providing a 4.3% raise, retroactive to January 1, 2023; and raises of 3.5%, retroactive to January 1, 2024; 3.75%, effective January 1, 2025; and 3.75%, effective January 1, 2026, plus other benefits.

The second agreement covers a longstanding dispute between the union and city over differing interpretations of how much union workers should have been paid in the wake of the state of emergency (prompted by the advent of Covid-19) declared by Gov. Philip Murphy and Mayor Steve Fulop in March 2020.

In a summary provided council, city Corporation Counsel Brittany Murray advised that, as per the governor’s directive, “the city paid eligible members of JCSA for hours worked during the state of emergency between March 9, 2020, and July 6, 2020, and then ceased payment which was contested by JSCA due to (the governor’s) executive order not having been repealed.”

After a lengthy arbitration moderated by the state Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC), the city and union have reached a settlement proposing that the city pay “active, full-time (union) members five annual payments (retroactive to) January 1, 2024, and ending on or about January 1, 2028….”

Additionally, the city will “create a bank of paid time off – known as State of Emergency Days (SOE) – for the same 5-year period….”

Annual payments to 170 individual union employees range from $5,000 to $6,500.

The two proposed agreements were signed by city Business Administrator John Metro and JCSA President Michael Karlok.

Both require ratification by the council and the JCSA membership.

Ron Leir has been a journalist since 1972. That includes a 37-year stint as a reporter, copy reader and assistant editor with The Jersey Journal, followed by a decade as a reporter with The Observer in...