JERSEY CITY–The Jersey City Planning Board has unanimously approved KRE Group’s plan to build three luxury residential towers with a total of 1,800 rental units at the heart of Journal Square, this city’s transit center and commercial district.

KRE’s Jeffrey Persky said construction of the first tower, 54 stories tall with 540 units, would begin by the end of next year. That is to be followed by a 70-story building with 700 units, and then a 60-story tower with 600 units, according to the approved plan.

The buildings will each have street level retail/restaurant space and an amenities plaza that connects them.

The city’s Redevelopment Agency director, Robert Antonicello shepherded the high-rise proposal to approval, saying it is the best way to revive the city’s faded core. He predicted it will be “a huge benefit” to the city at large.

City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill. “It is classic example of transit-oriented development with density located next to mass transit,” added city spokesperson Jennifer Morrill. She noted that KRE, whose chairman is veteran developer Murray Kushner, has a proven record in Jersey City, with many successful projects including 225 Marin Boulevard.

There are other projects that also may be in the works for Journal Square, including two towers proposed for one block south the PATH station.

Some years ago, the city zoned the Journal Square neighborhood for high-rise development around the heavily traveled PATH station and bus terminal at the Transportation Center. The Journal Square PATH station has the fourth-highest ridership of any PATH station on weekdays, and second-highest on weekends (behind the World Trade Center.)