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JERSEY CITY-The waterfront market of New Jersey’s second largest city has been lacking only one major amenity to go with its emergence as a corporate destination–a full-service hotel. And now it has one, with the official opening yesterday of the 350-key Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson. The upscale hotel, which was built at a cost of $102 million, is Hyatt’s 204th property overall.

Besides being the first full-service hotel on this city’s waterfront, the property scores a few other “firsts.” It’s the first hotel opened this year by Hyatt (and one of only two the company plans to open this year); it’s the initial collaboration between Hyatt and developer Mack-Cali Realty Corp; and it’s the latter’s first foray in the hotel business.

The new Hyatt Regency is situated on the south pier within the Cranford, NJ-based REIT’s Harborside Financial Center, a sprawling waterfront office development. According to Mack-Cali CEO Mitchell Hersh, “this hotel brings Harborside Financial Center another step closer to becoming Jersey City’s ‘city within a city,’ providing our tenants here and other area businesses with valuable conference, meeting and catering services.”

Speaking at the ribbon-cutting, NJ Gov. Jim McGreevey, himself a Jersey City native, hailed the project as “a remarkable step in the development of the Jersey City waterfront.” He also lauded Jersey City for continuing “to secure financial assistance, both private and public,” on its road to becoming a major market. “I would like to thank the private capital community for making investments here. The future of these private capital markets is here,” McGreevey added.

Among the other dignitaries addressing the gathering, Jersey City Mayor Glenn Cunningham said that the new hotel “is another sign of the resurgence of this entire region.”

The new Hyatt Regency overlooks New York harbor, directly across from Lower Manhattan, just a 15-minute boat ride from the latter. It’s being positioned “to serve both the Wall Street and Harborside Financial Center communities,” according to Steve White, general manager of the property. Besides its 350 rooms, the hotel offers 20,000 sf of meeting space, 4,450 sf of pre-function space and a 165-seat three-meal restaurant.

Designed by Brennan Beer Gorman/Architects and Brennan Beer Gorman Monk/Interiors of New York, the nine-story linear property projects some 800 feet into the Hudson River, according to Ted Brumleve, a partner in the design firms. Most of its guest and meeting rooms provide sweeping views of the river and Manhattan, and its exterior materials were chosen to do everything from reducing glare to withstanding strong winds and the marine environment.

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