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JERSEY CITY-The project that Schenkman Kushner Affiliates first brought to city officials for a downtown site would have been heavily oriented toward office space. But after hearing the concerns of local businesses–especially retailers in search of a more stable residential base–and perhaps reacting to market conditions that show residential as a stronger play, the proposal has morphed into a different animal.

The project that has just gotten city council approval will now feature a total of 500 apartments and a 160-room hotel component, according to officials of the Bridgewater, NJ-based Schenkman Kushner. Although details are sketchy and no price tag has publicly been placed on the project, what has been made public is the fact that it will include 600 parking spaces and may rise as high as 34 stories.

It will also require the demolition of existing building stock on the Grove Street and Newark Avenue tract. Further details are expected to be released shortly, and city officials are optimistically targeting a summer groundbreaking.

The Schenkman Kushner project also marks the continuation of a wave of new development away from this city’s highly touted waterfront, where Goldman Sachs’ 50-story tower and other projects are winding down. More recently, development activity has been shifting to the long-overlooked downtown and Journal Square neighborhoods, and residential development has become a key part of the mix, according to local observers.

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