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JERSEY CITY-The residential market might be struggling in New Jersey and nationally, but projects continue to rise in the Garden State, the latest being the ambitious Monaco Towers here. When completed, the $210-million project will add two 50-story towers to this city’s skyline.

Monaco Towers is a joint venture of the Short Hills, NJ-based Roseland Property Co. and locally based Garden State Developers. Executives of those two companies joined city officials yesterday afternoon for the ceremonial groundbreaking to officially launch construction, although site work has been under way.

“This project is a good example of the resiliency of this city’s housing market,” says Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy. “We’re excited to break ground on such a large-scale project, one that will create jobs and new housing.”

The two towers will bring a total of 524 residential rental units to the market. Initially approved as a condo tower last year, the format was later switched to rentals for market-related reasons. Also part of the plan is 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, and Monaco Towers is slated for delivery in 2011. The site itself is the former parking lot for the adjacent Doubletree Hotel at the corner of Washington Blvd. and Thomas Gangemi Dr. in this city’s financial district.

“The Monaco will provide a mix of residential and retail spaces and will contribute to this city’s status not just as a gateway to Manhattan, but as a destination in its own right,” says Roseland principal Carl Goldberg. His company is no stranger to the Hudson County waterfront, with notable projects including the nearby Port Imperial and Henley on Hudson.

Officials say that Monaco Towers will create a total of more than 400 construction jobs. It will also conform to the city’s project labor agreement requiring that a percentage of those jobs will go to city residents in apprenticeships with the buildings trades unions. The project will also provide $700,000 to the city’s affordable housing trust fund.

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