HamiltonSquare-JerseyCityNJ_HEROLocation: Jersey City, N.J.
Landscape architect: Robin Key Landscape Architecture Architects:Urban Tectonics, Mullman Seidman Architects
Number of units: 125
Unit mix: Studios and one-, two-, and three-bedrooms
Rents: $1,500 to $4,000

Although St. Francis Hospital served Jersey City residents for decades, its huge campus forced the closing of a vibrant commercial corridor, Pavonia Avenue, and prevented pedestrian traffic in the neighborhood. The hospital closed in 2005, and the complex, which covered two city blocks, needed to be redeveloped.

A creative team of developers, architects, and construction experts tackled the project, and, today, one full block of the original site is a mixed-use project known as Hamilton Square North. Two of the hospital buildings were rehabbed, and a third building was designed and constructed to connect to the existing buildings by a common courtyard.

The resulting development includes 13 commercial spaces with 125 residential units ranging from studios to three-bedrooms.

The renovation of the existing buildings included the removal of floor slabs and a masonry façade. The new construction reflects the surrounding architecture: At street level, the historically reminiscent storefronts, with bold entrances and large windows, create an accessible shopping district.

The residences feature balconies, custom kitchens, spa-like bathrooms, 9- to 14-foot ceilings, advanced soundproofing, and sustainable features such as bamboo flooring and low-E glass. The community also offers a roof terrace with barbecue grills, patio tables, lounge chairs, an herb garden, and an attached party kitchen as well as an underground parking garage for cars and bikes.

The development team worked with the Jersey City Historic Preservation Commission, along with other municipal entities, to integrate Hamilton Square North into the community and connect it with Hamilton Park, which had fallen into disrepair. The redevelopment included the reopening of Pavonia Avenue to pedestrians, creating a cobblestone street that leads directly into the park, which itself had been improved with dog runs, playgrounds, basketball courts, and additional green space.