The 21-story building will be built where a surface-level parking lot currently exists less than a block away from St. Peter's University. Image provided by Beckerman PR.

A newly approved $220 million Jersey City, N.J. development is expected to bring together student housing, affordable housing, and luxury units all under one roof.

From a movie theatre at the ground level to 595 units of housing and more than 700 parking spaces, St. Peter’s University expects to pump life into the area near campus with the development project.

The 21-story building will be built where a surface-level parking lot currently exists less than a block away from the university, says Eugene Paolino. The unit mix will include 88 affordable units, 354 luxury rentals and 153 units for students as well as space for retail.

Paolino, the university’s general counsel, says the idea took off about two years ago when the university began seeking a developer to finesse the space.

“The idea [came up because] the university requires parking for students, faculty and visitors,” Paolino says. “We are not going to lose any parking .We will restore the parking we have and it’ll be included in a parking garage, which is probably better.”

And while the commute for students to class is less than a city block, the commute for renters seeking work or nightlife in Manhattan will only take between 15 and 20 minutes depending on which mode of transportation is chosen, he says. And rents will be reasonable, about half the price of Manhattan, Paolino says.

“The number is remarkably lower,” he says. “That’s why [this area is] becoming a mecca for young people. You have the fellow or the woman who comes out of college looking for a job and doesn’t have a lot of money and needs a place to live. Well, it’s tough to live in Manhattan and it’s far easier to live in Jersey.”

Not to mention, the view of Manhattan is going to be amazing, he says.

“You see Manhattan, not as you would see it from the Jersey City waterfront, also known as the Gold Coast, but from the view of this property, which is probably about a mile back from the waterfront. So you get the entire panorama.”

The project was recently approved by the Jersey City Planning Board and is expected to break ground in the spring of next year.

Lindsay Machak is an Associate Editor for Multifamily Executive. Connect with her on Twitter @LMachak.