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Old Posted Aug 5, 2007, 7:14 PM
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Two 48-story buildings a go

Planning Board demands dog run for phase II of Columbus Towers

Ricardo Kaulessar -- Hudson Reporter -- 08/03/2007

The Jersey City Planning Board approved the second phase of 50 Columbus Drive at their meeting on July 24. While the first phase, a 35-story tower, is near completion, the second phase will include two 48-story towers and a hotel.

The project, also known as Columbus Towers, is located on a long stretch of Christopher Columbus Drive between Marin Boulevard and Warren Street, in the Exchange Place area.

The site is being developed by PKG Associates, a company operated by local attorney and builder Joseph Panepinto in partnership with Hoboken-based Applied Companies.

Upon completion, 50 Columbus Drive's three towers will house 942 rental units, a 144-room hotel, 1120 parking spaces, and over 12,000 square feet of ground floor retail.

The first phase of the project, a 35-story tower with 392 units and 804 parking spaces, is near completion. Rentals are scheduled to start this month.

The second phase will be two 48-story towers with a total of 550 units, the hotel, retail and 316 parking spaces.

The board voted unanimously (7-0) to allow the rest of the project to go forward, but added some conditions, including creating access to the nearby Marin Boulevard entrance to the PATH and ensuring a dog run is built at the 50 Columbus site.

Where's the dog run?

At the meeting, several representatives for the project made a presentation of the 50 Columbus preliminary site plan to the Planning Board.

A preliminary site plan is used for new construction and additions located on land zoned for commercial and residential use. Any project built in a redevelopment area, as is the case with 50 Columbus Drive (in Exchange Place North), usually gets first approval and later comes back in front of the board for final approval.

After the presentation, the board approved the project with six conditions that have to be met by the developers.

Among them was putting in a dog run.

Board Commissioner Roseanne Petruzelli pointed out there was no place within the site plan for a dog run. Board Chairman Michael Ryan said there is supposed to be at least one dog run on the premises.

At the meeting, the developers' attorney Nevis McCann claimed 50 Columbus will be "pet friendly," when asked whether or not pets will be allowed.

But McCann said there was no room for dog run.

"The dogs will have to walk the streets like everyone else," he said. And another of the developers' attorneys, Francis Schiller, said a surface parking lot designed for the second phase of the project would be built in the location where the dog run was to be placed.

But the developers' representatives later agreed they will look for space on the site for a dog run.

Also, the board insisted upon an entrance from the lobby of the hotel that will allow guests and residents of 50 Columbus to gain easier access to the Exchange Place PATH station.

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com
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