Adaptive Re-Use – Commercial space and Live / Work units

This project is the conversion of two warehouse buildings in the heart of the Historic Downtown of Jersey City. The 7,564 sf site has frontages on both Christopher Columbus Drive and Maxwell Street. The main building of the complex is a 140 year old, fully masonry building with five stories over a basement. This building was initially designed as a fireproof warehouse in a time when the remainder of the neighborhood was comprised of wooden structures. The three story building, with frontage on Maxwell Street, has masonry bearing walls with steel frame and wood joist floor and roof structure.

The front elevation has been designed to have a new residential entry where the loading area had once been, leading to a newly refurbished elevator. New exterior stairs and platform now provide entry into the first floor and basement commercial areas. The front façade has been cleaned and repointed, with new windows, signage and lighting, which restore the beauty of the original building while preparing it for its new function.

Three live work units were created on each of the four upper floors of the Christopher Columbus building. While existing window locations were utilized to allow natural light into the units, new recessed balconies were carved into the building where additional light was required. The units were designed to be open, to allow live work occupants to transform them as needed.

The Maxwell Street building has been designed to have a large live work unit on each of the three floors. A new entry and stairway were designed, since none existed before, and former window openings were re-opened to allow light to flood the units.

Shortly after completion the building earned recognition for Excellence in Preservation from the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy.