One of the Largest Names in the International Mural Scene, KOBRA, to begin Massive New Mural in Jersey City

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Kobra’s Iconic Murals Include Portraits of Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Bob Dylan, Nelson Mandela, and John Lennon, with Murals in More than 20 Countries and 30 U.S. Projects

Fresh off setting the Guinness Book of World Records for the “largest spray paint mural by a team” with his Rio 2016 Olympic Games-inspired “Ethnicities,” internationally-renowned, Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra is bringing his unique vision and talent to Jersey City.

Widely known simply as Kobra, the sought-after artist has begun work on a 180-foot tall mural on the façade of 837 Jersey Avenue in downtown Jersey City.

Kobra, whose murals of notable historical figures include Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Bob Dylan, Nelson Mandela, and John Lennon, are painted utilizing bright colors and bold lines while incorporating a kaleidoscope theme.  Much of Kobra’s work represents fraternity, respect for the other cultures and acceptance and love for differences, which was one of the reasons he was approached for the Jersey City Mural Art Program that is rooted in the city’s diversity.

Kobra has worked in more than 20 countries and created more than 30 projects in the United States alone, with murals in London, Athens, Lyon, Los Angeles and New York.

“Jersey City has one of the most diverse and expansive mural arts programs in the country and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Kobra to contribute to the artistic landscape of our city,” said Mayor Fulop.  “His work is recognized around the world and his Jersey City mural will not only be our largest to date, but will also be an iconic image that will draw people here to visit the mural and our entire collection of outdoor art.”

Expected to take approximately two weeks to complete, the new mural will be an exciting addition to the more than 86 other public works of art created throughout the city by local and international artists in the past three years as part of the city’s flourishing Mural Arts Program.

“It’s great to see that Jersey City has embraced street art through its mural program and I’m very happy to be a part of it,” said Kobra.

Launched in 2013 by Mayor Steven Fulop to foster arts and cultural awareness, the Mural Arts Program has effectively transformed the City into an outdoor gallery through the creative works of local, national and international street artists, including Shepard Fairey, Pixel Pancho, Karski & Beyond, Fintan McGee, Faith47, and WK Interact, and local artists Mustart, Fermin Mendoza, Lissanne Lake and Catherine Hart.

The new installation is taking place during Jersey City’s Annual ARTober festivities that kicked off with the 26th Annual Jersey City Art and Studio Tour (JCAST), a city-wide showcase of the arts featuring nearly 1,000 participating artists in hundreds of venues that include private studios, galleries, local businesses, and pop-up and public spaces.

To further integrate the Kobra mural into the local Jersey City art celebration – which runs through the end of October, – a 10,000-square-foot pop-up gallery has opened in the 17th Street retail space of the Cast Iron Lofts building that displays a collection of works from nearly half of the participating artists in Jersey City’s Mural Arts Program.   Entitled “OUTSIDE/in,” the gallery features more than 85 pieces of visual artwork from acclaimed mural artists such as Distort, Emilio Florentine, Hell Bent, John T. Ruddy, Pawn and many others. The exhibition also includes indoor murals and large-scale installations, and is open to the public every Saturday in October from 12pm to 4pm.

The Kobra mural and “OUTSIDE/in” exhibit reflect Jersey City’s emergence as an important art and cultural destination that attracts the creative class.  The Mural Arts Program has commissioned works that support local art and beautify neighborhoods by programming public spaces with outdoor paintings that deter graffiti and incorporate the cultural and historical aspects of different neighborhoods.  Jersey City’s Mural Arts program has been compared to those in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Detroit and Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.  The Kobra mural, and others like it in Jersey City, offer accessible, authentic artwork that can help enhance and re-energize neighborhoods through creativity and aesthetic beauty.

Jazz for Lunch #jerseycity @JC_Gov

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Mayor Steven Fulop, the Jersey City Municipal Council, and the Office of Cultural Affairs present the annual Jazz For Lunch Concert Series every Thursday from 12pm-2pm, July 7th through September 22nd!

The Jazz For Lunch Concert Series is a free music event held at J. Owen Grundy Park at Exchange Place.

Jersey City is the next stop after Manhattan, according to The NY Times

70 Columbus View

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The New York Times’ Ronda Kaysen looks across the Hudson. Destination: Jersey City.

“As Manhattan becomes increasingly more densely populated, people are migrating to the next stop,” said Michael J. DeMarco, the president of Mack-Cali Realty, which is building 6,000 residential units near the Jersey City waterfront, including M2 at Marbella, a 311-unit rental opening this month. “Now they’re looking across the water and saying, ‘Isn’t that a lot closer than Bushwick or Williamsburg?’ ”

Countless restaurants are now downtown. Whole Foods Market plans to open near the Grove Street PATH station in 2020. “Everywhere you look around, there is something new happening,” said Nicole Sorgentoni, 33, a jewelry buyer for Loft who pays $2,320 a month for a one-bedroom in 70 Columbus, a luxury rental downtown.

Steven M. Fulop, the 39-year-old mayor, said of the city, “We’ve kind of hit our stride.” He and his fiancée, Jaclyn Thompson, are renovating a Victorian rowhouse that they bought last summer in the Heights.

FULL ARTICLE

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop Joins Manhattan Building Co. for Grand Opening of Cast Iron Lofts II Rental Building

New 27-Story Building Features 232 Residences & World-Class Amenities In Burgeoning SoHo West Neighborhood on Jersey City/Hoboken Border

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(From Left to Right) Hudson County Freeholder E. Junior Maldonado, Lou Mont, COO of Manhattan Building Company, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Jersey City Councilwoman Joyce Watterman cut a ceremonial ribbon to officially open Cast Iron Lofts II, an upscale collection of 232 apartment homes in the Cast Iron Collection on the border of Jersey City and Hoboken.

JERSEY CITY, NJ – Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop joined officials from Manhattan Building Company on Wednesday, May 25th to officially open Cast Iron Lofts II, a new 27-story, 232-unit luxury residential building in this Hudson County City.

Located at 300 Coles Street, the industrial-inspired building is the 2nd property to open within the Cast Iron Lofts collection which is spearheading the creation of SoHo West (South of Hoboken, West of New York City), a vibrant new neighborhood of oversized residences in highly-amenitized buildings on the border of Jersey City and Hoboken.  Cast Iron Lofts II boasts expansive one-, two- and three-bedroom residences with a full suite of indoor and outdoor amenities and 20,000 square-feet of street-level retail space.

The Grand Opening of Cast Iron Lofts II follows the successful lease up of the 155-unit Cast Iron Lofts I apartment building, giving credence to the appeal and market acceptance of this emerging neighborhood setting.  Current retail providers include 8 Springs Studio, a Pilates and Yoga studio; Brewshot, a coffee shop that has several other locations in Jersey City and NYC; and Viaquenti Academy, a bilingual pre-school.

Construction is well underway on the next two-tower building which will include 377 residences.  When completed, the SoHo West development will comprise 1,360 residences in multiple buildings and street-level retail space.

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Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop (Left) and Manhattan Building Company COO Lou Mont (Right) discuss the emergence of the SoHo West neighborhood on the border of Jersey City and Hoboken on the 17,000 square foot landscape terrace of Cast Iron Lofts II.

“Cast Iron Lofts has brought a whole new community to this part of the city, truly creating a neighborhood blended with residences and small businesses,” said Mayor Fulop.  “We look forward to meeting our newest residents and welcoming more as we continue to grow this into a vibrant area.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony, which took place in the building’s fully-decorated lobby, occurred with Cast Iron Lofts II fast approaching 70% leased since the start of its rental program less than four months ago.   Continue reading

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Last night, Mayor Fulop announced via FaceBook that Whole Foods is coming to Jersey City. The store will be the first in Hudson County.

An artist’s rendering of the Jersey City Whole Foods set to open in 2020. Courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture

The store will be located in downtown JC outside of the Grove Street PATH station. And, according to NJ.com, will be completed in 2020. Plans are for a 45,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market on the site of Metropolis Towers, at Columbus Drive and Marin Boulevard.

The NY Times hails Jersey City!

The New York Times continues to trumpet the rise of Jersey City with today’s story featuring emerging neighborhoods and the people behind them.

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The view of the Hudson River and Lower Manhattan as seen from 70 Columbus, a luxury rental that opened in November. Credit Luiz C. Ribeiro for The New York Times

Jersey City is no longer just another gritty town on the wrong side of the Hudson River, dismissed by apartment hunters. As its population soars, new housing rises and buyers get wind of the quick train commute it offers to New York, Jersey City is shedding its dingy image and emerging as a destination of choice.

An influx of new arrivals priced out of Manhattan and Brooklyn is helping make it the fastest growing metropolitan area in New Jersey, with some 262,000 residents in 2014, up nearly 6 percent from 2010, according to United States census data. And with the inventory of available homes at a three-year low, bidding wars are driving up prices downtown, pushing newcomers farther inland. Even the city’s 38-year-old mayor, Steven M. Fulop, is leaving downtown — for a single-family house he bought last summer in Jersey City Heights, at the northern end of the city.

Developers are rushing to build, with some 7,000 units of housing under construction and another 19,000 approved — more than in any other city in the state, according to the mayor’s office.

CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE BY RONDA KAYSEN ON NYTIMES.COM

The Economist Looks Toward JC

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In a report yesterday,  The Economist examines Mayor Fulop,  Jersey City growth, and development.

AT THE topping out ceremony held on the upper floors of the first of three towers being built in a hitherto unloved corner of Jersey City, Steven Fulop, the mayor, gazed across the water at Manhattan’s skyline, New York Harbour, the Statue of Liberty and bits of his home state. He shook his head and said to himself, “this is crazy, this is crazy”.

In a city once notorious for political corruption, Mr Fulop sometimes sounds like a character in a Frank Capra film. He is the son of Romanian immigrants who owned a delicatessen in nearby Newark. Mr Fulop is the grandson of Holocaust survivors. After the September 11th attacks, he left his job at Goldman Sachs, a bank, to join the marines. He served in Iraq in the war’s early months. After his deployment he returned to finance and to Jersey City. After an unsuccessful run for Congress, he was elected to the city council in 2005. He had little party backing and was outspent. His 2013 victory over Jerramiah Healy, the sitting mayor, represented a break from the city’s history of political patronage.

The tower, in Journal Square—a neglected commercial and residential district—is part of the first sizeable development there in half a century. Jonathan Kushner, the developer behind the Journal Square project, says “Jersey City has become a t-bill for investors”. Some others, who are not talking their book, seem to agree with him.

FULL STORY

First Journal Squared Residential Tower Tops Out At 563 Feet In Jersey City’s Historic Journal Square

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The Developers of Journal Squared join municipal and union officials to celebrate the topping out of the first of three residential towers planned for the property. From left to right: Jeffrey Kanne, President and CEO of National Real Estate Advisors; Dan Gumble, Business Manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 164; Murray Kushner, Chairman and CEO of The KRE Group; Kevin Verdi, Managing Director of National Real Estate Advisors; Steven Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City; and Jonathan Kushner, President of The KRE Group.

The KRE Group and National Real Estate Advisors have announced the topping out of the first phase of Journal Squared at 563 feet, providing visual context for what will ultimately be a three-tower, mixed-use project that will fuel the revitalization of Jersey City’s historic Journal Square neighborhood and its vital intermodal transportation hub.

Mayor Steven Fulop and fellow municipal officials joined the development partnership, union officials and tradespeople to celebrate the construction milestone.

“When you look at the Jersey City that has emerged in the last decade, it really is one of the greatest revitalization stories in the country,” Mayor Fulop said. “It is the economic engine of New Jersey, leading the state in both job creation and construction starts, but for a long time Journal Square lagged behind in that progress. Now, for the first time in 45 years, we not only talked about significant development away from the waterfront, we actually got the shovels in the ground. We couldn’t be prouder of the growth and potential of our city that is reflected in this Journal Squared development which will remake the entire skyline.”

1450392324_journalThe 53-story building will deliver 538 luxury rental residences to a location adjacent to the Journal Square PATH Station. It is part of the developers’ comprehensive, three-phase project that will also include the construction of a 60-story tower and a 70-story building. When completed, the transformative project will bring 1,838 rental residences, 36,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and a pedestrian-friendly, public plaza to the neighborhood.

Jeff Kanne, President and CEO of National Real Estate Advisors, said: “We’re moving quickly to realize our vision for this game-changing project in Jersey City, which combines vanguard design, unmatched transportation links, and outstanding public amenities. It offers the best of what inspired urban redevelopment must deliver: a highly attractive city environment, convenient lifestyles, and an anchor for future growth.”

The development is creating more than 700 jobs in Jersey City, including construction and eventual full-time employment opportunities.

“We’re delighted to be here today to recognize the combined efforts of our construction and design teams and the many skilled tradespeople who have helped us get to this point,” said Jonathan Kushner, President of The KRE Group. “We believe this iconic project will serve as the centerpiece of a resurgent urban neighborhood by creating much-needed residential, retail and open space that complements the existing mass transportation infrastructure.”

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Architectural rendering of Journal Squared, a three-tower, mixed-used development adjacent to the Journal Square PATH station in Jersey City.

Phase II will include 700 rental residences in a 70-story building, while Phase III will feature 600 rental homes in a 60-story building. A total of 920 parking spaces will also be included in the development. The developers will pursue LEED certification for all three buildings.Scheduled for completion in late-2016, Phase I of Journal Squared will offer 538 studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom rental residences with upscale finishes and appointments and stunning views of the Hudson River, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and downtown Manhattan. The building will also feature more than 10,000 square feet of amenities, including a full-service fitness center, golf simulator, children’s playroom and outdoor pool. A one-of-a-kind, 2,000 square-foot entertaining space will be located on the 53rd floor. Continue reading

Roll Out the Red Carpet!

2015-10-14_11-45-10It’s time to roll out the Red Carpet for the opening of the Jersey City International Television & Film Festival! The festival opens for the 2nd year on Friday, October 16th at the Mana Contemporary and runs through Sunday, October 18th. Check out the films, television, panel discussions, and more.

Festival events are happening throughout the city, so check out the schedule HERE.

This year’s presenting sponsor is Jersey City Medical Center/Barnabas Health.

About JCITFF

The Jersey City International Television Film Festival was formed in 2013 by Craig & Maureen Goletz along with filmmakers and entertainment entrepreneurs Michael Billy and Jarl Haugedal to provide filmmakers, independent artists and the community with opportunities to discover support independent film and television from around the world.  The Festival is dedicated to fostering a better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image.

The Jersey City International Television and Film Festival provides the community with a network of programs and opportunities to foster education and real time experience in the field of television and film through workshops, seminars, markets and events. In keeping with Mayor Steven Fulop’s vision of job creation for all our citizens, through the growing entertainment business in Jersey City, JCITFF is committed to offering year round programming to enrich, inspire, educate and connect our student community so that they have the tools to enter the professional world.  In partnership with NJCU, JCITFF will bring established individuals from all aspects of the entertainment business to share their experience and to impart their knowledge.

Jersey City’s Bike Share Kicks Off in September

Map of planned stations via CitiBike.

Map of planned stations via CitiBike.

Mozes Zarate at The Wall Street Journal reports on the launch of JC’s bike-share program.

Jersey City’s bike-share system plans to launch in mid-September as an expansion of Citi Bike, with 350 bikes and 35 stations available to members on both sides of the Hudson River, officials said Tuesday.

The new system will work in tandem with the bike-share network in New York City, according to officials from Jersey City and Motivate, the organization that manages Citi Bike and other bike-share programs around the country.

For an annual membership of $149, users will be able to use bicycles in both cities for individual bike trips up to 45 minutes, and longer for an additional fee.

“It’s going to be something we integrate from a business and tourism standpoint,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in an interview. The city says that over the past two years it has added 22 miles of bike lanes.

Motivate will soon release a map of the confirmed bike stations and more are planned to come online in the spring.