Lackawanna Center is a 1.3 million square foot retail/office/industrial complex situated directly outside the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City, NJ. Located at 629 Grove Street and bordered by Jersey Avenue, Sixteenth Street, Eighteenth Street, and Marin Boulevard, the property is blocks from Hoboken and close to NJ Transit Light Rail and PATH trains. The 13 acre site also includes two ground level 300-car parking lots, additional parking on the second level, and an elevated rail trestle which runs three city blocks. The property’s eight-story building is comprised of reinforced concrete construction, brick exterior walls and glass windows with a floor thickness of 21” solid concrete at each level.
The Lackawanna Center building has a storied history in the pantheon of Jersey waterfront properties. It was constructed in 1929 by the Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company. In 1930 Thomas Edison drove the first electric train from Hoboken to Montclair on rail lines surrounding the property. For decades the building was a thriving center for warehousing and distribution by the railroad companies. With trains running alongside and around the property, the Lackawanna building was a key location for the rail and shipping industries conducting business in Hudson port areas and Manhattan piers. The building was also used as a Civil Defense Unit during World War II. Historians claim the United States military used the building’s 140,000 square foot roof as a landmark for fighter planes flying over the region. In 1960 Delaware and Western merged with the Erie Railroad company to form the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. While Erie-Lackawanna struggled for the 16 years it existed, the Lackawanna building’s indestructible composition and convenient location along the waterfront allowed for continued activity and utility by the railroad.
Over the last several decades, the property transformed from a single-use building to a multi-tenant complex. With current ownership in place since 1995, the property today features 30 diverse tenants with businesses ranging from printing, textile warehousing and moving and storage to retailers, internet technology, book distribution and event planning. In 2010 Lackawanna Center welcomed the arrival of Carlo’s Bakery, a 100-year old local business that is best known for its television program “Cake Boss” on The Learning Channel (TLC). Carlo’s Bakery leased 30,000 square feet on the property’s ground floor to construct a state-of-the-art baking facility, distribution center and new office headquarters for their planned business expansion.
Also in 2010, ownership introduced The Shops at Lackawanna, a dynamic retail development project for the building’s ground floor which will include 200,000 square feet of retail space and two on-site 300-car parking lots. As the property sits directly across from an A&P/Best Buy-anchored shopping center, and other retailers such as Home Depot, Target, Staples and Modells are all located in the same vicinity, Lackawanna’s transition from a flourishing industrial center to a vibrant, character-filled retail destination is only the next exciting phase for this richly historic property.