In late February, the developers submitted detailed expressions of interest in the portion of the
district of the Peninsula, which is situated on New York Bay, and offers direct access to Route 440, the New Jersey Turnpike, the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, and the Cape Liberty Cruise Port. The area is in the southwestern corner of the Peninsula.
The plans were received in response to a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) the city issued in December.
“The development groups submitted an impressive array of proposals for the future of this prime waterfront area,” Mayor Mark Smith said. “When we announced the availability of the land in December, we sought exciting ideas from developers who would share our enthusiasm for Bayonne’s future.
More than 75 developers had attended a seminar in November that the city held about the location.
“We are very optimistic about the responses that we have received,” Smith said.
The six comprehensive proposals include ideas for retail development, hotels, convention and conference centers, offices, a media center/lecture hall, health care/assisted living, public spaces, and a possible ferry service.
According to the RFEI, the city “envisions the [Harbor Station South] district as a transit-oriented, mixed-use development, with a preference for retail and commercial development that includes amenities that complement the adjacent Royal Caribbean cruise port operations, such as a luxury hotel and supporting retail services.”
The RFEI encouraged respondents to propose projects that included mid-rise residential, commercial office, neighborhood and destination retail, hospitality services, and related parking consistent with the city’s goals.
Those goals include: realizing the market value of the land at its highest and best use; generating tax ratables that benefit the community as a whole; contributing to temporary and permanent job creation for city residents; creating a “destination” location for residents, visitors, and tourists in the region; developing complementary uses and services for existing development and operations on the Peninsula; and creating a “vibrant, exciting community experience” that will attract high-end commercial and retail interests and enhance services on the Peninsula and in the city.
The proposals submitted
The Bayonne Peninsula Ventures Group, a partnership between Bergstol Enterprises and the Cameron Group, proposed 547,474 square feet of retail businesses, two hotels, residential development, and a potential ferry service.
The Waitex Group, whose principals include Waitex, Gaw Capital, the Nan Fung Group, and the Shui On Group, submitted plans for 440,337 square feet of retail space, a 900-room luxury hotel and 112,000-square-foot convention center, a 150-room extended stay hotel, and a media center/lecture hall.
JMF Properties and K. Hovnanian Homes offered ideas for 210,300 square feet for retail businesses, a hotel with 100 to 120 rooms, residential areas featuring 210 rentals, 136 stacked townhomes, and 60 condominiums, a healthcare/assisted living facility, and public spaces.
DeBartolo Development and Advance Realty proffered 440,000 square feet of retail businesses, 900 residential units and 100 townhomes, a hotel with 350-plus rooms, an 80,000-square-foot conference center, and public spaces.
Somerset Development, LLC, would like to develop 131,500 square feet of retail/office development, 566 luxury rentals, and 241 townhomes.
The Richmond Company wants to build 370,000 square feet of retail business, a hotel with 150 to 200 rooms, 400 to 500 residential rental units, and public spaces.
The city plans to conduct interviews with selected developers and will make a conditional designation for development later in the spring.
Videos being prepared
Three of the development groups were asked to prepare video presentations of their plans for showing on BAY-TV, Bayonne’s cable station, on Cablevision Channel 78 and Verizon FiOS Channel 42. Cable television viewers can watch the videos made by the Bayonne Peninsula Ventures Group, the Waitex Group, and DeBartolo Development/Advance Realty. The videos will air continuously.
Questions and comments about the development proposals should be sent via e-mail to HarborStationSouth@gmail.com.
The city plans to conduct interviews with the selected developers and then make a conditional designation for development later in the spring.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.