The City Council on Wednesday, March 15, unanimously approved a 30-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement with a developer to build a commercial property on the Military Ocean Terminal Base (MOTBY) off Route 440 to be part of a retail complex called Harbor Pointe Marketplace.
Many residents oppose PILOT agreements because the resulting dense residential properties have the capacity to bring in new families, putting added pressure on the already cash-strapped school district. But because this PILOT agreement is for a commercial property, no school children will be added to the school district’s rolls.
Third Ward Councilman Gary La Pelusa, normally an opponent of the City’s PILOT policies, said that comparing this commercial PILOT to residential PILOTs is “like comparing apples to oranges,” because they do not put added pressure on the school district. “Ultimately,” he said, “Why I have not been a proponent of the other pilots [is because] the taxpayers really bear the burden of taxpayer discounts [for PILOT developers].”
“Ultimately, why I have not been a proponent of the other pilots [is because] the taxpayers really bear the burden of taxpayer discounts [for PILOT developers].” – Gary La Pelusa
According to the PILOT agreement, the City expects to take in about $8.25 million over the course of its 30-year lifespan, with $420,000 in the first year. Payments will be 2 percent of the project’s total cost of about $21 million for the first five years and will increaseincrementally to 3.2 percent by year 30. Of those payments, the school district will receive $3.06 million.Per the agreement, the developer must begin construction within two years.
The PILOT agreement is the 19th under the Davis administration, but only the second that allocates five percent of payments for the school district, after last month’s meeting passed an ordinance mandating such a policy.
The agreement also estimates the development will require 200 fulltime construction jobs, and once it is finished, 125 fulltime jobs and 125 part-time jobs.
Bike-share company chosen
After fielding request for proposals from various companies to install a bike-share program in Bayonne, the City Council authorized P3 Global Management, a Manhattan-based firm that helped design and install Hoboken’s Hudson Bike Share program, to enter into a public-private partnership with the City.
The program, which comes at no cost to the City, will install at least four stations and 40 bicycles throughout Bayonne at locations that have yet to be determined. The bike-share program is expected to launch within a few months.
Business Administrator Joe DeMarco said the City was deciding between only a few RFPs, CitiBike not included. “The reason why we picked them was because one company had no experience and the other one primarily dealt with college towns,” DeMarco said.“We went with this one because of the Hoboken connection; it also has a New York City connection.”
Membership fees for the bike-share program are undetermined, but DeMarco said hourly rentals would be around $3. Like Hoboken, Bayonne may have the opportunity to generate revenue from advertising on the bicycles.
The agreement is not formalized yet. “We still have to hammer out the details,” DeMarco said.
Rory Pasquariello may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.