Concrete manufacturing out, residential development in

South Cove hotel plans come to light

The Bayonne City Council facilitated a number of developments at its regular meeting on July 19.
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The Bayonne City Council facilitated a number of developments at its regular meeting on July 19.

The acceleration of development in Bayonne remains constant as the city council approved redevelopment plans and tax abatements for major development sites throughout the city at its regular meeting on Wednesday, July 19.

“If you’re looking to redevelop the area with higher-end places like Starbucks, you don’t want to have a cement manufacturing company come in and park and interfere.” – Joe Wisniewski

Concrete-block manufacturing plant denied

The council voted down a redevelopment plan for Clayton Block, a company that hoped to create a concrete block manufacturing plant from a property it owns but has not used since 2013 on Route 440 on the East Side. Many East Side residents came to June’s council meeting when the plan was introduced to speak out against it. Most of those residents came again to voice their concerns, which included noise, truck traffic, and pollution. “The reality is there is going to be a ton of trucks coming in,” said East Side resident Joe Wisniewski. “If you’re looking to redevelop the area with higher-end places like Starbucks, you don’t want to have a cement manufacturing company come in and park and interfere. “We [city council] all agree that it doesn’t fit our vision, and we have not changed our vision,” said Bayonne City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski. “In that location, it doesn’t really fit.”

Development marches on

The council approved a 30-year tax abatement for a 120-room Hilton hotel at South Cove Commons. While the redevelopment plan has already been approved, further details emerged about the hotel. It will be a hybrid of hotel and residential development, supplying 60 residential units on the top floor, according to Bayonne Business Administrator Joe DeMarco. The hotel will also include a restaurant, bar, and a banquet hall. DeMarco said the city will generate revenue from the annual room tax applied to hotel rooms. “So there would be [revenue] that the city would generate from, dare I say it, out-of-towners,” DeMarco said.

Residents were surprised to hear for the first time that St. Joseph’s Church on Avenue E was recently sold by the Archdiocese of Newark to a subsidiary of PRC Group, a developer and real-estate owner. The council approved a preliminary redevelopment plan for the site, which includes the parking lot across the street. The plan is not yet finalized, but Ashe-Nadrowski said the developer is considering constructing residential buildings, as well as pitching in funds to help restore the pedestrian bridge next to the property on 25th Street that spans the light rail tracks to Prospect Avenue.

The development of the former Hi-Hat property on 190 West 54th Street, approved in 2003, has long been stalled. But the development picked up steam at Wednesday’s meeting, as the council amended the 25-year tax abatement agreed upon two years ago. The new agreement will generate the same amount of revenue as the former agreement. The developer is now planning to lower the number of planned residential units from 248 to 220 while increasing the size of each unit.

The previous abatement agreed to pay the city 12 percent of the development’s gross revenue for 25 years. The new agreement has the developer paying 10 percent of gross revenue for the first five years, 12 percent for the next seven, 13 percent for the following seven, and14 percent for the remaining five.

Another 25-year tax abatement was approved for the former Best Foods site on 99 Avenue A. The property, which once produced products such as Hellman’s Mayonnaise, had been an industrial site since the early 1900s. Then Unilever used the property for warehousing until it closed in 2003. Since then the property has lain dormant. Ashe-Nadrowski said the new agreement will bring in $6 million more than if left unused.

Rory Pasquariello may be reached at roryp@hudsonreporter.com. Follow him @rory_louis.