The site of the former Bergen Point Brass Foundry, a Bayonne manufacturing icon that produced brass parts for the military since the 19th Century and employed hundreds in the city, is now officially the Bergen Point Commerce Center.
A new building was constructed on the former foundry site at the foot of the entrance to the Bayonne Bridge. The new development will house three retail stores, including its anchor tenant, Dollar Tree, which opened on Tuesday, October 3. The original Bergen Point Brass Foundry sign was preserved and installed on the building’s façade, above the Dollar Tree sign.
Phases of construction
In the development’s first phase, the old warehouse on the former foundry site was demolished for environmental remediation, and the former adminsitration and warehouse building on West 5th Street was renovated. That warehouse will house the research and development lab and headquarters for the North American lubrication technology firm, Fluitec. The site was polluted from decades of manufacturing and required environmental remediation to build on it.
The site lay dormant for more than two decades until developers began mapping out future plans a few years ago. The Bayonne City Council in 2015 voted to approve the former Brass Foundry and nearby A&P site as areas in need of redevelopment. Then in 2016, the city council removed a paper street from the tax map that gave the developer, the Alessi Organization, more room to build, while providing an entry point for the future development at the former A&P site, which is slated to be residential buildings on the waterfront.
“I think the Bergen Point Commerce Center will be a catalyst for the area’s growth.” – Thomas Cotter
The new development is expected to attract customers from new residential developments in the area, which is within walking dsitance of the 8th Street Light Rail Station and Route 440.
“The redevelopment plan that was created by the city of Bayonne for this area was the catalyst for getting this project off the ground,” said Vincent Alessi in a press release.
Bergen Point’s councilman, Thomas Cotter, hopes this project can, in turn, stimulate the Bergen Point community economically.
“I think the Bergen Point Commerce Center will be a catalyst for the area’s growth,” said Cotter, adding that it should attract developers to the former A&P site. “People will see it’s a great site and there’s money to be made there and that other businesses can thrive here, too,” he sad. “Anytime you bring new people and businesses in, it’s going to stimulate the community. People are going to come in and shop, and might come hang around awhile on Broadway.”
Cotter was unable to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was more lively than usual, with food trucks and activities for kids. “I’m sorry I missed out,” he said. “But I encourage everyone to come out and support our local businesses. It’s how we stimulate growth.”
Rory Pasquariello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.