Costco, the membership-only retail warehouse club, will be coming to Bayonne’s former Military Ocean Terminal Base (MOTBY) next year. The publicly-traded, Seattle-based company plans to build its warehouse and a gas station on the west side of Route 440 and across from the fire station on Chosin Few Way starting in the spring of 2018, according to Bayonne Business Administrator Joe DeMarco. The Cosco property is one of many developments planned for MOTBY and the surrounding area. Five developers are set to break ground on thousands of residential units to the east of the site.
Many in the city have been looking forward to a bulk wholesale club coming to the Third Ward, including Mayor James Davis, who cited the development during his re-election kickoff speech, and Third Ward Councilman Gary La Pelusa.
Costco customers must also be members, which costs $60 per year for a basic membership and $120 per year for a 2 percent cash back card. The company was founded in 1976 after its founder split from the retail warehouse club, Price Club, which would merge with Costco in 1993.
“Once that area gets built up, it’s like a domino effect, and the other areas will follow, another incentive for builders to get their shovels in the ground.” – Third Ward Councilman Gary La Pelusa
“It’s going to bring jobs and supply new developments going up all around that area with another option to shop,” said La Pelusa. “Once that area gets built up, it’s like a domino effect, and the other areas will follow, another incentive for builders to get their shovels in the ground.”
City leaders cheer on most business that comes to the city, especially ones that will supply good jobs for Bayonne residents. The city is banking on Costco as a job creator because it has consistently ranked among the best large employers.
The company is the second largest worldwide retailer after Walmart, with 143,000 employees, which it pays more per hour than its competitors, and provides health insurance to nearly 90 percent, including many part-time workers.
Costco ranks among the likes of Google, Facebook, Adobe, and USAA in employee satisfaction surveys from Glassdoor. Amazon, which ranks near the bottom, coincidentally is being courted by the city to build its second headquarters just a stone’s throw away from the Costco site.
The likelihood of Amazon setting up shop in Bayonne is anyone’s guess. What’s certain is that developments in the area will change the landscape of the formerly industrial area west of Route 440.
The Alessi Company is clearing the way for an 80-unit residential building and office space at the nearby South Cove Commons, along with a Hilton Garden hotel that will overlook the Bayonne Golf Club. The hotel is touted as a needed amenity for the Bayonne Cruise Port. South Cove Commons is currently home to Frank Theatres; Stop & Shop; Otaiko Hibachi&Sushi Lounge; and T.J. Maxx.
Bayonne City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski said at the May 2017 council meeting that the shopping center will be “more walkable, like malls without walls.”
An improved shopping center with a Costco may complement the multiple planned residential developments for the vacant sites on MOTBY, along with the Harbor Pointe apartment complex already on the base. It will generate revenue for the city while giving prospective residents more reason to move into the new developments.
“It’s an exciting time,” La Pelusa said. “These [developments] are going to spur more development. There’s a lot of good things happening.”
Rory Pasquariello can be reached at email@example.com.