Bayonne may get film studio on former Texaco site

The developer will provide a waterfront walkway and open space

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Bayonne may get film studio on former Texaco site
The Texaco site

Mayor Jimmy Davis and the City Council have introduced an ordinance to amend the redevelopment plan for the former Texaco property and a film studio is slated to be built on the property.

The proposed ordinance would modify the zoning standards for the lots to permit a film studio and production facilities as primary use.

“Since I became mayor in 2014, I have worked hard to encourage investment and redevelopment in our city, especially in areas of former industrial sites that no longer play a role in our city,” Davis said.

The history 

The land consists of 13 lots that were home to the Texaco refinery from the early 1900s until it closed in the 1980s.

Texaco merged with Chevron in 2001. The property, which is in the southwestern corner of Bayonne, consists of about 70 acres.

Under several past administrations, there have been various attempts to redevelop the property. In the late 90s, plans were floated for a DVD plant on the site. That development never transpired.

In 2006, Bayonne designated the Kaplan Companies of Highland Park as the redeveloper for the property. Their plans for a phased, mixed-use residential and commercial development never moved forward.

In 2018, the city terminated the Kaplan Companies’ designation as the redeveloper.

Lights, camera, action!

Chevron, the successor to Texaco and the current owner of the site, issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of the site in spring 2020.

After considering various proposals, Chevron has narrowed the selection to one developer.

At the request of the prospective developer and the owner, the city is slated to amend the redevelopment plan to allow the construction of a movie studio.

“We are excited by the prospect of having a studio make Bayonne
its home,” Davis stated. “The studio is also intended to house workshops, offices, and sound stages while providing the public with a waterfront walkway and open space.”

The new film studio will also bring plenty of jobs to the city.

“This type of development brings additional balance to Bayonne’s ongoing redevelopment,” noted City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski. “The creation of the studio will add to our continued economic development with the creation of jobs and substantial investment.”

Archival footage

The city has a history when it comes to film studios.

Bayonne was the home to Centaur, the first independent film studio in the country, founded in 1907. Centaur’s West Coast division was Nestor, which became the first motion picture company in Hollywood in 1911.

Could Bayonne become it’s own Hollywood on the East Coast?

The Bayonne Planning Board is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance in October. The council will vote on the ordinance at its October meeting.

The planning board will meet at 6 p.m. on Oct. 13. The city council will meet on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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