The Bayonne Planning Board has amended two redevelopment plans to permit the construction of film studios and more residential developments. The board met virtually on Oct. 13.
At the meeting, the board amended the Texaco redevelopment plan to allow for the construction of film studios and associated properties. It also amended the Silk Loft redevelopment plan to allow for approximately 251 additional units across the street and south of the existing building.
The plans have been referred to the city council for adoption into the master plan.
In September, the council introduced an ordinance that would amend the Texaco redevelopment plan following approval from the planning board. The council was expected to adopt the ordinance at the Oct. 21 meeting.
Lights, camera, action, Bayonne!
City Planner Mika Apte presented the amended Texaco redevelopment plan to the board.
It was first adopted by the council in 2004 after being declared an area in need of redevelopment in 2003. It was amended in 2015 by the council to permit more uses, and again in 2019 to permit billboards.
This amended plan would allow for a wider variety of uses for the 13 properties on the Texaco site by permitting film studios and associated buildings.
The amended plan permits hotels but limits them to 150 rooms.
The old plan allowed for marinas, but the amended plan allows for only one. The old plan allowed for an arena. The amended specifies that the it must be an indoor or outdoor multipurpose arena with 250 seats maximum.
15 stories max
Developers would be allowed to construct buildings for studio space, food preparation and distribution, offices, storage, training rooms, and other buildings associated with film studios.
A helipad and solar panels are permitted under the amended plan.
The amended plan stipulates that buildings will have a maximum height of 15 stories or 180 feet. Single-story structures are permitted.
Construction will be limited to 80 percent coverage of the lot. The developer can build on up to 100 percent of the lot if sustainable roof coverage is added, including 25 percent green roof or solar panels. Parking will take up five percent of the property.
Apte said the amended redevelopment plan is consistent with the city’s master plan because it redevelops an underused commercial or industrial area, improves infrastructure constraints, increases the tax base, and provides economic growth.
Expanding Silk Lofts
The planning board adopted an amended Silk Lofts redevelopment plan to include areas adjacent to the existing Silk Lofts building.
Apte said that the redevelopment at the site “has been a huge success,” which led the board to study the surrounding area, which had been declared an “area in need of redevelopment.” In 2019, the city council authorized the planning board to amend the Silk Lofts redevelopment plan.
The site includes 122, 124, 126, 126 ½, 128, 130, 132, 134-136, 138, 140, 165, 167, 169, 170-180, and 157-163 Avenue E.
It’s divided into two subdistricts along Avenue E. Subdistrict A is smaller and sits at the corner of East 18th Street and Avenue E and some neighboring lots. District B is across the street and consists of the Silk Lofts building and the lots to the south.
Subdistrict A, since it’s smaller, will be limited to a maximum of 36 units. Buildings in the district will have a maximum height of six stories or 95 feet.
No more than 70 percent of the units may have the same number of bedrooms, and no more than 10 percent will be studios.
All bedrooms will have exterior windows. Living rooms will not be used as bedrooms. Dens will not be permitted to have closets; the door opening will be wider, and the room cannot fit a full-size bed.
Corner units must contain four penthouse units with double height windows of 12 feet.
Subdistrict B consists of the existing Silk Lofts development and neighboring land. In addition to the 85 existing units, more than 200 more units are allowed to be constructed.
If the developer opts for self-parking, the limit will be 215 units. If the developer constructs automated parking, it will be allowed 250 units.
Buildings in District B will have a maximum height of 18 stories or 230 feet. Buildings must have a setback of ten feet after six stories, followed by a five-foot setback every six stories after that.
There must be a ratio of one parking space per unit in both districts, with 25 spaces for visitor parking. There will be a bike parking ratio of one space for every five dwellings.
A passive outdoor plaza must be provided in Subdistrict B. Only 20 percent of the plaza can be used for outdoor cafes or restaurant seating. The rest of the plaza must be for public use.
The city is requiring 20 percent of the subdistricts be used for open space and recreation.
In response to city concerns about parking, Apte said that the parking spaces will suffice, with a ratio of one parking space per unit, the 25 guest parking spaces, and additional commercial parking.
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