What Bayonne’s new Starbucks means for the city

A bellwether of gentrification

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The new Starbucks is at Goldsborough Drive and Route 440.
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Kelsey Kopacz was the Honorary First Customer
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The new Starbucks is at Goldsborough Drive and Route 440.
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Kelsey Kopacz was the Honorary First Customer

Bayonne opened its first Starbucks on Oct. 19. Well, technically the first. There is already a mini Starbucks inside the Stop & Shop on Lefante Way.

The opening of a stand-alone shop means so much more for the city.

Promises kept

Mayor James Davis and members of the city council were onsite for the grand opening. The ribbon cutting marked the completion of one of Davis’s early campaign promises.

“One of the top questions I’ve been asked since becoming Mayor is: ‘When are we getting a Starbucks?,’” Davis said. “Well, today members of the City Council and myself were very proud to finally cut the ribbon on the brand new Starbucks on Goldsborough Drive and Rte. 440.”

The Starbucks is at the Harbor View Marketplace shopping plaza near Costco and the under-construction Scenic Vue apartments. Opening in the future at the plaza is Lidl, LA Fitness, CVS Pharmacy, and Posh Nails & Beauty Lounge.

Kelsey Kopacz was the first to order her coffee

According to Davis, one of Bayonne’s biggest Starbucks fans is Kelsey Kopacz, who became the Honorary First Customer.

“Our community remains laser-focused on bringing life to many of the long-dormant properties in Bayonne, especially the former Military Ocean Terminal,” Davis said. “Today is another milestone toward the rebirth of our great Bayonne!”

Long considered a bellwether of gentrification, the new Starbucks illustrates the change occurring in the city.

Ongoing development

“The decision by Starbucks to locate here demonstrates that Bayonne is a desirable market in the metropolitan area,” Davis said.

The opening shows that the development boom is continuing unabated, despite the ongoing pandemic. Recently, the first ten-story development on Broadway, BayOne, opened, and the city may approve a similar development at the Nov. 9 planning board meeting.

With new development comes new residents, many young adults. Starbucks and similar brands will help attract new residents as more residential developments are constructed.

Starbuck’s arrival may mean development is continuing full speed ahead, but that may translate differently for residents and local businesses.

Higher real estate prices?

Starbucks has typically been a symbol of gentrification, presaging redevelopment and a rise in real estate prices.

According to a 2018 study by Harvard Business School, housing prices rose approximately .5 percent within a year of a Starbucks opening in a particular zip code. With every new Starbucks, housing prices rose an additional .5 percent.

It’s not apparent if the gentrification is the result of a Starbucks opening in the zip code, or if the coffee shop is just an indication of a trend of gentrification already in the zip code. Regardless, Bayonne’s first Starbucks highlights changes throughout the city.

Its arrival comes at a telling time, as the city is home to an increasing number of cafes and mom-and-pop coffee shops. While business may have been hampered by the pandemic, residents still need their coffee.

Amid COVID-19, the renaissance of cozy coffee shops continues, from Perk Up to Bake N’ Brew. Will this corporate competitor spell the end for independent java joints? Probably not. The caffeine crowd loves its routines.

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.