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City council approves PILOT agreements

The agreements will bring hundreds of thousands of dollars, officials said

The former Frank Movie Theatres site will become a day care center.

The Bayonne City Council adopted two ordinances granting payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOTs) agreements at its last meeting of the year.

At the Dec. 16 meeting, the council approved financial agreements with developers 191 LeFante Way Urban Renewal LLC and 17 Avenue E Urban Renewal LLC.

Goodbye Frank

The city granted a PILOT agreement to developer 191 LeFante Way Urban Renewal LLC for the site of the shuttered movie theater in South Cove Commons. The Frank Movie Theatres, the only movie theaters in Bayonne, closed in 2019.

According to City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski, the developer is renovating the site entirely, making it eligible for a PILOT.

Ashe-Nadrowksi said the developer is unable to rent the space as a movie theater, because the site doesn’t conform to the way movie theaters are anymore. Since the site is specifically designed to be a movie theater, and the developer has not been able to get a movie theater company to come in, the developer is leveling the site.

The developer plans to keep the site commercial space and will open a day care center and retail establishments. Final splans have yet to be approved by the planning board.

According to Ashe-Nadrowksi, the term of the PILOT will be 20 years. She said the developer will pay the city an estimated $140,000 annually, with a guarantee of $125,000.

The board voted 4-0 to approve the PILOT, including Third Ward Councilman Gary La Pelusa. Usually an opponent of PILOTs, La Pelusa said he was being consistent with his voting. In the past he granted the tax abatements for “everything on the other side of the railroad tracks” near the former Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne (MOTBY) and two shopping areas along Route 440.

Second Ward Councilman Sal Gullace was not at the meeting and did not vote, having undergone another surgery on his leg following an industrial workplace accident in July involving a waste removal truck.

Corner development

Another PILOT was granted to developer 17 Avenue E Urban Renewal LLC to construct two six-story residential buildings on the sites of 9 Avenue E, 13-15 Avenue E, and 22-30 East 10th Street. The redevelopment was approved by the planning board in September.

Currently, 9 Avenue E is the site of the Bayonne Swimming Pool Center, a pool supply store. 15 Avenue E is the site of Bay Cycle, a motorcycle repair shop. 19 Avenue E is the site of the Enrite gas station.

The development will consist of two side-by-side buildings constructed along Avenue E between East 10th St. and Linnet St. “Building A” will be constructed on the corner of East 10th St., and “Building B” on the corner of Linnet St.

The six-story redevelopment will include 70 units, including eight studio units; 37 one-bedroom units; and 25 two-bedroom units. Seventy parking spaces will feature mechanical and surface parking in garages within the buildings. Approximately four on-street parking spots will be added.

Amenities include a fitness center, lounges on the first floor of each building, and rooftop terraces.

Ashe-Nadrowksi said that all three lots currently pay approximately $28,000 a year in taxes. Under the 20-year PILOT, the new development will pay a minimum of $195,500. She said that approximately $200,000 is guaranteed but that the agreement would yield closer to $225,000.

The city council adopted the PILOT agreement with a vote of 3-1, with La Pelusa voting against it.

The next city council meeting will be held on Jan. 20 via TetherView. To attend, residents can visit bayonnenj.org and click on the event link on the calendar page.

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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