City Council withdraws PILOT agreement ordinance

The deal contradicts an ordinance the council adopted in 2020 limiting PILOT agreements to 20 years

An aerial rendering of the new warehouse below the Delta-Storage facility
×
An aerial rendering of the new warehouse below the Delta-Storage facility

The Bayonne City Council has withdrawn introduction of an ordinance that would set a financial agreement with Bayonne-based SWL Urban Renewal for 69-71 New Hook Road. The payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement was nixed at the Feb. 17 meeting at the request of City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski.

The agreement is for the site of the current Delta Storage, where a new “flex-use” warehouse will be constructed by Sixth Wave Logistics. The term “flex-use” refers to its use as an office and warehouse.

At the Planning Board meeting in September, the board approved a resolution that adjusted the lot line to allow for the demolition of part of the self-storage facility. The new warehouse will be built on the parking lot between Lefante Way to the north and New Hook Road to the south.

While there is no tenant yet, it’s assumed that operations at the warehouse would be 24/7. It will be more than 195,000 square feet with two 10,000-square-feet office spaces on both sides.

A project expert estimated that the warehouse would create a few hundred jobs. The developer agreed to seek grants for the construction of sidewalks on the site. If grants can not be secured, the developer will pay for the sidewalks.

Five years too long

Ashe-Nadrowski noted that the terms of the PILOT agreement for the commercial property exceed 25 years. This contradicts an ordinance the council adopted in 2020 limiting PILOT agreements to 20 years.

“It’s not going to pass,” Ashe-Nadrowski said, noting that the council has “issues with it being 25 years,” which the city is “trying to move away from.”

“I don’t recommend we waste everyone’s time,” she said.

Law Director Jay Coffey noted that the developer’s attorney had e-mailed the city prior to the meeting, stating that it would agree to a 20-year PILOT. Ashe-Nadrowski said she did not want to introduce the ordinance without the revised terms.

“It’s a significant change,” she said. “The payment schedule is going to change. So why don’t we just pull it from today and reintroduce it with the new numbers at next month’s meeting?”

Not rushing

Ashe-Nadrowski said there is no need to rush: “I don’t think they’re building like in the next few days or they’re going to lose a tenant.”

She noted the city wants to work with Bayonne developers but should do it the right way. Coffey said that the developer asked that the ordinance be introduced that night.

“Why are we rushing to introduce it?” Ashe-Nadrowski asked. “We’re introducing something that’s going to be completely different. It’s not going to look remotely the same. We want all the information first before we even introduce it.”

With the council in agreement, the ordinance was withdrawn.

The next city council meeting is March 17. To watch the virtual meeting via TetherView, go to bayonnenj.org and click on the event on the calendar webpage.

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.