The Bayonne Planning Board approved a redevelopment plan for the shuttered Delta gas station at 218-222 Broadway. The plan was presented to the board by City Planner Mika Apte at its March meeting.
The area is along Broadway between Evergreen Street and Cottage Street. Across the street at 211-217 Broadway, the board approved an eight story residential building with 49 units. The Route 440 overpass is adjacent the redevelopment area.
The gas station and surrounding properties were designated as a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment in December. This plan only includes only the gas station property.
Permitted uses include multifamily, retail sales, and restaurants with no drive-thru. Accessory uses include outdoor seating, recreation, parking, and utilities.
“One of the main goals and objectives of this area is to ensure high quality residential and or mixed use redevelopment which is what is trying to be achieved by this redevelopment plan,” Apte said.
The maximum height of buildings permitted in the redevelopment plan is six stories. The sixth story must be a recreational area. The first floor can be 15 feet tall to allow for parking.
There can be a total of 40 residential units. There will be a ratio of 1.2 parking spaces per residential unit, totaling 48 parking spaces.
Of the 40 units, the plan allows for studio units ranging from 550 to 600 square feet, one-bedroom units from 645 to 720 square feet, and two-bedroom units from 900 to 950 square feet. Only 33 percent of one-bedroom units can be 645 square feet.
Apte said that while drawing up the redevelopment area, the surrounding area was taken into account as well as the Route 440 overpass.
The plan allows for a zero-foot setback along the sidewalks, but the redeveloper must maintain a 12-foot sidewalk on Broadway and an eight foot sidewalk on Cottage Street and Evergreen Street.
“This falls into our city of Bayonne goals of creating a more walkable community,” Apte said.
The rear lot line, adjacent to residential properties on Cottage Street and Evergreen Street will have a five-foot setback.
More on-street parking
Commissioner Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski noted that since the gas station was being redeveloped, there would be fewer curb cuts and asked if that would yield an increase in on-street parking.
“Parking is a real problem around there for all the businesses,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “So if we could get back parking spots on Broadway that would be great, and on Evergreen.”
Apte confirmed there would be only one or two curb cuts on Cottage Street for parking garage access. She said this would allow for on-street parking on Evergreen Street and Cottage Street but was not sure about Broadway.
Apte added that requiring a higher parking space ratio will “not create on-street parking congestion.”
“This might be the first project where you’re actually giving us probably at least six or seven street parking spots back,” Ashe-Nadrowski said, applauding the plan.
Chairwoman Karen Fiermonte added: “Anytime you’re putting in a redevelopment plan for a gas station, you have to imagine that you’re gaining something back because there’s curb cuts everywhere on gas stations.”
Eyesore no more
City Engineer Rob Russo confirmed there would be a gain of two parking spots on Broadway. City Planner Suzanne Mack said she was pleased to see the project moving forward, calling the current site an “eyesore.”
Ashe-Nadrowski continued: “Everyone knows that our most thriving business district is along there. It’s a very walkable community with a lot of little shops, coffee shops, bookstores, pizza parlors, adult beverage places. We have a few bars along there. And this is just going to continue that a little bit further because the gas station really didn’t fit there any more. This will bring in people to support the local businesses. I think this is great, and it’ll help that area out tremendously and continue to grow because it’s flourishing. This will help ensure that it continues to flourish.”
Fiermonte applauded the plan for revitalizing the corner of the block, adding: “When we look at that area, we see such a thriving area, and then you see these spaces that are underutilized in the middle of all this other development that’s happening.”
According to Fiermonte, the plan will also help extend development on Broadway past the Route 440 overpass. She said that it is the “key piece to extend that downtown area and connect it to the other side of the overpass that’s also starting to see some development and redevelopment plans.”
The board voted unanimously to approve the plan. It now heads to the city council for further approval.
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