A public hearing for final site plan approval of two new buildings on Avenue E as part of the Silk Lofts redevelopment was postponed yet again.
The hearing was slated to take place at the January meeting of the Planning Board, but that meeting was cancelled after commissioners Friday Mathews and Mitesh Patel resigned and two other members were sick with COVID-19. Then, at the board’s February meeting, an attorney for the applicant, AMS Equities, LLC asked the matter be taken up at the board’s April meeting.
“We have a letter from Mr. Michael Miceli, who was the attorney for the applicant,” said Board Attorney Richard Campisano. “He says that he’s requesting that the application currently scheduled for this evening by the Planning Board be carried to our next regularly scheduled meeting of the board on April 12 with no further notice to the public necessary. He’s asking that we do this formally so he doesn’t have to notice again, but he’s also consenting to the extension of time so that an automatic approval doesn’t get granted through the April 12 meeting.”
The board will meet at 6 p.m. on April 12 virtually via Tetherview. To attend, go to bayonnenj.org and click on the link on the calendar webpage. While the board had been meeting in person until December of 2021, it shifted to virtually only meetings after the January meeting was cancelled, until at least April.
Redevelopment booms on Avenue E
AMS Equities, LLC is seeking to construct an 18-story mixed-use residential and commercial building next to the current Silk Lofts redevelopment, as well as for a similar six-story mixed-use building across the street, at 134-136, 138, and 140 Avenue E. If approved, the 18-story tower would be among the tallest in the city.
The existing Silk Lofts multi-family residential building is five stories tall with 85 units and 102 parking spaces spread throughout three lots on Avenue E, with one on each side of the building and one across the street. Under the proposal, the other parking lots would be redeveloped as part of the project but the 20 space parking lot for the building on Avenue E, between East 18th and East 19th Street, would remain.
The existing Silk Lofts building was sold by Stern Capital to AMS Acquisition for approximately $32.1 million in 2018, with the intention to construct more units. The tower and other building are permitted to be constructed under the amended Silk Lofts redevelopment plan, which the Bayonne City Council voted to approve in 2021.
The six-story building would be across the street at 157-163 Avenue E, in between two three-story buildings. This site is currently home to parking for the Silk Lofts building. This building, in the part of the redevelopment area known as Subdistrict A, would include 36 residential units and 36 parking spaces. However, those spaces would be in an automated parking garage for the 18-story building across the street. There would be a total of 1,530 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.
18-story tower proposed
The 18-story tower would include 250 residential units and 389 garage parking spaces. This building would be located in the part of the redevelopment area known as Subdistrict B, which currently consists of a parking lot for the existing Silk Lofts, as well as a few residential homes between Avenue E and the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.
The parking garage would be built into the new redevelopment, with nine stories of automated parking contained within a portion of the first five floors. A total of 1,975 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor. The commercial space would be divided into a 575 square foot space area and a 1,400 square foot area. There would also be a total of 15,582 square feet in amenities, including a 5,010 square feet covered public plaza.
The building would rise about five stories before there is a setback. The rest of the building continues from there with a setback, beginning at the sixth floor and topping out at 18 stories. The setback on the roof of the fifth floor, would provide for a landscaped terrace and pool. On the rooftop, there would also be a terrace for residents. Renderings depict a elements of a greenery over the facade of the parking garage, akin to a “green wall.”
According to the plans, no variances are being sought for the applications. Therefore, if the site is fully compliant with the zoning, the board may not have any choice other than to approve the application.
Before April, the Bayonne Planning Board will meet next at 6 p.m. on March 8 virtually via Tetherview. To attend, go to bayonnenj.org and click on the link 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.