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Financial agreements ‘die a natural death’ before Bayonne council

The agreements would have supported redevelopment projects across the city

A rendering of the 18-story Silk Lofts high-rise that one of the agreements would have supported.

A number of financial agreements that have been on the Bayonne City Council’s agenda for months have finally been voted on. The council had previously postponed the financial agreement ordinances which support residential and other redevelopment projects in February.

Previously, the ordinances had been tabled at the request of the redeveloper. They were carried by the council month to month on the request made by the redevelopers in the wake of Mayor James Davis’ pause on most major redevelopment and for supporting PILOT agreements to be voted down as part the pause. However, the council opted to second outgoing City Council President and then-mayoral candidate Ashe-Nadrowski’s motion and unanimously voted to postpone the then-seven financial agreements instead back in February.

Over time, the council continuously postponed the seven ordinances, with the reasoning for the postponement shifting at the next meeting to being at the request of each of the redevelopers. However, eventually the council voted to approve one of the ordinances.

In March, the deal between the city and 22nd Street Partners Urban Renewal, LLC to support the adaptive reuse of the former School of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at 25 East 25th Street school as a residential building. On the other hand, the council rejected a PILOT between the city and 218-222 Broadway Urban Renewal, LLC to redevelop the former Delta Gas Station at 218-222 Broadway in May.

Reimbursement agreements removed

The council voted unanimously to remove the rest of the ordinances from further consideration at its June meeting. The reason was the current council could not again table the ordinances until next month, given that the new council will be seated then.

“We got a request to table again,” Law Director Jay Coffey said. “The problem with the tabling is that it’s going to be reintroduced because it can’t carry past July 1st. So if this is tabled, that’s going to die a natural death.”

The council then seconded a motion to remove the first ordinance for further consideration. That was for a reimbursement agreement with 6 Commerce Street Urban Renewal, LLC for sewer and water upgrades in the area.

On the second ordinance, Coffey said: “There’s also a request from the attorney to table this.” As such, the council also voted unanimously to remove that agreement from consideration. It was for a reimbursement agreement for similar sewer and water upgrades between the city and 7 Hook Road Urban Renewal, LLC.

PILOTs shot down… for now

Following the council removing the two reimbursement agreements from further consideration, two payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreements faced the chopping block.

This first aforementioned financial agreement related ordinance was for a PILOT agreement between the city and Ave E Dev Mile High AMS Urban Renewal, LLC. The financial agreement would have supported a proposed 18-story high rise that is part of the next phase of the Silk Lofts redevelopment known as Silk Lofts East at 140 Avenue E.

“We have a letter from Mr. [Michael] Miceli asking this matter to be also held off, so we need another motion for no further consideration,” Coffey said.

Another one of the ordinances would have authorized a separate PILOT between the city and AMS Urban Renewal for a six-story building proposed at 57-163 Avenue E known as Silk Lofts West.

“0-5 is the same situation,” City Clerk Madelene Medina remarked before it was voted down unanimously by the council.

However, these ordinances, much like the hospital eminent domain ordinances, can be re-introduced by the new council at its regular meeting in July. For more information, 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 disrael@hudsonreporter.com. 

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