Special Bayonne Planning Board meeting slated for Aug. 22

Residential and industrial redevelopment applications will be heard by the board

The Bayonne Planning Board has scheduled applications for a residential redevelopment and a industrial redevelopment for a special meeting in August.

The board voted to do so at the request of redevelopers at the August 9 regular meeting of the board. At the top of the meeting, the board voted for Commissioner George Becker to fill the role of secretary, left vacant by former Commissioner and former City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski.

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The board followed that by postponing public hearings for Prologis, LP for a site 148 East 5th Street, and Woodmont Bayonne Phase 2 Urban Renewal, LLC for a site at West 52nd Street. Both of those applications will be heard at a special meeting on August 22.

Commissioners voted unanimously to postpone the hearings, including: Chairwoman Karen Fiermonte, Ramon Veloz, Becker, City Councilman At-Large Loyad Booker, Thomas Maiorano, Jack Beiro, and Ahmed Lack. Vice Chairwoman and Board of Education President Maria Valado and Commissioner Michael Quintela were absent.

Woodmont Bay Club Phase 2

The redeveloper is seeking to construct a four-story, 85-unit apartment community with on-site parking at the former Bayer site, located between West 52nd Street and West 53rd Street. The area is generally defined by rows of “box homes” and the odd industrial warehouse, as well as the nearby Richard Rutkowski Park.

The site is also adjacent to the already constructed first phase of the Woodmont Bay Club. Located at 190 West 54th Street, the four-story 220-unit project finished construction at the site of the former Hi-Hat catering hall in 2019. Recently, the Woodmont Bay Club has been rebranded as the Liberty Bay Club.

While it appeared on the agenda for the July meeting, attorneys for the applicant were granted a postponement by the board to August. The letter did not specify a reason, but asked not to need to provide further notice to neighbors.

The application was unanimously postponed for a public hearing on the preliminary and final site plan review at the August 9 meeting. At that meeting, the same thing happened again and the matter was carried to the special meeting of the Planning Board on August 22.

A park-front apartment community

Historically, the former Bayer site was home to the Mobay Chemical Plant. Prior to its demolition, the plant used to manufacture dyes and pharmaceuticals. Currently, the site is vacant and fenced in. The land is actively undergoing remediation.

The proposed four-story 85-unit building on the former Bayer site would be accompanied by 138 parking spaces. While 130 spaces would be present in a surface lot, there would be a standalone garage with eight spaces. The building would encompass a 27,013 square foot footprint, with a total area of 133,592 square feet. The eight-bay garage would total 1,885 square feet.

In addition to the L-shaped residential building and garage, the site also proposes a dog run, lighting, landscaping, storm water management, and other improvements. A walkway would be added to connect up with the paved walkway in the adjacent Richard Rutkowski Park.

Earlier in the year, the City Council voted to table a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement for 25 years with Woodmont Bayonne Phase 2 Urban Renewal, LLC to support the project. The financial agreement was postponed twice in October and November of 2021 as it was under review by financial advisors. However, the ordinance failed to get a second on the motion to open the public hearing at the council’s December meeting. As a result, it died before the council.

Industrial warehouse renovations

The other application carried to the special August meeting was by Prologis, LP is for 148 East 5th Street at the corner of East 5th Street and Ingham Avenue in the I-H Heavy Industrial District. The Planning Board granted an attorney for the applicant’s request via letter to carry the hearing to the special meeting without going into any detail and without the need for further notice.

The site is made of two warehouses that consist of five two-story buildings, totaling 303,500 square feet of warehouse space. Under the proposal, most of the buildings would be demolished.

A two-story building at the south western corner of the site would be demolished. To the north of that, in the north western corner of the site, another two-story building is slated to be demolished. In the north eastern corner of the site, a two-story building would remain. However, a one-story portion on the south side of the building would be removed.

In the south eastern corner of the site, a two-story masonry building would be removed. But in between that and the south western corner, a two-story masonry building directly abutting the building in the south western corner would remain. Of the five two-story buildings, only two would remain, and they would also be partially demolished. The existing parking would also be removed.

A scale for trucks built into the parking lot and other utilities such as manholes, hydrants, and a gas line would also be removed. Of note, a portion of the railroad tracks that terminate on the site would be removed.

Proposed parking lot and facility improvements

Once the demolition has occurred, the remaining buildings would continue to be used as warehouses and the remainder of the site repaved as parking areas for personal vehicle, semi truck, and tractor-trailer parking. For the parking, 58 spaces are required at the site and 88 spaces are proposed for the two warehouses. There would be 145 tractor-trailer parking spaces.

Of the two remaining buildings, both would see some improvements as well under the proposal. The northern building is referred to in the plans as Building 7A, and would see the addition of a new metal stud wall, and an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramp and stairs. The southern building is known as Building 2, and plans call for the addition of a new drive-in door on the front façade, two new windows on the front façade and right side of the building, and the patching and repairing of the existing metal panel wall and the area below it on the building.

The southern two-story building has a 20,384 square foot footprint with a total area of 40,768 square feet, while the northern two-story building has an 8,187 square foot footprint with a total area of 16,374 square feet. A total floor area of 57,142 square feet of warehouse space is proposed to remain after the demolition of the other buildings. Of that, 4,115 square feet is proposed to be office space with 1,350 square feet in the southern remaining building and 2,765 square feet in the northern remaining building.

Three variances are required for the application, including minimum rear yard setback, minimum front yard setback, and maximum lot coverage. For the front yard setback on Ingham Avenue, 30 feet is required, 5.8 feet currently exists, and 6.2 feet is proposed; for the rear yard setback, 50 feet is required, 2.3 feet currently exists, and 2.3 feet is proposed; and for maximum lot coverage, 80 percent is allowed, 99.9 percent currently exists and 99.5 percent is proposed. According to the application by Prologis, LP, both variances represent pre-existing nonconformities that would actually be reduced in intensity based on the proposed improvements.

Attend the hearing

The August 22 meeting will take place in the council chambers at 6 p.m. at City Hall at 630 Avenue C. For more information, go to bayonnenj.org.

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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