Bayonne Planning Board approves warehouse reorganization plan

Of the five buildings, three will be demolished and two will be modernized

The Bayonne Planning Board has approved a final site plan for a major overhaul of an industrial site composed of many warehouses. The plan was approved at a special meeting of the board on August 22.

The application was presented by attorney Chris Murphy on behalf of Prologis, LP for 148 East 5th Street at the corner of East 5th Street and Ingham Avenue in the I-H Heavy Industrial District. The site is made up of two warehouses that consist of five two-story buildings, totaling 303,500 square feet of warehouse space. Under the plan, three of the buildings will be demolished.

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

In the southeastern corner of the site, a two-story masonry building will 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 will remain. Of the five two-story buildings, only two will remain, and they will also be renovated. The existing parking will also be removed.

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

Proposed parking lot and facility improvements

Once the demolition has occurred, the remaining buildings will 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 planned for the two warehouses. There will be 145 tractor-trailer parking spaces created at the site.

Of the two remaining buildings, both will see some improvements as well under the proposal. The northern building is referred to in the plans as Building 7A, and will 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 will remain after the demolition of the other buildings. Of that, 4,115 square feet will 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 were granted 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 was granted; and for maximum lot coverage, 80 percent is allowed, 99.9 percent currently exists and 99.5 percent was granted. According to the application by Prologis, LP, both variances represent pre-existing nonconformities that will be reduced in intensity based on the planned improvements.

Addressing commissioner concerns

Project engineer Joshua Wirry noted that the site, which borders residential and industrial areas, is currently undergoing remediation of several storage tanks. A tenant for the warehouses has not yet been identified, he added in response to questions by Commissioner Ramon Veloz.

Wirry also clarified questions by Consulting City Planner Mika Apte over electric vehicle parking, signage, lighting, and street trees. Consulting City Engineer Rob Russo asked for a separated storm sewer connection on Ingham Avenue, to which Murphy agreed as well as other requests from the professionals.

Project architect Edward Neighbor said that when the warehouses are torn down, the two that remain will have exposed facades since some of the buildings were connected to them. Those facades will be redone with metal paneling and other treatments as the buildings are modernized.

Apte asked about solar panels on the warehouses, to which Neighbor said the the structures would have to be reinforced. Murphy noted that the redeveloper uses solar panels when applicable, but that may not be the case here.

Project planner Paul Ricci testified that the plan will see the reorganization and modernization of the site through the demolition of the three buildings, the improvements to the remaining buildings, and the construction of the parking for the warehouses and for tractor trailers. Ricci said the plan “meets the proof” to be granted the three variances, and explained to Apte that if denied the building slated to be demolished would remain.

Project approved unanimously

The members of the board who were present voted unanimously to approve the project. Chairwoman Karen Fiermonte, Commissioner Thomas Maiorano, and Commissioner George Becker were absent.

The approval comes as residential redevelopment is supposedly on pause, with the board moving forward with industrial redevelopments in the meantime. However, at the same special meeting, the board approved the next phase of the Woodmont Bay Club project for a four-story complex with 85 units and 138 parking spaces.

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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