Redeveloper of 22-story complex in Bayonne working toward resolution compliance

The project, most recently approved in 2019, is still in the works with city officials

The Bayonne Planning Board recently approved an 18-story high-rise on Avenue E as part of the next phase of the Silk Lofts redevelopment, which will be among the tallest in the city when and if constructed.

However, it is not planned to be the tallest, actually.

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That honor belongs to the planned 22-story twin tower complex planned at the site of the former Pagano’s Supermarket at 26 North Street. The mixed-use residential and commercial project is being constructed by 26 North Avenue, LLC, a joint venture between John Cali of Cali Futures and Lance and Joseph Lucarelli of the L Group, which was responsible for BayOne at 957 Broadway among other residential redevelopment in Bayonne.

Featuring 170 units with a four and half story parking garage and ground floor retail, the planned 22-story complex was most recently approved by the Planning Board and City Council in 2019. The plans were approved via an ordinance to make changes to the Amended 8th Street Station Rehabilitation Area Plan to allow for the commercial aspects of the project, which features the 8th Street Station of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail just over 300 feet away.

Under the initial plan, grocery stores could not exceed 5,000 square feet and rooftop restaurants were not prohibited. However, the amendments allowed for a rooftop restaurant and for a 13,000 to 15,000 square foot supermarket on the entire first floor of the building, thought to be occupied by an anchor tenant like Trader Joe’s.

Yet not much has progress has been seen at the site since the approval three years ago, on top of the initial Planning Board and City Council approval back in 2015. This seems to be a theme for the site, which was previously approved by the Planning Board in 2006 for a five-story 74-unit mixed-use redevelopment that never came to fruition.

Land Use Administrator Alicia Losonczy told the Bayonne Community News that the applicant is still working toward resolution compliance. When the Planning Board approves a redevelopment application, they also pass a resolution of approval.

Resolutions of approval or denial must be passed by the Planning Board within 45 days of the public hearing for final site plan review. Losonczy said the resolution usually gets adopted at the next meeting, so it’s usually within 30 days.  

A rendering of the planned 22-story twin tower complex in Bayonne, by Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects.

Complying with resolution of approval

In order for a redeveloper to construct the project they presented, they must fully comply with said resolution. Losonczy said that the applicant is working with the city engineer to achieve that. Only once full compliance is met can the redeveloper move forward with the other aspects of the project application.

“Modifications can be made to the plan at the time of the hearing,” Losonczy said. “Those modifications could be incorporated into the resolution of approval as conditions. Those conditions and modifications need to be sent by in way of revised plans or discussion with the city’s engineers office. So that’s where this application has been.”

Of the many requirements, it was not clear what specifications still need to be met since the approval of the amended redevelopment plan by both the City Council and Planning Board in 2019. According to Losonczy, the redeveloper has been working with planning officials to reach resolution compliance.

“There have been revisions submitted,” Losonczy said. “Our city engineer’s office has been in contact with the professionals for this project and they have made their recommendations on what is required next. So the application is not yet resolution compliant. That’s where the applicant has to cross their ‘t’s, dot there ‘i’s, and perfect everything that was discussed at the hearing. Once that is done, they then post a performance bond with the land use office. Once a bond is posted, they can then move forward with the zoning and building permit process.” 

The plans are the same as they were when passed, otherwise the redeveloper would have to come back before the Planning Board for any major changes. Losonczy said that minor changes may only need approval by the city engineer. Once the planning process is complete, the permitting process must then also be completed before construction can finally begin.

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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