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North Bergen grants 30-year tax abatement to redeveloper of parkfront land

The properties included in the redevelopment area are 8619, 8515, and 8505

James Vincent Bicycles (left) and the Mariah Condominiums (right). Image via Google Maps.

North Bergen has approved a long-term tax abatement for a redeveloper of a prime piece of real estate opposite of Braddock Park on Bergenline Avenue.

Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the North Bergen Board of Commissioners have adopted an ordinance that approves and authorizes a financial agreement between the township and 8619 Holding Company, LLC for a term of 30 years at its September 7 meeting after it was introduced in August.

8619 Holding Company, LLC was previously designated by the board as the redeveloper for 8505, 8515, and 8619 Bergenline Avenue, after a Developer’s Agreement was executed in May. In August, a redevelopment plan was approved by the board, allowing 11-story multifamily residential buildings on the lots bigger than 7,500 square feet, and 6-story buildings on the lots smaller than 7,500 square feet, as well as allowing parking lots and garages and commercial uses that serve the residents of the buildings.

The area contains a vacant lot that has previously been approved for a mixed-use development, as well as a condominium building that has fallen into disrepair, and an adjoining retail space. 8505 Bergenline Avenue is currently home to James Vincent Bicycles, 8515 is the Mariah Condominiums building, and 8619 is a currently vacant lot adjacent to the Mariah’s parking lot.

PILOT to support project over 30 years

To support the project, the township has approved a financial agreement pursuant to the state’s Long Term Tax Exemption Law. According to the ordinance, the payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement calls for a development with an unclear height and 128 units on the site, with off-street parking and other facilities and public amenities.

The terms of the PILOT agreement will see the property make more in annual property taxes than now, with the property currently accruing $33,000 annually, according to township spokesperson Phil Swibinski. The payments will begin on the first day of the 12th month following the issuance of a temporary certificate of occupancy.

For the first 10 years of the PILOT, 8619 Holding Company, LLC will pay $470,000 annually. For the next 11 to 15 years, they will pay $493,500. For years 16 to 20, they will pay $518,175. For years 21 to 25, they will pay $544,083, and for years 26 to 30, they will pay $571,287.

“This agreement is part of Mayor Sacco and the Board of Commissioners’ vision for smart redevelopment projects that beautify the community while also creating significant new tax revenue to help pay for important programs and keep property taxes stable,” Swibinski said. “This property alone will now generate nearly $500,000 per year in municipal revenue which is far more than it is paying now in conventional taxes, while also creating construction jobs and supporting local small businesses.”

Financial agreement unanimously approved

During the public hearing for the redevelopment plan in August, no members of the public spoke, but Sacco asked Township Administrator Janet Castro if James Vincent Bicycles at 8505 Bergenline Avenue was included in the ordinance. Castro confirmed it was included in the redevelopment plan, but that no final site plans had been submitted by a redeveloper that includes the site.

Sacco noted that if the bicycle business sold the property, they were offered the opportunity to open on the ground floor of the redevelopment. He added that nothing is being done forcefully, however, and the owner of the business can choose not to sell and remain in place.

While the redevelopment plan has been approved, 8619 Holding Company still needs final site plan approval from the North Bergen Planning Board. Meanwhile, the financial agreement ordinance has been okayed by the board.

At the September meeting, Sacco asked Castro about the financial agreement. Castro confirmed that “this is for 8619 Bergenline Avenue, for 128 residential units… The terms are outlined in the ordinance.”

Sacco asked if there had been any update regarding 8505 Bergenline Avenue, to which Castro said they have not heard back yet as to a decision by the property owner to sell the property. She later told the Hudson Reporter: “They still have not made a decision. As of right now, before they decide, they are in a lengthy negotiation process.”

Castro said that the two buildings on the other side of that building previously rejected offers to be purchased by the redeveloper. She reiterated that no final site plans have been filed as of September 7: “Formal plans have not been submitted to the Township of North Bergen yet.”

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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