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Bayonne to study potential expansion of some redevelopment areas

Other redevelopment areas, such as those proposed in the Constable Hook industrial area, would be created

All that remained at the Caschem West site as of May 2022. Photo by Daniel Israel.

Bayonne is considering the potential expansion of some redevelopment areas and the creation of some new ones. The City Council has passed a number of resolutions authorizing the Planning Board to take such actions.

At its December meeting, the council approved a resolution authorizing and directing the board to re-open and consider an amendment to the 69-71 Hook Road Redevelopment Plan. The resolution would see the addition of property at Blocks 416, 1.01 and 1.02 to the redevelopment area, and the determination if they constitute non-condemnation areas in need of redevelopment as well as to begin drawing up a redevelopment plan for the area if proved to be an area in need of redevelopment by both the Planning Board and the council.

The site is currently home to Delta Storage, where a new “flex use” warehouse and office space will be constructed by Sixth Wave Logistics with the support a 20-year payments-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the city.  The lots that would be added would be the adjacent ones to the storage facility including a parking lot and the Accem Warehouse Inc. facility at 63 Hook Road.

The council also approved a resolution authorizing and directing the Planning Board to re-opening the the 8th Street Rehabilitation Plan to consider an amendment to include property identified as Block 306, Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4, which encompasses the “Bergen Point 69kV Class H Substation.”

The site is currently home to the substation at the corner of Orient and Evergreen Streets but also a residential building as well as Mike’s Auto Repairs at 223 Orient Street. The resolution also authorizes the Planning Board to not only consider the amendment, but also if those properties constitute non-condemnation areas-in-need-of-redevelopment and to develop a map of reflecting the boundaries of the new proposed non-condemnation area.

Caschem West site to be studied for redevelopment

In addition, the council authorized the board to conduct a study to determine if the property at Blocks 332, Lots 1, 6, and 7, Bock 333.01, Lot 7, and Block 373, Lots 1, 2, 13, and 14 constitute areas in need of redevelopment.

Block 332, Lots 1, 6 and 7 are the part of the Caschem West site that abuts Newark Bay; and Block 333.01 Lot 7 is the part of the Caschem West site that fronts Avenue A.

The site has been cleared by owner and former Zoning Board Commissioner Ehab “Jimmy Gamal.” While he previously pondered a 16-story cold-storage warehouse for the site he would have been allowed to construct due to old zoning, he said it was just an idea he was “exploring” and he is still contemplating its fate ahead of the redevelopment plan being drawn up with  inklings for things ranging from a hotel to a senior center.

Block 373, Lots 1, 2, 13 and 14 are located across the street from the Caschem West site on the other side of Avenue A and are home to a parking lot, White Glove Moving and Storage at 235 West 1st Street, Dependable Enterprises Inc. also at the same address, and land under the Bayonne Bridge. Not included in this is the Starting Point Bar and Grill at 2 Avenue A. 

Lastly, the council also authorized the board to conduct a study to determine if the properties located within the Constable Hook West Side and East Side Redevelopment Study Areas constitute areas in need of redevelopment. At its May 2022 meeting, the council previously authorized the board to study the Central Constable Hook Redevelopment Area to determine if it constitutes an area in need of redevelopment as well, which was presented to the board in January.

Redevelopment plan approved as well

At its January meeting following the December council meeting, the Planning Board received the communications from the City Council to begin the preliminary investigation of the properties to determine if they are areas in need of redevelopment. It also saw City Planner Suzanne Mack present the Central Constable Hook Redevelopment Plan to the board, which they unanimously approved.

The redevelopment area included in the plan encompasses the 140-acre former Exxon site and International-Matex Tank Terminal (IMTT) at Constable Hook. A plan was previously adopted by the board and presented to the council but scrapped over the inclusion of a parcel of land occupied by rail lines owned by Conrail.

Amid the pause on most major residential redevelopment enacted by Mayor James Davis during the run up to the May municipal election pending a study on buildings constructed since the boom began in Bayonne, the city has decided to pursue industrial redevelopment at Constable Hook.

While residential redevelopment may resume unabated soon because the study has been completed and the data shows the constructed redevelopments are occupied, although some residential projects moved forward during the pause regardless which officials defended was due to prior planning approvals, industrial redevelopment of the Constable Hook area which makes up nearly 20 percent of the city is advancing rapidly such as with the adoption of the redevelopment plan for the former Seahorse Express property.

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.