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North Bergen amends five-year tax exemption, introduces another for 30 years

The exemptions are for an already-constructed hotel and a planned residential redevelopment

An aerial view of the Wyndham Garden Hotel in North Bergen. Photo courtesy of the township.

North Bergen has amended a five-year tax exemption it granted to a redeveloper to support an already-constructed hotel. Meanwhile, the township is contemplating granting another tax exemption for 30 years for a planned residential redevelopment.

Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance authorizing amendments to the hotel’s financial agreement at its August meeting, after it was introduced in July.

The tax exemption is for Spectrum Capital North Bergen, LLC, for 1706 and 1904 Paterson Plank Road. The property is the Wyndham Garden Hotel in North Bergen, owned by Rohit and Raj Gaur.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place for the hotel on June 2, 2021, delayed one year by the COVID-19 pandemic. The entity applied for the tax exemption back in 2020, to support the five-story hotel with 135 units on the property.

Tax exemption granted in 2020

According to the ordinance, the Tax Assessor can regard the full and true value or a portion of certain improvements as not increasing the full and true value of certain property for a period of five years. That is, if the applicant gets approval from both the Board of Commissioners and the Tax Assessor.

In 2020, the township voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance authorizing the agreement. The township and property owner entered into the Tax Exemption Agreement on November 9 of that year.

According to the new ordinance amending the agreement, Spectrum Capital North Bergen, LLC will pay the township, in addition to the full taxes on the land which shall continue to be conventionally assessed and taxed and not appealed, pursuant to the Amended Agreement, a tax payment for the new improvements to the property.

The new payment schedule will see a total payment of $476,240 to paid quarterly in the amount of $119,060 on February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1. For 2023, the $250,000 payment can be paid quarterly in the amount of $62,500 on those same dates.

For 2024, the $275,000 payment can be made quarterly in the amount of $68,750 on those same dates. And in 2025, the $300,000 payment can be paid quarterly in the amount of $75,000 on those same dates.

Another tax exemption eyed by township

The Board of Commissioners also introduced an ordinance that would approve and authorize a financial agreement between the township and 8619 Holding Company, LLC for a term of 30 years. 

Earlier in the meeting, the commissioners approved a resolution designating 8619 Holding Company, LLC the redeveloper for 8505, 8515, and 8619 Bergenline Avenue, after a Developer’s Agreement was executed in May. At the same August meeting, 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.

Now, the township is eyeing a financial agreement pursuant to the state’s Long Term Tax Exemption Law to support the project. According to the ordinance, the 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.

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

Upcoming public hearing on financial agreement

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 will be up for a public hearing before the North Bergen Board of Commissioners at the next meeting.

The Board of Commissioners will meet again on September 7 at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at Town Hall at 4233 Kennedy Boulevard. For more information, go to northbergen.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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