One step closer Harbor Station North gets key approval

The Bayonne Planning Board unanimously approved preliminary plans for the first of a series of new neighborhoods being constructed at the former Military Ocean Terminal.

Called “Harbor Station North,” the 12.3-acre site is expected to break ground in spring if later more detailed plans are approved, and would feature 447 residential units as well as 10,000 square feet of retail space.

Carl Goldberg, one of the partners in a group effort that includes Roseland Properties and The Fidelco Group, said the site was conducive to public transportation, since all the residents in this section would be within easy walking distance of the light rail station.

“The farthest residence is 1,000 feet from the station,” he said.

Harbor Station North will be located at the northwest corner of the MOTBY and will have an oval park as its center piece.

Goldberg called the MOTBY development a unique opportunity, but also pointed out that development of this kind are more than just brick and wood, but life style.

“The Peninsula is unique and special, the last great redevelopment area in New Jersey,” Goldberg said.

In designing this neighborhood, his company toured the city of Bayonne looking for the historic patterns already there, and adopting those in the use of the designs for this district.

“This is the first step in a lengthy process,” Goldberg said, claiming that this first section of development would create a template into which the remaining sections would fit.

The residences will be constructed in three different groups with 371 units in five buildings, 24 townhouses, and 52 stacked housing units. Parking will be located in decks under the large buildings or in garages tucked away from view for other units – all accessed through a network of alleys. The project will also include street parking.

Harbor Station North will add from 1,000 to 1,500 new residents to the city.

Construction will be done in three phases with the first phase planned to begin in April 2007 if all approvals are in place. Depending on market conditions, the first phase would construct about one quarter of the project – which would include affordable housing units.

“There has been some downtown in the market,” Goldberg admitted, yet hoped to complete Harbor Station North within three years. “At worst, in five years.”

Goldberg said marketing would be a combined effort, both of Roseland Properties own sales staff as well as the traditional real estate network.

“We will sell all of these homes,” he said. “People want to live in Bayonne.”

More detailed plans will likely be presented to the Planning Board in January, Harbor Station North is the first of two projects slated for the Harbor Station section of the former Military Ocean Terminal. The redevelopment zone has divided the former base into six redevelopment zones, each with its own unique set of characteristics. Harbor Station is the section closest to existing residential areas of Bayonne and borders the eastern side of Route 440.

The redevelopment plan sought for this section to take advantage of the proximity to the 45th Street station of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, a kind of transit village in which residents can walk to the station rather than use their cars.

Although Goldberg said nothing about the second half of Harbor Station, BLRA officials said the area known as Harbor Station South would be used as a staging area for materials while Harbor Station North is under construction, and for other redevelopment areas such as Bayonne Bay and the Landing. During the last several months, the BLRA has named three development groups for sections further east along the mile-long peninsula. A contract is expected to be signed shortly with Trammell Crow for the construction of luxury rental units in Bayonne Bay. Two more developers are expected to come to agreements on Bayonne Bay and The Landing by February.


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