At the North Bergen Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, two tax abatements for a developer of residential and retail space on Kennedy Boulevard were introduced.
The abatement agreements – tax deals that let developers pay an amount instead of the regular fluctuating municipal tax rate – would span 30 years. Urban Renewal, LLC plans to construct 164 residential rental units and 17,247 square feet of retail space along Kennedy Boulevard near 56th Street.
The developer would begin paying after “substantial completion.”
Mayor Nicholas Sacco said that the area, which abuts a cemetery, has been “unattractive” since a large furniture store left, and in turn the property was abandoned.
“It’s a really nice addition to North Bergen.” – Nicholas Sacco
Township Administrator Christopher Pianese said that the project was approved by the Planning Board four years ago, but due to the economy, the developer has just begun to lay the building’s foundation.
Long-term tax exceptions
Also at the Jan. 12 meeting, the commissioners introduced an ordinance that if approved would provide retail owners in blighted areas with long-term tax exemptions. Pianese said that this ordinance will go hand in hand with the above abatements to encourage development.
The first stage of the exemption period will start with the completion of a retail project and may continue for a time of no less than six years and no more than 15 years. The owner will provide the township with an annual service fee. The financial agreement will also have four other stages. At first, 20 percent of the regular municipal tax amount would be required, which would increase over time from 40 to 60 and 80 percent, using the value of land and improvements.
Township receives Hudson County grant
After purchasing River Road property from K. Hovnanian last year for the construction of a joint park with Guttenberg, North Bergen officially received a $1,835,000 grant from the Hudson County Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund to go toward that cost.
“This was kind of interesting because a lot of people never really believed we were going to do it,” said Sacco.
Pianese hopes to hear back from the state’s Green Acres Fund, which might also provide money for North Bergen’s side of the park.
Township auctioning River Road land
Pianese said the owner of 7601 River Road LWH, LLC, asked the township to sell three small lots so that they could be used for part of their development plan, which includes 300 residential units and retail.
Pianese said that the township is selling the lots, located at 7711-7815 River Road, at a minimum of $1.7 million.
The commissioners introduced an ordinance that will authorize the private auction, along with stipulations that stated that construction will “…be restricted in that no more than 20 percent of the total slope area which is directly adjacent to any proposed development can be disturbed.”
NB pays for 13 emergency sewer repairs
North Bergen passed 13 resolutions allowing them to complete several emergency sewerage repairs in town. The township’s engineer, Boswell McClave Engineering, recommended that they be completed.
Drainbusters of Garfield, N.J. had a $12,300 contract approved for work to the sewerage lines below 86th Street and Tonnelle Avenue.
J. Fletcher Creamer & Son, Inc. had a $57,490 contract approved for several repairs, including the basins on the township’s Little League field, the North Bergen Department of Public Works catch basin, as well as work completed at Kiesel Terrace, Palisade Avenue, and New York Avenue. The same contractor was also approved for $58,858 in 11 different contracts for emergency repairs in North Bergen, largely at 40th Street and Liberty Avenue.
At the commissioners meeting Felix Henriquez was re-appointed to a five-year term on the North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority. Florence Ricigliano, Edwin Casey, Paul De Cegli, Jeanine Bunero, Thomas Burke, and Geraldine Baker were reappointed to one-year terms on the Traffic Advisory Board.
Tricia Tirella may be reached at TriciaT@hudsonreporter.com.