Getting a green light

14th Street residential plan may move forward after abatement compromise

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a 38-unit residential project slated for 14th Street and Broadway may again begin to take flight after an ordinance passed on first reading at the June 17 City Council meeting, its developer said on Monday.
Mitchell Burakovsky of Skye Development LLC said he had high hopes for the project, which seemed dead only two months ago, when it was listed on the council agenda but failed to go anywhere when no council member would move it for a vote.
At the April 22 meeting, Burakovsky was seeking a 20-year tax abatement for the project, and council members felt it was too much to award to a development of that size.
At least four council members said at the time that they would have considered the measure if the abatement was for only five or 10 years.

“I think if the resolution passes next month, there’s really nothing in our way.” – Mitchell Burakovsky

Councilmen Salvatore Gullace and Gary La Pelusa said they were not against the project at the April meeting, just Burakovsky’s request for the 20-year abatement.
Burakovsky reworked the plan and now is optimistic.
The project will come up for a public hearing and vote at the City Council’s July 22 meeting, Burakovsky said, and he thinks it will pass because of his lowering his abatement request.
“I think from the comments that we received last time [April 22] that it should go through,” he said. “They had made the point that a shorter-term abatement would be appropriate.”
Burakovsky said he is trying to arrange financing for the project, which entailed “reworking the numbers to appease the bank.”
Nothing else about the project had changed, according to Burakovsky.

Many in favor of project

Bayonne Chamber of Commerce Vice President Annette Rubin spoke in favor of the project at the April meeting. A local real estate agent also voiced her support through a letter sent to the council and read aloud at the meeting. At least a dozen others attended the meeting to show support for the development.
Burakovsky said he had completed dozens of projects throughout Bayonne in the last eight years, accounting for an increase of $750,000 in annual ratables for the city from those projects.

Revitalizing neighborhood

“I think if the resolution passes next month, there’s really nothing in our way,” he said.
If that happens, he estimates a start date for the project of either September or October.
Burakovsky said he believes that the development would be a win for many parties besides Skye Development: residents who would live there, area merchants, and Bayonne as a whole.
“We’re trying to make that vacant lot into more of a centerpiece of the neighborhood and trying to improve Bayonne a little at a time,” he said.

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