At the Bayonne Golf Club on Oct. 6, city officials, developers, lawyers, and representatives from transportation and utilities met to discuss development plans for the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, the manmade tract of land jutting out into Upper New York Bay.
The meeting site was appropriate, with spectacular views of the former Military Ocean Terminal, the area slated for development. There’s been talk about developing the Peninsula since the early 2000s.
About 40 people attended the event organized by Business Administrator Joseph DeMarco and Mayor James Davis. There were representatives of the development companies of Waitex, Fidelco Bayonne Realty LLC, the Halpern company, and Boraie Development LLC, as well as the Alexan CityView rental property, the only completed residential complex on the Peninsula. Also represented were the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Public Service Electric & Gas, United Water, and the law firm of Weiner Lesniak.
The beginning is in sight
The first of the construction projects, for 400 units of residential property at the Harbor Station North property by Fidelco, could begin as early as the spring, according to Josh Sternberg, vice president of real estate for the Fidelco Realty Group of Millburn.
Bayonne attorney Nicholas Chiaravalloti said that in addition to the nearby Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station, another important transportation option will be necessary.
“The ferry is the key to development, not just for the M-O-T, but for the entire town, to go to both Jersey City and Lower Manhattan,” he said. “We’re working with the Port Authority to unlock the potential of the site.”
Chiaravalloti added that although he was happy to see the recent progress made, patience will still be necessary as the development will be incremental.
“These sorts of projects don’t happen overnight,” he said. “A lot of public decisions need to occur before we see the vision become a reality.”
But Councilman Gary La Pelusa, whose Third Ward is the beneficiary of the new development, said, “I’m happy to see things progressing on the right track. It feels like it’s been a very long time in coming for the east side.”
“Bayonne is fostering a great business environment.” – Bayonne Chamber of Commerce President Matt Dorans
City and business weigh in
The development at the former military base is now possible after three lawsuits involving the city and developers were settled over the past year, DeMarco said, urging the participants to get to know each other and share their plans. “These are symbiotic relationships,” he asserted.
Bayonne Chamber of Commerce President Matt Dorans agreed. “Bayonne is working hard to have people invest in our town and is fostering a great business environment,” he said.
Davis said his administration was serious about working with those interested in investing in Bayonne.
“We want to make the Peninsula a viable part of our city,” he said. “Call us, because this will become a reality over the next 10 years. I’ve said that we’re not going to play games with developers.”
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.