Building in Bayonne’s business core

Developer wants to bring new life to west side of 22nd Street on Broadway

A developer who fell in love with Bayonne may be the next player in the city’s move to revitalize the Broadway shopping district.
Jimmy Vattes has eyes to build a six-story, 60-plus-unit residential complex in the heart of Bayonne’s shopping district at 22nd Street and Broadway to realize his family’s dream of development and to assist the city’s goal of becoming a bonafide part of the Gold Coast, like Jersey City and Hoboken before it.
Vattes, family members, and business partners have owned property at 479-481 Broadway that has been vacant for more than 11 years. The new complex would be built on that lot and a 99 cents store that is currently adjacent to it. It would abut an office building at 475 Broadway, which he does not own.
A Queens native, who has lived in Manhattan for the last 10 years, Vattes originally purchased the land with his father and business partners.
“My father’s business partner said, “’Let’s go look at Bayonne,’” Vattes said. “We fell in love with the city and its charm.”
But for the last 11 years, the 2008 recession, a change in business partners, the death of his father, and a perception that Bayonne was not ready to move forward with such development held them back. But things have changed.
“The factors are in place to move a development forward, with the economy and the city,” Vattes said. “The opportunity finally came after 11 years.”
No plans have yet been submitted to the city. But Vattes said conversations with Bayonne’s administration over the last few years were renewed a couple of months ago.
The complex will feature ground-floor commercial space. The types of businesses have not been determined, but Vattes sees a restaurant or small supermarket as good fits.


“We fell in love with the city and its charm.’” – Jimmy Vattes

Vattes plans to build high-end apartments, a gym, and a small lounge, which would attract young professionals with robust discretionary dollars.
The city wants to attract that demographic and sees three pockets of development on Broadway. Mayor James Davis and Business Administrator Joseph DeMarco said downtown at North Street and uptown at 46th Street and Broadway are two of those areas. The third, in midtown between 23rd and 24th streets on Broadway, is less than a block from Vattes’s property.
“This is the perfect little development to bring more people to Broadway,” Vattes said. “We want to maintain Bayonne’s charm and help it progress economically. We would like to bring in the demographic the city wants, and then get the retailers to come. That’s what Broadway needs especially.”
Parking is another advantage.
“We are lucky to have Del Monte Drive behind it,” Vattes said. “We are fortunate to have the parking accessible from the rear. That’s a big part of the project.”
Vattes sees sub-level parking as the main option, but more parking could be created if hydraulic lifts were used.

City officials positive

Planning Board Chairman Ted Garelick said he had not seen any information on Vattes’s project, but has consistently said that new development is important in Bayonne’s rejuvenation.
DeMarco said that while he also had not seen a formal plan, city officials had spoken to the developer about the plan.
“We look forward to, hopefully in the near future, discussing his prospective plan for the area,” DeMarco said. “This is another step in Mayor Davis’s effort to revitalize the Broadway corridor.”
Though Vattes’s proposal is for six stories, he said, “We’ll be speaking with the city about any tweaks they’d like us to make.”
Vattes expects to have the plans to the city by January. Ideally, he would break ground next summer or fall. It would take 22 to 24 months to build.
“So two and half years from now it’ll be all up,” he said.

Joseph Passantino may be reached at

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