Progress on a proposed multi-story residential building at the former Bayonne Community Bank at 5th Street and Broadway continues to move along, and developer Lance Lucarelli of the L Group seeks to start construction in September.
The site was designated an area in need of redevelopment in June of last year. The most recent milestone was the public hearing on the project at the Planning Board’s Jan. 12 meeting.
The BCB Bank Redevelopment Plan is for property at 9, 11, 15 and 17 West 5th St. and 155, 157, 159, and 161 Broadway in city Block 330, Lots 6, 7, 8, 9 10, 11, and 12, according to City Planner Sue Mack.
The bank property has been unoccupied for a few years, but HIGHWAYS, the social service organization, is moving into it later in January. It will occupy the site on a month-to-month basis until September, according to Lucarelli.
The overall project site sits at the west side of Fifth Street, the southern starting point of Bayonne’s main commercial corridor of Broadway, and includes properties going up Fifth Street toward Avenue C. The site is in the city’s Urban Enterprise Zone, and is part of the city’s 8th Street Rehabilitation Plan. The area features diverse retail establishments, including restaurants, bars, and banks.
“I want to get into the ground in September.” – Lance Lucarelli
Lucarelli plans to build a $35 million, 80,000-square-foot rental complex with between 70 and 80 units. The residences will be a mix of studios, and one- and two-bedroom apartments. There will also be first-floor retail with one or two businesses.
Lucarelli’s project dovetails with Mayor James Davis’s theory of building “epicenters” in Bayonne. Since shopping areas like the city’s two-and-a-half-mile Broadway district are no longer considered fully sustainable, Davis and other city officials have touted building in three major areas which they believe will act as anchors in attracting other businesses.
The other epicenters are 23rd to 24th streets on Broadway, where a medical arts building will be built, and on 46th Street and Broadway, where the L Group will construct another multi-story residential complex.
Ready to get started
Lucarelli said he is anxious to get the project underway.
“I want to get into the ground in September,” he said. A late 2018 completion is anticipated.
Though he can build up to 100 feet, about 9 to 10 stories, Lucarelli said his Fifth Street project will be different from the expected 9-story tower at the soon-to-be former Resnick’s site at 46th Street and Broadway.
Though it will likely reach about 9 stories on Broadway, the building will have a tapered look as it goes 250 feet down Fifth Street.
Business and parking
Lucarelli said the 7,000-square-foot, first-floor business would be a “nice restaurant or something hip.” Mack said that he is looking for outdoor seating for it, like that at the nearby Mona Lisa pizzeria and restaurant.
Lucarelli said there will be at least 32 parking spaces for the retail lot, and possibly more. For the residences, a 1.2 parking space-to-unit ratio is the goal. The entire development could possibly have spaces for up to 150 vehicles, between residential and retail.
John Cali is partnered with Lucarelli on the BCB project, as well as the Park Bayonne project at 1040 Kennedy Blvd., across from Stephen R. Gregg Park.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.