It’s back to the drawing board for the developer of a residential complex at 22nd Street and Avenue E, including coming up with a new parking plan and possibly reconsidering his request for a longterm abatement.
Mitchell Burakovsky of Skye Development of Bayonne said he is working on a new site plan for his six-story, 90-unit residential complex at 230-250 Avenue E, just south of 22nd Street. He hopes to submit it to the Planning Board in February or March.
“We’d like to get it done this winter,” he said.
At its Dec. 16 meeting, by a 3-2 margin, the City Council rejected a 25-year tax abatement for the project near the 22nd Street Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Station.
“When they voted it down, they gave some reasons for it,” Burakovsky said on Jan. 13. “One council member mentioned that there wasn’t adequate parking for the units. So I’m reworking the plan for more parking.”
Burakovsky’s plan called for 45 spaces (.5 per unit) for the building, the minimum allowed. But at least one council member thought that would not be enough for the area and in parking- challenged Bayonne.
“The primary thing was the parking, said First Ward Councilman Tom Cotter, who voted against it. “He went with the minimum amount of parking, .5 per unit. So for 90 units, it was 43 spots, plus two handicapped spaces.”
Cotter said that the project will not have enough of an area to absorb the need for additional parking spots, especially since Burakovsky’s project includes 69 two-bedroom apartments and only 21 one-bedrooms.
Since two-bedroom units usually mean at least two cars, Cotter would like to see Burakovsky go with 1.5 spaces for each unit.
“I think adding a one-to-one parking ratio will make it a better product for the town and people that will live there.” – Mitchell Burakovsky
Councilman-at-large Juan Perez also said he opposed the abatement because he did not think the development provides enough parking.
Burakovsky said he is trying to increase the spaces, and has a goal in mind.
“I think adding a one-to-one parking ratio will make it a better product for the town and people that will live there,” he said.
He plans to add the additional spots at 230-250 Avenue E by building an underground parking deck. His original parking plans for that site were street-level enclosed parking spots.
Burakovsky is also reworking the parking plans for a sister six-story, 100-unit development he plans at 252-268 Avenue E, just north of 22nd Street, the site of the former Bayonne Plumbing warehouse.
Request for tax abatement
After he tackles the parking issues, Burakovsky said he will then settle on his request for the tax abatement.
An abatement, often called a PILOT, is an agreement with the city to exempt a developer from paying regular, fluctuating property taxes. Developers often negotiate a deal to pay a stable, separate fee to the city in lieu of taxes, a payment which may sometimes be equal or nearly equal to current taxes. Those payments benefit the city because they go straight to city coffers, and do not include paying school and county taxes.
“I’m focusing now on reworking the plan. I’ll leave worrying about the pilot for afterward,” Burakovsky said. “After review of final updated plans, I will send another application into city hall for another long-term abatement. I’m not sure about length.”
Council members weigh in
Third Ward Councilman Gary La Pelusa was one of the three who voted against Burakovsky’s 25-year abatement, and said he does not vote for longterm abatements on projects easily, unless they bring economic benefit to the city, such as jobs, or the cleanup of a contaminated site. He also does not like abatements because he feels they cheat the Board of Education.
“The main thing is they’re unfair to taxpayers, who have to make up the difference of what the developers are not paying,” La Pelusa said.
Cotter said he would consider voting for a reworked site plan.
“I would definitely look at it again,” he said. “But he would have to go down in the abatement’s number of years. I look at every project separately.”
Burakovsky is also working on a 38-unit residential project at 14th Street and Broadway. He also intends to develop the land he owns at Fifth Street and Kennedy Boulevard into multiple dwellings.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.