More than a paper street

Two developers need same piece of property off Avenue A

Doing away with a street that exists only on paper may put the Bayonne City Council in a dilemma. Two developers have plans for the same street. One wants to take over the property for development along Avenue A. The other wants to use the street as a second access to what is called the A & P property.
The city council introduced an ordinance last month that would remove the street from its tax maps. But the developer of the A & P site has asked for the ordinance to be tabled in order to pursue possibly opening the street as a public right of way.
The council is poised to vote to approve the ordinance at its April 20 meeting.
Called a paper street because it only exists on a map, the portion of West Sixth Street would extend from Avenue A west toward Newark Bay.
“We didn’t realize there was an issue until after we introduced the ordinance,” said Councilman Gary La Pelusa. “Mr. [James] Dugan approached us after the vote to tell us that he would need the street in order to move ahead with plans to develop the A & P site.”
The problem is that another developer, Alessi company, apparently also needs the property in order to continue development along another portion of Avenue A. Alessi currently owns the site of the former Brass Foundry, alongside of which the paper street runs.
“We understand that Alessi needs the property, too,” LaPelusa said. “Mr. Dugan has asked for us to table the ordinance. Normally, we would do that as a courtesy. I’m going to try and table it at the next meeting in order go give time for the two developers to come to some kind of an agreement.”

What’s planned

The four-acre A&P site includes the former supermarket, a strip mall, and a large parking lot. One plan would couple this property with waterfront area that includes the former foundations of a Central Railroad bridge.
“Mr. Dugan wants to build two large towers for senior citizens on the waterfront,” La Pelusa said. “I think there would be low-rise residential and some retail on the A&P property. Considering the future of Bayonne, the senior housing would be a good idea.”
The A&P store closed in 2012 as did most of the retail stores in the strip mall on the same property. A fitness center, Laundromat, and liquor store still operate on the property.
Last year, the city council voted to approve the A&P property as well as the Brass Foundry property as an area in need of redevelopment for a total of 19 acres.
The Brass Foundry still has several dilapidated buildings and rusted equipment on several parcels of land. Contamination would have to be cleaned up before it could be developed. The A&P site was remediated prior to the construction of the mall. So it would likely be ready for development sooner than the Brass Foundry site, according to a report done for the city last year.
Both sites are within walking distance of the 8th Street Hudson Bergen Light Rail station, making them extremely desirable for residential development.


“We didn’t realize there was an issue until after we introduced the ordinance.”– Gary La Pelusa

Residential and retail

In its redevelopment plan for the area, the supermarket site with its associated waterfront would be suitable for high-rise residential development, 12 stories or less, with low-rise residential development nearer to Avenue A, the city said.
The waterfront area would also accommodate a public walkway, and the foundation for the former rail bridge could easily accommodate a recreational pier jutting into Newark Bay.
The Brass Foundry site, under this plan, would become retail sales and services that would attract customers from the residential development as well as highway traffic off Route 440. The developer, Alessi, previously constructed South Cove Mall, an early cornerstone for redevelopment along Route 440 on the eastern side of Bayonne. Local officials see a new mall as a key piece in anchoring development along Avenue A and Newark Bay.
Redevelopment of this area could also spark additional redevelopment on the former Best Foods site just south on Newark Bay.
By doing away with the paper street, the city council would expand the footprint for the Brass Foundry redevelopment.
But the Dugan development on the A & P site needs the paper street made into a real street to provide better access to the property. Currently there is only one way into the property off a very convoluted intersection of North Street, Eighth Street, and Avenue A. Extending Sixth Street to Newark Bay, the city would create the foundation of a street grid that would allow easier access.
“I can see why Mr. Dugan would want the street open,” La Pelusa said, acknowledging that pedestrians would have a difficult time walking from the property as it currently is. “I want to give both developers time to work this out,” La Pelusa said. “Perhaps we can find another alternative for the A&P property if they can’t.”

Al Sullivan may be reached at

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