Though its northern neighbor gets all the attention, development in the Peninsula City is not too far behind. A number of projects are currently under construction with the most ambitious residing on the former Military Ocean Terminal.
Development on the long underutilized peninsula is no accident, but rather by design. The City of Bayonne took ownership of the 430-acre property in 2000 after the terminal closed. Since then, the city has sold off various portions to developers.
“This property was given to the City over 18 years ago and has remained vacant since that time, not paying any taxes or creating any economic activity, but that all changes now,” Mayor Jimmy Davis said in a statement last spring announcing one of the sales.
To further incentivize this new wave of development, the city is using long term tax abatements. Proponents say these abatements help reduce the unknown tax risk which helps finance projects during the construction phase.
Recently, the city did just that, and a 25-year tax abatement was awarded to a proposed project at the Military Ocean Terminal site. The city council voted unanimously — telling of the council’s sentiment — to approve the abatement for a massive 1,100-unit project.
Referenced in legal documents as 50 Flagship Street in a new neighborhood to be called “Harbor Station South,” the project proposes “construction of up to five (5) separate 11-13 stories residential buildings with approximately 1,080 apartments to be constructed in phases along with the necessary site improvements.”
The company behind the project, legally known as Mahalaxmi Bayonne Urban Renewal, LLC, is owned by Jersey City-based developer Raj Gupta.
Gupta acquired a portion of the site from the City of Bayonne early last year at a cost of $500,000 per acre. At the time, the plan was to construct a 97-unit mixed-use building on the site. However, with the acquisition of neighboring parcels, the project plan appears to have expanded.
Neighboring projects on the peninsula have already broken ground, including a mixed-use development that will bring a Costco along with 651 residential units.