Bayonne Could ‘Suspend Affordable Housing Requirements’ for 1,500+ Unit Development

Malakshmi Goldsborough Urban Renewal Bayonne Affordable Houseing
Military Ocean Terminal, Bayonne. Image via Google/Maps.

Elected officials in Bayonne could decide this week on whether to approve a financial agreement with one of the developers of the former Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne (MOTBY) site off of Route 440 in the city.

The Bayonne City Council is scheduled to vote during its meeting on Wednesday, June 19 at 7:00 pm on an ordinance that would grant a long-term tax exemption to Malakshmi Goldsborough Urban Renewal as part of the company’s plans to construct a massive complex near the corner of Chosin Few Way and Goldsborough Drive. The development is expected to include seven buildings containing nearly 1,600 units combined. Four of the buildings are slated to be 25 stories tall while three would be 12 stories tall, according to the ordinance.

Jersey Digs exclusively obtained a copy of a draft of the financial agreement through a public records request that we filed with the City of Bayonne. The deal reveals that no “affordable housing” is expected to be included in the development or off-site, with the agreement mentioning that “the City has undertaken a policy to encourage jobs, both construction-related and permanent, and has determined to suspend certain affordable housing requirements in furtherance of such policy.”

Despite recent controversy over tax exemptions in neighboring Jersey City, the ordinance states that for this project, “the City Council finds that the requested tax exemptions will benefit the City and its inhabitants by furthering the redevelopment of the property which had remained underutilized and in disrepair for many years, and that the benefits would substantially outweigh the costs, if any, associated with the tax exemptions.” The developer is instead expected to pay a service charge for 25 to 30 years.

Each of the seven buildings would include 1,500 square feet of retail space under the current proposal. Four of the structures would include 260 apartments each while Building 5 would feature 222, Building 6 would contain 180, and Building 7 would have 147.

The initial plan calls for the buildings to include five types of apartments, each named after locations in Manhattan. 500-square-foot studios would be referred to as “The Chelsea” and initially rent for $1,225 per month, while 750-square-foot one-bedroom one-bathroom units known as “The Soho” would cost $1,688 per month. Meanwhile, 808-square-foot units with two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms called “The Bryant” are expected to go for $1,818 per month while 900-square-foot apartments called “The Flatiron” would cost $2,025 per month and contain two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The most expensive units, each called “The Central,” would cost $2,200 per month but only contain one bedroom and one bathroom.

The net annual income for the development is currently estimated at over $18.5 million, according to the financial agreement with Malakshmi Goldsborough Urban Renewal, which covers a total of 1,589 units on the premises.

Last month, we reported that a firm called Mahalaxmi Bayonne Urban Renewal filed an application as part of its proposal to construct roughly 4,500 units along with 80,906 square feet of retail space and a 218-room hotel in the Harbor Station South Redevelopment Plan Area. Additionally, back in January, the Bayonne City Council voted to approve a tax exemption for Mahalaxmi Bayonne Urban Renewal in connection with a 1,080-unit development in the area.

It appears that this 1,589-unit proposal is different from the 1,080-unit and 4,500-unit MOTBY developments since although city records show that all three projects are being planned for Bayonne’s Block 751, each one is expected to largely be situated on different properties. The 1,589-unit project is planned for Lot 1.05 and a part of Lot 1.01, while the 1,080-unit development is expected to come to Lot 1.01 and a portion of Lot 1.04. Meanwhile, plans for the 4,500-unit complex call for the project to include Lot 1.04 and Lots 1.06 to 1.16.

Note to readers: The dates that matters are scheduled to be heard by the Bayonne City Council and other governing bodies are subject to change.



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