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

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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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17 COMMENTS

  1. NO affordable housing in a development of this size???? That is not right at all. I understand in really small developments it’s not financially viable to include affordable housing, but for something of this size it’s just unforgivable greed!

  2. O man. I’m glad there will be no affordable housing. Why should I work hard to purchase a property only to have its value depreciated because of low income housing. I work hard to buy I believe everyone needs to work hard to get something good in return. Low income properties are just a giveaway.

    • While I disagree that such units in these large developments lower nearby property values, I definitely agree that it is not the job of taxpayers and developers to have to subsidize low income units. If a developer wants to come in and build something like this, by all means let them. It will be an awesome project to revitalize and buildup a barren vacant area. With the amount of poverty still present in NJ urban (and even suburban areas), the goal should be to attract more wealth. Projects like this make that possible.

      • So we shouldn’t subsidize the poor but we should subsidize developers? The tax breaks Bayonne is offering this project is a subsidy. You pay your property taxes why shouldn’t this developer? All these people moving in are going to be using Bayonne services like roads, police and schools and you’ll be footing the bill for their free ride.

    • So you believe people who earn a lower income than you don’t work hard? They work just as hard if not more than most, but the job they do does not pay what yours does. And if they are in a service job which serves us in our neighborhood, you believe they should spend much of the lower income which they do earn on getting to where you are to serve us? Talk about the ultimate elitism! Essentially what affordable housing allows is for people who do not earn huge $ to actually live closer to where they work. Just because they earn less than us does not make them slovenly, uncaring or disrespectful of the place they live.

  3. 7k new units in one area, wow. Better get enough in those annual fees to build a new school and waste water treatment plant.

    • Nobody seems to address all the services needed to accommodate all these units for example police and fire departments also water and sewer and what about our outdated schools. I agree Bayonne needs to be revitalized but slow it down.

  4. I hope this gets approved. Bayonne needs that area to be developed. To be honest, these rates seem fairly affordable. $2,000 for a 2 bedroom is a fair deal for new construction. Bayonne is already one of the most affordable communities in North Jersey and entry-level 2 bedrooms start at about $1300. What we need is more units. Its supply and demand. In an extreme case supply outstrips demand and you had what detroit was before they decided to bulldoze their housing stock.

  5. this is effing disgusting. first of all, wayyyyy too many apartments. secondly, how can there be NO affordable housing? isn’t Bayonne’s pitch that they’re “affordable” ? the developers don’t care, they want their check and construction before the next inevitable crash in the next couple years.
    this is a clear move by the city to draw a line between the community. rich over here, poor over there.
    I can guarantee that they will include affordable housing because the demand isn’t what you think in Bayonne. places, such as the new one by Marist, struggle to lease.

  6. and the stupid, stupid idea to name buildings after parts of NY…just stop. it’s not cool, it’s not hip, it’s not trendy. it’s corny as hell. we aren’t NY.

  7. This is what happens when you have corrupt democrats running the city. A lot of people are moving of NJ and NY. Where do they think these people are going to come from? Do they plan to fill them with illegals? This deal has been fishy from the beginning. Not 1 Bayonne contractor got any of the jobs. The contractors are all from out of town.

    • I highly doubt an apartment complex charging these rates are going to be filled with illegals that are probably earning less that minimum wage. It’s targeting NYC commuters priced out of JC and Hoboken.

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