Bayonne is officially booming, according to a recent article in the New York Post, confirming what many residents already knew with hard facts and numbers on past, present, and future developments. Bayonne’s Business Administrator, Joe DeMarco, projects 1,000 residential units will be under construction this year and 2,000-3,000 additional apartments will be constructed in the next five to six years. “For a small little city, it’s humming,” Mr. DeMarco said.
Bayonne, population 65,000, is the southernmost city along New Jersey’s Gold Coast and boasts easy access to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and New York City views, but Bayonne has suffered the effects of the economic downturn more than most as well as legal battles and financial troubles.
The first major sign of Bayonne’s reversal of fortune is the massive redevelopment of the Military Ocean Terminal. Located on a man-made, 130-acre peninsula and once both an Army and Navy base, it has been closed since 1999 and was sold to the Port Authority in 2010 for $235 million because Bayonne needed the money. The sale killed a redevelopment plan that proposed 6,700 apartments on the site.
But redevelopment is underway again as multiple developers plan to break ground this year on residential projects that will offer stunning City views and potentially unrivaled access if talks between Bayonne and the Port Authority continue and they establish ferry service from the Terminal to Staten Island and Manhattan.
JMF Properties is developing a project that will bring a few hundred rentals and 250,000 square feet of retail to market–negotiations with Costco are ongoing. Kushner Real Estate Group is also developing an 825-unit residential project with 12,000 square feet of retail. And Atlantic Realty will develop 525 garden-style apartments. Bayonne also plans to connect the Military Ocean Terminal to the 34th Street Light Rail station via a pedestrian bridge over Route 440.
Residential projects have been popping up across Bayonne beyond the Terminal, too. SilkLofts, opened in 2014, is a cool conversion of the Maidenform Brassiere Company developed by Doug Stern. The 85 rentals are luxe lofts (priced from $1,600 to $3,200) with exposed original brick and beams and definitely signaled a shift to Brooklyn-by-way-of-Bayonne living.
19 East on Broadway, Bayonne’s Main Street, developed by Ingerman will offer 138 rentals by summer 2018 and hotel-like amenities–a yoga studio, game room, and two roof decks–starting at $1,500 for a studio up to $2,200 for a two bedroom. Also, Skye Development is constructing three rental buildings: Hudson Flats at 304 Broadway, Skye Lofts South at 250 Avenue E, and Skye Lofts North at 262 Avenue E, bringing over two hundred rentals online at similar price points.
Rents are cheaper in Bayonne, averaging around $1,800 for a one bedroom and $2,200-$3,000 for a two bedroom. Older housing stock is also available for less–a single-family home sells for about half the Gold Coast average at $400,000.
Bayonne is “reminiscent of Jersey City maybe 10 years ago, when there was more opportunity. It’s gotten tougher or more expensive to build elsewhere, and we wanted to look for opportunities and places that are on the rise. Bayonne definitely fits that,” said Ingerman Development Principal Geoffrey Long. Bayonne is definitely booming, but with a shout-out in the New York Post, it seems like it has already arrived.