The Bayonne City Council approved a 30-year tax abatement with Parkview Realty Urban Renewal, LLC at Wednesday evening’s meeting.
The decision came after a long delegation between the public and the council, which led to a 4-1 vote with 3rd Ward Councilman Gary La Pelusa voting against the tax abatement.
While the developer agreed to contribute $200,000 to the city, according to Bayonne Business Administrator Joe DeMarco, some residents remained displeased over the prospect of another long-term abatement.
“All of us are taxpayers. Take it off our backs tonight. Set the precedent tonight…I don’t have an issue with 25 [-year abatements], I have an issue with 30,” said Mike Morris, a frequent speaker at council meetings.
The recently approved Block 445 development, located on Avenue F between 23rd and 24th Street – near the 22nd St. Light Rail Station – will add a six-story, 180-residential unit building to the city.
“These buildings are being built with the hope that people out of town will live in here. They’re not necessarily for the people who live in that area,” said La Pelusa.
Agreeing with the public, La Pelusa also suggested granting tax abatements with a maximum of 15 to 20 years would suffice as a more than adequate incentive for developers.
“We’ve already given out well over 20 of these,” said La Pelusa referring to the 26 tax abatements given out during the Mayor Jimmy Davis’ administration.
“I wasn’t for the residential abatements in the past either.”
Council President Sharon Nadrowski explained why she was in favor of the abatement, calling it a lifeline an underutilized empty lot, which has been that way for over 30 years, generating no revenue during that time.
City resident Melanie Flora, who often speaks out against new developments, suggested a compromise by eliminating units from the development to appease the 75 percent of residents who said they preferred a property that is just five stories high.
“The 180-unit proposal happens to stand on the smallest streets in Bayonne … My question is, who would benefit the most by granting the abatement on the property? The builder? The developer? Certainly not the residents,” said Flora.
“The fact is the majority of the Bayonne residents could not even afford the high rentals that the project would be asking for. It’s of no interest to them,” said Flora, also noting future traffic noise would increase significantly if the property was built.