The Bayonne City Council approved a measure that will allow the city to purchase a $900,000 parking lot that will be the site of 140 new residential units, among other things.
A vacant lot in Bayonne on Broadway between 19th and 21st Streets has been identified as a $400,000 revenue generator by City Business Administrator Joe DeMarco at last night’s meeting.
DeMarco first explained how 426-428 Broadway became the key location.
“So you have a section of broad between 19 & 21st Street that has an old vacant lot that was M & M’s for 30 years, you have an underused parking lot behind it and you have an old Housing Authority, that whole area generates $24 – $25k a year in tax revenue. So what do we do?”
According to DeMarco, the parking lot that sits directly behind lot 426-428 Broadway has been purchased by the city and Ingerman Development Company will purchase this parking lot, and they also have a qualified to purchase the RFQ to the housing authority of which the developer can purchase the building for 700,000.
The Housing Authority can then utilize this money to create affordable senior housing somewhere else, he said.
The city will purchase the vacant lot for $900,000 of UEZ money of which Ingerman will purchase a portion of that same lot for $400,000. This will go to back to the UEZ fund.
The purchase of this lot will create parking, a public park and space that the city can use for holiday events and pop up shops for local business such as a farmer’s market.
There will also be a development of 140 units with public and private parking spaces.
According to DeMarco, this development will generate $400,000 in revenue for the city within 2 years.
3rd Ward Councilman Gary La Pelusa challenged DeMarco on UEZ and the purchase of land.
“Purchasing the land opens up a whole new can of worms,” La Pelusa stated.
Referring to “the public perception” La Pelusa pointed out,“since we have all that money to buy a park maybe we have that money to buy a house that needs historic preservation.”
Bayonne City Council President Sharon Nadrowski explains that the public perception can be that we use tax payer money for this but it’s not, its UEZ money.”
Lara Schwager, Developer Principal for Ingerman Development also addressed City Council and explained how their intentions are on the fast track.
“Our goal is to be back before the planning board before January of next year and from there our goal is to be on the ground by next summer.”
During the vote of final passage, Councilman-at-Large Juan Lopez referred to the questions and accusations on social media regarding DeMarco’s intention behind the purchase of lot 426-428 Broadway.
“Mr. DeMarco, do you have or any of your family members have any interests in the entity of the selling of this property in the City of Bayonne?” he asked.
“No, not in the sale, development, purchase or construction,” replied DeMarco.
The vote was 4-1, with La Pelusa voting against the purchase.