Jersey City Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley hosted a community meeting regarding a potential new development at 311 Ocean Ave. last night.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
The meeting was held at the Dr. Maya Angelou Elementary School that is just down the street at 239 Ocean Ave.
Ridley explained that Angelo Beskaly, of John and Maryann LLC, wants to redevelop the old Entenmann’s Florist site near the Bayview cemetery that has been vacant for years. Beskaly said he has built 500 homes through the city, including Greenville.
“I’m looking to do a minimum of 60 units,” he said of his latest endevor, adding that about 30 percent would be one-bedroom unit and 70 percent would be two-bedroom units.
“Would they be affordable housing?” resident Jack Pestaner asked.
“I will give some. Like 10 percent,” Beskaly replied.
He explained the first floor of parking spots would be large due to the unique shape of the property.
“That’s more than anyone in the whole city,” chimed in former Jersey City Mayor Jerry McCann.
He noted he is working for the city as an internal auditor and also previously represented the neighborhood on the council before becoming mayor.
From there, Ridley noted parking is a problem for everyone and is generally supportive of projects that have a 1:1 ratio.
“I encourage people to do 1:1 parking. I don’t know if we can fit 60. But I’m hoping it can work there,” she explained, noting that parking spots are for residents only and come at an additional cost.
Beskaly interjected that the building would be six floors and about 64 feet high, as well as that they were considering putting a gym inside.
“Would you commit to not adding cell towers?” Pestaner asked.
“Sure,” Angelo Beskaly’s son and deputy, John Beskaly, answered.
McCann noted this has caused issues at another nearby building, 248 Garfield Ave., since the roof is full of electrical equipment.
Later, Pestaner asked whether they were seeking a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT), which he said would be a burden for taxpayers. However, Ridley said that was not part of the plan.
“They’re not doing that anymore,” McCann added, blaming large companies who appeal tax burdens and winning as the reason property taxes on are the rise.
Angelo Beskaly said he isn’t inclined to raise rents greatly, indicating he would rather have tenants stay and pay a slight increase versus having empty units for months.
“Do you plan to put in any elevators?” asked Combined Warner Ave. Block Association President Rosalyn Waters Maxwell.
“Of course. You’re supposed to,”Angelo Beskaly replied in the affirmative.
“Will you hire any laborers from the community?” another audience member who declined to give their name asked.
“I have 40 guys working for me from the community for 20, 25 years I have worked with them since ‘84,” Angelo Beskaly added, with McCann pointing out he has an office in the Heights.
Pestaner then asked if the project would require a variance, to which Ridley said she was going to check.
“We’ve been working on the Planning Board to … extend the Ocean Ave south development plan,” she added.
“It would be really nice to see something nice go there,” Pestaner said.
Ridley continued that the development is not on the planning board agenda yet, but when it is, those who live nearby would be noticed and a second public meeting would be held.