Jersey City seeking to terminate 2005 PILOT agreement with Beacon buildings

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The City of Jersey City is seeking to terminate a 2005 payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement (PILOT) with four of the six buildings at The Beacon complex after the developer defaulted on the deal.

The Beacon at 20 Beacon Way. Photo via streeteasy.com.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

This would be the third tax abatement to be terminated for noncompliance under Mayor Steven Fulop’s administration, which hasn’t granted a tax abatement via the city council since 2017.

“This is a message to any developer that thinks they can circumvent their obligations to our residents. Our Administration has moved the city away from the policies of previous mayors with regards to tax abatements,” Fulop said in a statement.

“We haven’t granted a tax abatement in well over three years, and yet, we’re seeing more widespread development, we’re incorporating more affordable housing, and we’re building new schools, libraries, parks, flood resiliency infrastructure, among countless other opportunities to the directly benefit our residents and community.”

As the recipient of four tax abatements for The Beacon Community, the developer, Baldwin Asset Associates Urban Renewal Company, receiving the economic development financial assistance has violated one of their obligations outlined in the PILOT.

Specifically, the city is accusing them of not retaining and providing appropriate employee records to ensure the workers receive adequate compensation, benefits, and paid leave, in accordance with municipal code.

As a a result, the city sent a Notice of Termination yesterday, Monday, November 30th.

“We have had numerous conversations with the Beacon and its counsel over the past several months attempting to rectify this issue. We have had zero compliance on their part in the matter, and so we’re moving forward with annulling the abatement,” added city Corporation Council Peter Baker.

Additionally, a source with knowledge of the situation told HCV that labor union 32BJ SEIU pushed for the agreement’s cancellation since they were working without being paid the wages required under the PILOT agreement.

The cancellation ordinance is expected to go before the city council for a first reading at their next meeting, scheduled for December 16th.