N.J. Turnpike Authority using eminent domain to acquire Bayonne’s Marist land for $31.1M


The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is using eminent domain to acquire the former Marist High School land for $31,100,000, court documents of the proceedings show.

Marist High School. Photo via Yelp.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

A 128-page court filing in Hudson County Superior Court’s Law Division, containing mostly legalese, quietly surfaced on April 15th, indicating that the NJPA would obtain 1241 John F. Kennedy Blvd. via condemnation.

” … The total just compensation for the taking of the Property is Thirty-One Million One Hundred Thousand and 00/100THS ($31,100,000) dollars, which is no less than the fair market value for the fee simple interest to be acquired in the Property, as appraised, and the written offer made to the owner of record,” the declaration of taking by the NJTA says.

The roughly 9.53 acres of land were previously owned by 1241 JFK Boulevard IPX LLC (title owner, subsidiary of the Alessi Organization), Blue Circle Advisors, LLC (lien holder), and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), who had a potential tidelands claim for the property.

In a December 5th, 2023 letter, Maurice Stack, the vice president of Stack, Coolahan & Stack, real property valuation and property tax consulting firm, said the property was purchased for $11.4 million by the LLC on December 17th, 2021.

“My investigation revealed that this conveyance does not reflect the byproduct of an arm’s length; market value transaction deemed instructive for appraisal purposes,” he wrote.

Stack also recommended the highest and best use to be the development of an 864-unit, “multi-family rental project comprised of 3-6 story buildings and associated parking structures in accordance with the concept plans developed by Dresdner Robin.”

The same day, counsel for the NJTA sent a letter to counsel for 1241 JFK Boulevard IPX LLC making an offer for $31,100,000 and no additional correspondence between the two parties was included in the filing.

Attorneys for both sides did not return inquiries seeking comment on Tuesday.

The declaration of taking has been signed and Hudson County Superior Court Assignment Judge Jeffrey Jablonski has assigned a judgement hearing for August 1st.

In March of last year, the New Jersey Comptroller’s Office alleged in a lawsuit that the City of Bayonne ignored an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request, and later a subpoena, about the Marist High School sale.

On February 16th, 2022, the Bayonne City Council approved a redevelopment plan for the Marist High School property.

Then-City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski, who was running for mayor at the time, asked if they should be voting for something that is under investigation.

“There is an ongoing investigation of the state into the city’s handling of this matter. I know that a number of city officials have been contacted by a state office and have been asked questions and told of an investigation going on,” Nadrowski asserted at the time.

Law Director Jay Coffey replied that the Law Department had not received any correspondence about an investigation, only an anonymous letter that was sent to city officials, the U.S. Attorney General, and the Office of the State Comptroller.

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  1. Really??? A piece of property purchased for $11.4 million just over 2 years ago is now worth $31.1 million???? And by eminent domain no less. Something stinks here.