Bayonne Mayor Mark A. Smith announced that, of the many developers who attended the City-sponsored development seminar back in November, the City initially has selected three proposals to explore further. The developers have submitted detailed expressions of interest in redeveloping Harbor Station South, a 57-acre portion of the Peninsula at BayonneHarbor, the former Military Ocean Terminal. The proposals came in response to a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) that the City of Bayonne issued in December 2013. Mayor Smith said, “The development groups submitted an impressive array of proposals for the future of this prime waterfront area. When we announced the availability of the land in December, we sought exciting ideas from developers who would share our enthusiasm for Bayonne’s future. Over 75 developers attended a development seminar in November. We are very optimistic about the responses that we have received.” Six developers submitted comprehensive proposals including ideas for retail development, hotels, convention and conference centers, offices, a media center/lecture hall, healthcare/assisted living, public spaces, potential ferry service, and an icon museum.
Originally, developers faced a submission deadline of January 31, 2014 for Harbor Station South. In response to requests from developers for additional time, the City extended the deadline to February 29.
The Harbor Station South District of the Peninsula at BayonneHarbor is situated on New York Bay, and offers direct access to Route 440, the New Jersey Turnpike, the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, and the Cape Liberty Cruise Port. The area is in the southwestern corner of the Peninsula at BayonneHarbor.
According to the 21-page Request for an Expression of Interest (RFEI) issued in December 2013, the City of Bayonne “envisions the [Harbor Station South] District as a transit-oriented mixed-use development with a preference for retail and commercial development that includes amenities that complement the adjacent Royal Caribbean cruiseport operations, such as a luxury hotel and supporting retail services.” The RFEI encouraged respondents “to propose any or all of the following: mid-rise residential, commercial office, neighborhood and destination retail, hospitality services, and related parking consistent with the goals.” Those goals include: realizing the market value of the land at its highest and best use; generating tax ratables that benefit the community as a whole; contributing to temporary and permanent job creation for City residents; creating a “destination” location for residents, visitors, and tourists in the region; developing complementary uses and services for existing development and operations on the Peninsula; and creating a vibrant, exciting community experience that will attract high-end commercial and retail interest and enhance services on the Peninsula and in the City
The following is a summary of the six development groups and the proposals they submitted:
1.) The Bayonne Peninsula Ventures Group, a partnership between Bergstol Enterprises and the Cameron Group: The Bayonne Peninsula Ventures Group submitted a proposal that calls for 547,474 sq. ft. of retail businesses; two hotels; residential development; and potential ferry service.
2.) The Waitex Group, whose principals include Waitex, Gaw Capital, the Nan Fung Group, and the Shui On Group: The Waitex Group’s plans include 440,337 square feet of retail space; a 900-room luxury hotel and a 112,000 sq. ft. convention center; a 150-room Extended Stay Hotel; an icon museum; and a media center/lecture hall.
3.) JMF Properties and K. Hovnanian Homes: The submission from JMF Properties and K. Hovnanian includes 210,300 sq. ft. for retail businesses; a hotel with 100-120 rooms; residential areas featuring 210 rentals, 136 stacked townhomes, and 60 condominiums; a healthcare/assisted living facility; and public spaces.
4.) DeBartolo Development and Advance Realty: DeBartolo Development and Advance Realty submitted a proposal for 440,000 sq. ft. of retail businesses; 900 residential units and 100 townhomes; a hotel with 350-plus rooms; an 80,000 sq. ft. conference center; and public spaces.
5.) Somerset Development, LLC: Somerset Development, LLC has proposed 131,500 sq. ft. of retail/office development; 566 luxury rentals; and 241 townhomes.
6. The Richmond Company: The Richmond Company’s plans include 370,000 sq. ft. of retail businesses; a hotel with 150-200 rooms; 400-500 residential rental units; and public spaces.
Initially, three of the development groups were asked to prepare video presentations of their plans for showing on BAY-TV, the City of Bayonne’s cable station, which is on Cablevision Channel 78 and Verizon Fios Channel 42. Cable television viewers will be able to see videos made by the Bayonne Peninsula Ventures Group, the Waitex Group, and DeBartolo Development/Advance Realty. Videos will air continuously.
The City plans to conduct interviews with selected developers, and will make a conditional designation for development later in the spring.
Questions and comments on the development proposals are welcome via e-mail at HarborStationSouth@gmail.com.