Bayonne’s Local Redevelopment Authority has given the go-ahead to the redevelopment of the Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne (MOTBY), a 430-acre, two-mile long peninsula jutting into New York Harbor, and now to be known as The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor. In an October 5 vote, the Authority’s Board of Commissioners approved the first four developer agreements for the site, which has been delineated into six distinct districts with specific land uses and densities:
- Harbor Station, which will consist of low- to mid-rise housing, office space, commercial space and civic facilities
- Bayonne Bay, which will feature low- and mid-rise housing with views of the South Cove and an adjacent golf course
- The Landing, which will have a water transit docking facility surrounded by a commercial and entertainment area with shops, stores and restaurants as well as a residential section with mid-rise housing
- The Loft District, which will be converted to hip loft-style housing units adjacent to the ferry landing with views of lower New York Harbor, the Verrazano Bridge and golf course
- Bayonne Point, which features the Cape Liberty cruise port, plus planned uses such as marinas for private boats to dock, seaside entertainment, cultural and retail venues and high-rise residential and office buildings
- The Maritime Industrial District, which will be transformed into a state-of-the-art deep-sea port with a design that is expected to rival the world’s leading ports. Already Royal Caribbean has signed a long-term agreement and established a homeport at The Peninsula. After two years of operation the Bayonne cruise terminal (known as Cape Liberty) ranks second in passenger volume among Northeast and mid-Atlantic ports.
The Board authorized its executive director, Nancy Kist, to sign agreements with:
Fidelco Bayonne Realty to develop Harbor Station North. The project will include 447 new residences—flats, townhouses and “stacked” townhouses as well as 10,000 square feet of retail space. (This location is a convenient walk to the Hudson Bergen Light Rail 45th Street station.)
- Bayonne Bay Developers, LLC to construct more than 700 condos and 500 townhouses on 25 acres in the Bayonne Bay section. The work will take place in five phases and develop 11 blocks.
- Boraie Development, LLC to develop the majority of the Landing District—the peninsula’s meeting place with retail, entertainment and leisure activities near the water. The plan also calls for about 600 residential units as well as hotel space.
- Taylor Real Estate Development Corp, LLC to redevelop 14 acres within the Landing District and part of the Loft District. In the Loft District, Taylor will refashion two bomb-proof buildings to house both residential and commercial space. The reuse of the buildings was deemed essential as demolition would cost millions. The developer anticipates that this adaptive reuse will allow the units to reach the market quickly.
The Board also decided to authorize a letter of agreement setting parameters for the transfer of Harbor Station South. This area will accommodate the main commercial area of the Peninsula and will be connected to the Hudson Bergen Light Rail 34th Street station via a new pedestrian walkway over Route 440. A new road, Center Street, will divide Harbor Station South and serve as a retail corridor leading to the “Town Square” public space and the waterfront beyond.
Tying together all of these districts and future developments are excellent transportation options: The Hudson Bergen Light Rail 45th and 34th Street stations anchor the west entrances to the project; a proposed ferry terminal is slated for The Landing district; and, existing access is available to major highway connectors—Route 440, the New Jersey Turnpike and the Bayonne Bridge to Staten Island. In addition, there is streetcar service proposed along the length of the peninsula whenever population and visitor levels can support it. Until then, developers will be required to fund a shuttle service that takes residents to and from the 34th Street light rail station (or pedestrian overpass when built) and any ferry landing that becomes operational.
The plan for The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor has already gathered numerous awards:
- Award for Engineering Excellence—American Council of Engineering Companies of New Jersey, 2006
- Achievement in Planning Award—New Jersey Planning Officials (NJPO), 2005
- Outstanding Comprehensive Planning Award—New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association (NJAPA), 2005
- Smart Growth Award—New Jersey Future, 2005