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  1. #31
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    Angry Bayonne voids PA

    Bayonne voids $50M port deal; P.A. may sue

    Saturday, November 03, 2007
    By RONALD LEIR
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
    Now the lawyers get involved.

    After spending five hours behind closed doors with special counsel Joseph Baumann, the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority commissioners voted unanimously Thursday night to cancel a $50.5 million land sale with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

    The commissioners said they'd "reconsider the contract at a subsequent meeting" but that they'd also evaluate proposals submitted by three rival groups.

    A Port Authority spokesman said the bi-state agency may sue the BLRA.

    In a four-page resolution voted on at about 11 p.m., the BLRA said the action it took at a special meeting on Sept. 20 to sell about 90 acres of the so-called Maritime District at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor to the Port Authority for development as a "roll-on/roll-off" car port was void because it was done at a meeting that was "in violation of the Open Public Meetings Act."

    Port Authority spokesman Marc La Vorgna said the agency was "very surprised" because "we have a signed contract" and that it would "consider whatever legal means is appropriate in moving forward with that contract."

    "I can't rule out a lawsuit," he added.

    La Vorgna said one of the other bidders, PortsAmerica - a subsidiary of AIG Global Investment Co. - was trying to make an end-run around the BLRA's land use restriction on container ports by raising its offer from $75 million to $90 million.

    "At $90 million, that number has to be for a container terminal," La Vorgna said.

    PortsAmerica President Stephen Edwards responded: "We're looking forward to meeting with the BLRA to pursue our plan to run a roll-on/roll-off facility for the import/export of cars."

    Baumann, the BLRA counsel, said that he hopes to review all the materials so as to prepare a recommendation for the commissioners, possibly in time for their Nov. 15 meeting.

  2. #32

    Default

    In the Region | New Jersey
    Coming Soon: Affordable Views

    PAST IN THE PRESENT A view of Broad Street captures the painted-brick library, which started as a bank a century ago.
    By ANTOINETTE MARTIN
    Published: November 18, 2007

    BAYONNE
    NOW here’s something different: condominiums that will offer panoramic water views, clubhouse amenities, adjacent parks, and ferry or train commutes to Manhattan, but are not characterized by their developer as “ultraluxury.”

    They are not going to be ultraexpensive, either: the Hudson Bay Club here, which has sales opening in January, plans to ask under $300,000 for one-bedroom units, and start in the mid-$300,000s for two- or three-bedroom condos. The condos are on the Newark Bay side of Bayonne, where a modest revitalization has taken hold over the last few years.

    The city, once an industrial powerhouse, is pinning dreams of a more expansive makeover on the other side of its peninsula, facing New York City. There, it plans to redevelop a huge former naval base; builders have already been chosen for projects that are to create a total of 6,700 housing units, 750 hotel rooms, 340,000 square feet of retailing, 465,000 square feet of cultural space, and 242,000 square feet of civic space.

    The scale of the project is even more massive than what has taken place in neighboring Jersey City and Hoboken.

    But city authorities estimate that transforming Bayonne in such fashion could take 15 to 30 years. In the interim, small-scale progress is occurring on the city’s west side, where public improvements have attracted private developers.

    Near the Hudson Bay Club condo site, there is a new wetlands park with a biking trail, and a boardwalk meandering through a marshy area. Also, a “pocket park” was created on the tip of the point of land where construction vehicles are now busily at work, preparing the property for construction. And the city has spruced up and polished a beautiful older park, the rambling Stephen R. Gregg.

    The Hudson-Bergen light rail system has been extended, providing a connection to Jersey City’s PATH trains to Manhattan.

    The Hudson Bay Club’s builder, Baker Residential, a company based in Pleasantville, N.Y., that likes to focus on “urban infill” projects with waterside access, has already completed two condo projects not far away in its Newark Bay-side development.

    The first, in 2004, was the Boatworks, a community of 160 town homes built on the site where John F. Kennedy’s World War II PT-109 was assembled and launched; a refurbished marina there now berths private crafts.

    Next came Bay Harbor Club, 31 condos in a four-story building right on the bay; the project went up on what had been an empty acre sandwiched between houses in a long-established neighborhood.

    The Bay Harbor building served as a model for the five condo structures that will rise at Hudson Bay Club, housing a total of 158 units, said Clark D. Atwood, Baker’s general manager in New Jersey.

    The elevator-equipped buildings all have abundant windows and balconies, and assigned parking spaces in an underground garage.

    It took longer than expected to get the Hudson Bay Club project under way because of an arduous cleanup of chromium-contaminated soil that had to be completed by the former landowner, Honeywell International, Mr. Atwood said. State environmental authorities certified that the land was safe several months ago, he added.

    The Hudson Bay Club condos, which are offered in 27 different floor plans, will range in size from 1,000 to 1,700 square feet, he said. The penthouse units will have two levels.

    Mimicking what has become routine in buildings in Gold Coast communities, the Hudson Bay clubhouse will offer a fitness center, an entertainment hall, a kitchen and an outdoor pool. Each building will also have its own landscaped terrace.

    In the first two projects, Mr. Atwood added, many of the buyers could not have afforded the same lifestyle in Hoboken and Jersey City, but were able to secure it “one train stop further down the line.”

    The water views on the western side of Bayonne are quite dissimilar to the eastern ones: busy shipping docks instead of open river; the Bayonne and Vincent R. Casciano bridges instead of the George Washington and Verrazano-Narrows; the skyline of Newark, rather than New York.

    On the other hand, what separates the two sides is only about half a dozen blocks.

    The ferry terminal is on the river side, at the site of the as-yet-unstarted, more massive redevelopment, as is a Royal Caribbean Cruises home port established three years ago. “Water, water, everywhere,” Mr. Atwood said. “Bayonne has some unique water views — very busy, very intriguing and very affordable.”

  3. #33
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    Thumbs up Bayonne To Go Dutch

    BMUA wants to harness power of the wind

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    The Peninsula City could become the Windmill City. The Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority is asking the New Jersey Clean Energy Program to consider funding a wind turbine to provide electrical power to its Oak Street pump station and other power-dependent facilities.

    BMUA Executive Director Steve Gallo said the agency would look to sell surplus power back to Public Service Electric & Gas.

    "We're spending between $40,000 and $60,000 a month now on electricity," Gallo said.

    Consultants' estimates put the cost of building the turbine at $1.2 million to $1.5 million, Gallo said. "Our energy savings would have to exceed the debt service in paying off the construction costs for this project to make sense," he said.

    Gallo said the turbine and 250-foot-high windmill pole could be operational in about a year.

    "It's supposed to be quieter than a truck driving by," Gallo said.

    In other business, Gallo said the BMUA would be testing a chemical product from Engineers Plus, of Richmond, Va., designed to disinfect raw sewage discharged during heavy storms at the city's combined sewer overflow sites throughout Bayonne.

    RONALD LEIR

  4. #34
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    Arrow Irwin goes out for the count

    Building down; project still on

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007
    By RONALD LEIR
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    A longtime midtown Bayonne department store, sold four months ago to a redeveloper who planned to convert it to office space, is now a pile of rubble after the city concluded it was unsafe and had to be torn down.

    But the development team, Bayonne Medical Realty LLC, of Fort Lee, which acquired the three-story corner building in August for $1.9 million, remains committed to going forward with its original project.

    Problems surfaced Friday at Irwin's Discount Department Store, 22nd Street and Broadway, when a contractor was in the process of gutting its interior. A city permit had been issued Nov. 2 for $50,000 worth of work.

    City spokesman Joseph Ryan said city Construction Code Official Michael Feuer was called to the site after a front supporting column split. Ryan said bricks in the column started to loosen when a contractor removed a Masonite "peg board" from a wall.

    An architect and a structural engineer retained by Bayonne Medical Realty were sent to the building and they arranged to prop up the building that night, Ryan said.

    But on Saturday the structural engineer noticed that the front of the building had begun to bow and, after consulting with Feuer, it was decided that "the safest thing to do was to take down the building," Ryan said.

    The structure was demolished Saturday and the cleanup continued into yesterday. The Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority and PSE&G sent in crews to shut off utilities and police blocked off Broadway at 21st and 23rd streets and barricaded access to 22nd Street from Avenue E.

    The city designated Irwin's and the adjacent three-story Carvel building at 478 Broadway as "an area in need of redevelopment" in January 2006 and Bayonne Medical Realty eventually bought the Irwin's property. The store had been operating for the past 50 years.

    Dr. Robert Federman, a Newark dentist and the managing partner of Bayonne Medical Realty, said yesterday that while the demolition "is a real tragedy for us," the developers, nonetheless, "intend to build a 12,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art medical building with dental and medical offices to serve the community of Bayonne."

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    Exclamation PANYNJ sues Peninsula City

    Port Authority sues Bayonne agency over waterfront deal

    by the Associated Press Monday November 26, 2007, 8:28 PM

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today sued a redevelopment agency in Bayonne, asserting that the local group cannot scrap a $50.5 million deal for the bistate agency to purchase waterfront property for a "roll-on/roll-off" car port.

    The Port Authority seeks a court order upholding a contract it reached in September with the Bayonne agency to acquire a 153-acre parcel for a future auto marine terminal and other maritime-related uses, according to the lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court for Hudson County.

    The Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority voted Nov. 1 to void the deal, saying that it did not place enough ads to legally advertise the September meeting when it approved the deal. The local authority also said it received a higher bid of $90 million from Iselin-based Ports America, which is owned by AIG Global Investment Group.

    In response to the lawsuit, John F. Coffey II, general counsel for the Bayonne agency, said, "We believe that the BLRA was within its rights to act as it did."

    The land at issue is part of the former Military Ocean Terminal, a 437-acre site previously operated by the U.S. Army as a dry dock and supply base. In 1995, the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission designated the military facility for closure, and it was later transferred to Bayonne for redevelopment.

  6. #36
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    Lightbulb Bayonne to Sell to Get Shopping Center

    BLRA to sell $30M in bonds

    Saturday, December 08, 2007
    By RONALD LEIR
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    The Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority is preparing to issue $30 million in bonds to finance infrastructure and some clean-up work for the "Bayonne Crossing" shopping center project off Route 440.

    BLRA Executive Director Nancy Kist said she may ask commissioners to convene a special meeting next week so the BLRA can appear before the state Local Finance Board on Dec. 12 to seek the board's approval to float the bonds.

    Kist said neither the city nor the BLRA would be on the hook for the debt service.

    "The city has a PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreement with the developer, Cameron Bayonne LLC, and a portion of the PILOT payment stream goes to pay off the bonds," Kist said. Last month, the BLRA commissioners signed a redeveloper's agreement with Cameron, which hopes to begin construction early next year.

    Cameron has yet to announce its roster of retail tenants for the site.

    In the meantime, environmental clean-up work is to proceed at the lot. ExxonMobil will pay for most of this clean-up, which will be monitored by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

  7. #37
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    Arrow PortsAmerica To Move Into Peninsula!

    Firefighters to leave Peninsula

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007
    By RONALD LEIR
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    City fire rigs are giving way to private cars.

    Bayonne will be vacating a city firehouse at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor to make room for an automotive marine terminal in the Peninsula's Maritime District, to be operated by PortsAmerica Group, officials said.

    Yesterday, the Fire Department busied itself moving some lockers, supplies and miscellaneous items from the Peninsula firehouse as a first step in preparing for the structure's eventual demolition. There are six pieces of fire apparatus in the building.

    Plans are being formulated now to set up what acting Fire Chief Patrick Boyle called a "temporary facility" at another Peninsula site in or near the Harbor Station District, closer to Route 440, where the master plan for the Peninsula envisioned placement of a firehouse.

    Eventually, a "permanent" firehouse is to be built in the Harbor Station District, Boyle said.

    Nancy Kist, executive director of the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority, which owns the Peninsula land, said: "I'm trying to get the property sold so, the firehouse and anybody who's a tenant in the Maritime District will have to leave."

    The BLRA commissioners voted Nov. 26 to sell more than 90 acres to PortsAmerica for $90 million to develop as a "roll-on/roll-off" automotive cargo facility, but the closing on the property isn't expected until the end of January.

    Kist said there are "maybe a dozen paying tenants," including McCabe Ambulance and independent trucking firms, who will have to be relocated elsewhere on the Peninsula, along with the firehouse. Also in the way is Building 74 - an old Army structure - which houses equipment and supplies from the city Public Works Department and from the city Parking Authority, she said.

    "It's not our intention to have (the firehouse) disappear from the base," Kist said. There will be some type of fire protection service needed at the Peninsula, she said.

    When MOTBY was still operating, the Army maintained its own fire department and built a firehouse at the base and when the base closed in 1999, Bayonne took over the fire service, even absorbing some of the Army firefighters.

    Boyle said the city is investigating what type of structure would be most appropriate as a temporary firehouse. "It might be like the bubble at the Giants' (Meadowlands) practice field or we might go with one of those pre-fab buildings," he said.

    Given that the BLRA wants the firefighters out by Jan. 31, Boyle said: "There's no way we could put up a permanent structure in that time - we'll have go out for an RFP (Request For Proposals) for a design-and-build plan." Boyle said he had no idea how much it would cost to put up either the temporary or permanent firehouse.

    In the meantime, Boyle said that the firefighters assigned to the Peninsula will continue working there as long as possible.
    Last edited by JCMAN320; December 12th, 2007 at 05:27 AM.

  8. #38
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    Arrow Proposed Shopping Center on Agenda

    Bayonne shopping center on BLRA agenda tomorrow

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    The Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority will meet in special session tomorrow night to consider issuing up to $30 million in PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) revenue bonds to support the proposed Bayonne Crossing shopping center off Route 440.

    The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers at City Hall, 630 Avenue C.

    BLRA officials have said that the $30 million is earmarked for utility infrastructure and some remediation required to deal with contaminated soil at the project site on the east side of the state highway off East 22nd Street.

    The commissioners will also be asked to authorize an amendment to the previously approved agreement with Cameron Bayonne that allows an industrial business in the project site to relocate to a BLRA-owned parcel in the old Standard Tank Redevelopment Area nearby.

    RONALD LEIR

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    Lightbulb Peninsula Starts To Develop

    Army releases deed to BLRA

    Thursday, December 13, 2007
    By RONALD LEIR
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    Five years after it transferred the former Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne to Bayonne, the Army has released the deed to certain portions of the 430-acre property where it had forbidden residential or recreational development because of soil contamination.

    But now - for the first time since the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority has controlled the land, and has since cleaned it up with the help of $11 million in federal money - the long-awaited conversion of the former military logistics base to a civilian mini-city can begin with construction of the first new housing units, said BLRA Executive Director Nancy Kist.

    Kist said that honor will go to Trammel Crow, a Morristown firm, slated to build 535 luxury rental apartments - including 16 "affordable" units - on two new city blocks that will be carved out of seven acres in the so-called "Bayonne Bay District" at what is now known as the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor.

    "They should be ready to put a shovel in the ground within 30 to 45 days," Kist said.


    Kist said the Army issued the deed documents last Thursday.

    Asked why the Army waited until now to release the deed - after the BLRA had completed the remediation work by the end of 2004 - Kist said: "They wanted to proceed carefully because they wanted to make sure that any future users of the property realized that the Army was still responsible for any contamination that remains."

    But Kist said the chances of developers disturbing any of the sub-surface toxins which have been either removed or capped over were slim because the BLRA is "raising the land's elevation, from two to nine feet, to get it out of a flood plain." And, if needed, she said the BLRA will arrange for "engineering controls" to ensure that no environmentally compromised soil is disturbed.

    It remains to be seen how the BLRA will deal with the Trammel Crow contractor doing pile-driving to create the foundation for the two four-story buildings that will house the new apartments, plus a parking deck, and a clubhouse.

    Kist said that Trammel Crow has already plunked down $18 million for the right to build at the Peninsula.

    How much real estate taxes will be paid for the property has yet to be calculated, she said.

    Trammel Crow has paid the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority a $1.5 million water connection fee to allow for water and sewer utilities to be installed at the site, according to BMUA Executive Director Steve Gallo.

    The first tenants at the project should be moving in within 18 months, Kist predicted.

  10. #40
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    Thumbs up Senior Housing Opens

    Zito apts to open after 4-year delay

    Thursday, December 13, 2007
    By RONALD LEIR
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    More than five years after ground was broken, the owners of Bayonne's newest senior citizens' building are ready to dedicate the Thomas W. Zito Bayside Apartments, 23rd Street off Newark Bay, at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

    A plaque honoring Zito, a former Bayonne Housing Authority executive director, will be unveiled in the new building's lobby.

    Visitors will get a tour of the 5-story structure that will house 87 studio and one-bedroom apartments - earmarked for people ages 55 and up - a senior nutrition center, and the administrative offices of the Housing Authority, which will manage the development.

    New tenants are expected shortly "after the holidays," said BHA Executive Director John Mahon. Rents range from $600 to $1,100 a month, he said.

    The City of Bayonne will receive an annual payment in lieu of taxes fixed at 8 percent of the annual gross revenues for 30 years under an agreement approved by the City Council in November 2000.


    The 94,000-square-foot building, owned by Thomas W. Zito Urban Renewal LLC, an offshoot of South Shore Village II Leased Housing, a charitable tax-exempt corporation, was expected to take 14 months to complete. But construction delays developed, at one point shutting down the project for five months.

    An indictment in October 2006 of the project's architect/engineer Al Sambade for extorting $100,000 from the general contractor, Cutting Edge, of Bayonne, and income tax evasion didn't help.

    In April, federal jurors exonerated Sambade on the extortion charges, but found he illegally evaded taxes. Sambade was sentenced to six months under house arrest and three years probation.

    The building owners have sued Sambade and his company, DAL Design Group, for breach of contract, negligence, and unjust enrichment.

    A separate civil suit filed against Sambade by Cutting Edge was merged with the owners' suit last month and the consolidated suit is still in the discovery phase, officials said.

    Roseland attorney Thomas Foti, who is representing Sambade, couldn't be reached yesterday.

  11. #41
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    Arrow Bayonne, The Suburb That Thinks It's A City

    Lowe's store to anchor new Bayonne mall

    by Ronald Leir Thursday December 13, 2007, 7:34 PM

    Lowe's, the national home improvement store chain, will anchor the new $130 million Bayonne Crossings shopping center, expected to generate more than 800 jobs, said Michael O'Connor, executive director of the Bayonne Economic Development Corp.

    O'Connor also said Circuit City and Chili's had signed leases to occupy space at the 360,000-square-foot mall, on the east side of Route 440, and that Longhorn Steak House and Starbucks have been given leases and were expected to sign.

    The prime tenant will take up 145,000 square feet of retail space, O'Connor said.


    Neither the shopping center developer, Cameron Bayonne LLC, nor Lowe's would confirm that the chain would be establishing a Bayonne presence but the redeveloper agreement between the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority says that Lowe's "shall have the exclusive right during the term of its lease ... to operate within the shopping center a building material supplies or home center or home improvement retail warehouse."

    "There's a signed lease," said O'Connor.

    Construction of the shopping center is expected to begin early next year and, according to the redeveloper agreement, should be completed by September 2010.

    A plan by the BLRA to issue up to $30 million in bonds to finance utility infrastructure and some remediation of contaminated soil at the 25-acre site was up for approval by the state Local Finance Board this week but the state board opted to carry it over for consideration to next month.

  12. #42
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    Default Bayonne Appproves Shopping Center

    Bayonne OKs shoping center, despite some misgivings

    by N. Clark Judd Friday December 14, 2007, 4:00 PM

    A frustrated Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority commissioner, Nicholas Mangelli, abstained from a vote last night on what has been billed as the final step towards development of the controversial Bayonne Crossings shopping center.

    "I feel like I'm being asked to pass a resolution with a gun to my head," Mangelli said of the resolution, which paves the way for Controlled Demolition, a current occupant of land that will become Bayonne Crossings shopping center, to be relocated to a portion of the former Standard Tank site on Ingham Avenue.

    Mangelli said he was frustrated because he'd only received final versions of the deal, which had been revised since previous BLRA meeting, "maybe an hour before the meeting" last night.

    He said he approved of the Bayonne Crossings project and to changes that were made for the final draft of the resolutions -- just not the circumstances that had him voting on resolutions he'd had little time to review.

    The changes were made so that the city could move Controlled Demolition from the acre of land it will occupy on the Standard Tank site in the event another entity wanted to develop there.

    Mangelli abstained from voting on both resolutions, which passed anyway.

    BLRA Chairman Howard Fitch and Commissioner James Pelliccio were absent.

    The deal itself, which moves the last remaining tenant from the Bayonne Crossings site and clears the way for developer Cameron Bayonne, LLC to begin environmental clean-up and eventually construction of the shopping center, sets up a development that has some citizens worried for the future local business in the city.

    "There's a fear this is going to destroy Broadway," interim Mayor Terrence Malloy said at the meeting.

    Responding to concerns that anchor tenants Lowe's and Circuit City would draw business away from smaller Broadway merchants, Malloy countered that with big-box outlets already in nearby Jersey City on 440, the damage had already been done -- but pulling shoppers to Bayonne Crossings would at least keep big-box-generated sales taxes in Bayonne and filling the coffers of the city's Urban Enterprise Zone.

    Malloy said that the project is expected to raise between $1.5 to $2 million in UEZ funds.

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    Arrow Bayonne Promenade With Some Potholes

    BLRA updates 'Promenade' plans

    Monday, February 18, 2008
    By PAUL KOEPP
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    Detailed plans for the redevelopment of the former Texaco oil terminal in Bergen Point should come before the Bayonne Planning Board sometime this spring.

    Project director Jesse Ann Ransom, of the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority, gave an update on the 70-acre, $500 million project, "The Promenade at Bayonne," at the board's meeting last week.

    Jason Kaplan, president of the site's developer, Kaplan Companies, said that in addition to 1,000 housing units, the company's designs would accommodate a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail stop if the line is extended to First Street. He also said a ferry terminal could be built with service to Elizabeth, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

    Kaplan estimated that it will take 12 to 14 years to complete the project, which will be centered on extensions of First Street and Avenue A. He conceded that getting permits for the cleanup of the terminal and the adjacent former Pirelli Cable site has been slow and difficult.


    "There have been a few more bumps along the road than anyone would have cared for," he said.

    The BLRA is working to get approval for a cleanup plan from the state Department of Environmental Protection, as well as a waterfront development permit. It's also trying to have the site included in the city's Brownfield Development Area, which would speed up the permit process, Ransom said.

    Kaplan will give the BLRA plans in four to six weeks for the project, which must be at least half residential and 25 percent open space, and no more than 25 percent commercial. The design calls for banquet facilities, a community center, soccer and baseball fields and a roller rink, as well as a reconstruction of the pier and an extension of neighboring Collins Park.

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    Question Lack Of Community Input

    Shore fixed, but fishing got harder, anglers say

    Tuesday, February 19, 2008
    By RONALD LEIR
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    BAYONNE - In solving one problem at Stephen R. Gregg Park, the county may have created another.

    The county hired Flanagan's Contracting Group, of Hillsborough, in August 2006 to repair and upgrade the collapsing shoreline and bulkheading at the Newark Bay park for nearly $3.8 million and the job is "98 percent" completed, according to Freeholder Doreen DiDomenico, of Bayonne.

    But park regulars like John Korek and Nick Kourupis, who were enjoying the very unseasonable 60-degree day yesterday at water's edge, complain the county has unwittingly ruined the fishing.

    Korek, a Port Authority retiree, and Kourupis, a doorman at a North Bergen high-rise, griped that the steel reinforcement to the bulkhead wall, which juts out from the wall about a foot and a half, gets in the way of people - particularly young ones with small poles - trying to haul in their catch from the bay.

    "Some people step out onto the steel bulkhead as they're reaching for the fish with a net," Kourupis said. While the water isn't very deep at the bulkhead - about 4 feet - the men said that anyone who might topple over into the bay - especially youngsters - could be seriously hurt if they fell onto big rocks or other sharp objects below the surface.

    Aside from that, they said, the flat sheathing surface tends to be a collection point for all sorts of debris - like the whiskey bottle and beer can that were clearly visible to a visitor yesterday - that they said can easily end up as pollutants in the bay.

    But the two fishermen acknowledged improvements.

    Sinkholes at the southern end of the park have been filled in and asphalted over. An old storage shed tilting toward the water was razed. The equivalent of 11 blocks of bulkheading lining the bay, from 37th to 48th streets, has been reinforced with steel sheathing going down to the bedrock and anchored by steel rods fastened to the original concrete wall.

    The county also repaired the decking of an inlet bridge at the foot of 40th Street and arranged for the planting of oyster shell beds in hopes of luring more fish to the area, DiDomenico said.


    "We're starting to get complaints about sinkholes at the northern end of the park, so we'll be addressing that soon," she added.

    And an open, canopied steel shelter with two benches at the southern end was erected - but not up to snuff, according to Korek and Kourupis.

    "They built the gazebo too small and too high - and there's no tables," Korek said. "They have tables over at Veterans Stadium."

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    Arrow Army Won't Bailout Bayonne

    Army still nixes city bailout

    Monday, February 25, 2008

    The U.S. Army restated its position in a Feb. 14 letter that the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority may not hand over money to the city to close its $40 million budget gap.

    The letter states that the BLRA's financial statements "do not include sufficient information to allow the Army to fully understand how the BLRA is fulfilling its obligations."

    City Law Director John Coffey II said the city is still negotiating with the Army to find a financial arrangement that will allow work at the former Military Ocean Terminal to go forward.

    The BLRA had until Jan. 31 to submit its financial statements for the period ending in September, but that deadline has now been extended to March 31.

    PAUL KOEPP

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