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  • Writer's pictureAndre Watson

Bungled in Bayonne: 16 years later, development lurches forward

Red tape, backroom deals and politics delayed ambitious plan

Bayonne’s Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski and Boraie Development founder Omar Boraie with a rendering of the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor (City of Bayonne, Boraie Development, NK Architects, iStock)

The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor was supposed to redefine New Jersey’s Gold Coast.

Developers envisioned a buzzing residential hub with retail, an accessible commute to Midtown and spectacular views of New York Harbor and the distant city skyline. They projected that 100 new buildings, including 7,000 apartments, would be completed within a decade.

That was in 2009.

Today, some completed developments dot the western edge of the peninsula, a two-mile pier on New York Harbor. But the bulk of it remains naked lots.

In late May, however, Bayonne’s planning commission approved a proposal that should kickstart a cornerstone development of the land.

New Brunswick-based Boraie Development got the green light to build the latest iteration of its plan. The firm will construct a 1,250-unit apartment complex with 10,000 square feet of retail along the peninsula’s waterfront.

Still, this was all supposed to happen years ago. Boraie, in fact, was first considered for a contract all the way back in 2006.

A smooth start

The peninsula’s development is a story of red tape, bad deals, fiscal fallout and power politics, but also of perseverance. It begins in the early aughts, when the future looked bright for this promising piece of Bayonne.

The city in 2001 had picked up the sleepy Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne in a bid to transform it. Five years later, the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority was created to guide the overhaul of the terminal, renamed the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor.

The Redevelopment Authority initially selected four firms to spearhead development of the pier’s six newly drawn subdivisions, NJTOD reported.

Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne diagram (NJTOD)

Fidelco Realty Group scored the redevelopment of Harbor Station, an area closest to the mainland that was supposed to get 800 new residences, plus retail, all within walking distance to the revamped Hudson-Bergen Light Rail with service to Jersey City.

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