Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis was joined today by U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker to announce that the owner of a major parcel of land on the former Military Ocean Terminal (MOTBY) has agreed to sell the site to a local real estate firm as part of its plan to develop a significant area of the MOTBY peninsula. Highstar Capital, the site’s current owner, and East Rutherford-based Lincoln Equities Group, the purchaser, have entered into a purchase and sale agreement for the parcel on the northern side of MOTBY. In negotiating the agreement, Highstar Capital worked with Ports America Group, the current manager of the site. The closing of the sale is anticipated for May 2018.
Lincoln Equities Group plans to construct up to 1.6 million square feet of modern “next generation” industrial warehouse space on the property, continuing the growth of the Hudson County waterfront and the redevelopment of those areas located in Bayonne. The redevelopment will provide new waterfront facilities to facilitate trade in the Port of New York and New Jersey, and will result in upwards of 2,700 permanent, new jobs for the State of New Jersey.
“We look forward to working with Lincoln Equities Group as they transform this area of MOTBY, creating jobs and fueling the city, county, and state economies,” Mayor Davis said. “Redeveloping this area has long been part of our plan to restore jobs to Bayonne.”
Mayor Davis added that the City is excited that the revitalization of the site will once again help fuel Bayonne’s economic engine. He cited recent progress to bring residential development, Costco, Starbucks, and a commuter ferry to the former military base.
“Our ports are gateways to global commerce and engines of economic growth’” said Senator Menendez. “A modern and efficient freight network helps businesses all over our region get their goods to market. By allowing these businesses to grow, we’re creating new employment opportunities throughout New Jersey. I’d like to commend Mayor Davis and the Bayonne City Council for their work on the MOTBY site and their commitment to its redevelopment. Redevelopment projects like this one are a win-win for Bayonne. Good industry brings in good, high-paying jobs that create a tax base that will serve as the backbone of the Bayonne economy for years to come.” Senator Menendez said that jobs help people realize “their hopes, dreams, and aspirations.” He called the Lincoln Equities plan for MOTBY “a tremendous shot in the arm.”
“Smart investments in our ports and infrastructure networks are proven ways to spur economic development, bolster our region’s economy, and created jobs,” said Senator Booker. “With its strategic location and robust transportation networks, Bayonne is on the path to becoming a thriving logistics hub. I applaud Mayor Davis’ innovation and leadership in Bayonne’s resurgence and his commitment to moving this great city forward.”
“We look forward to working with the City of Bayonne to reclaim this underutilized site, and transform it into an economic powerhouse that will further accelerate the Northern New Jersey economy,” said Joel Bergstein, President of Lincoln Equities Group, adding that the new construction will finally allow the site to reach its full economic potential. He said that Lincoln Equities would be “a partner in the economic rebirth” of Bayonne.
Mr. Bergstein said that several vacant, former military buildings dating to World War II would be demolished, because they are “functionally obsolete” and “structurally unsound.” He plans to replace them with modern buildings that will be dedicated to warehouse distribution and e-commerce. He estimated that about 750 construction jobs would be created as the new structures are built.
In 2000, MOTBY was given to the city and was declared to be Bayonne’s property. For more than a decade, there has been little development on this waterfront parcel.
“Bayonne has had a long history as an industrial city. This project is a great opportunity to restore a part of Bayonne’s success and bring it back on the map,” said City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski.
MOTBY has a proud history, originally as a naval base and later repurposed as a U.S. Army base, which closed in 1999. The U.S. Army base was used to ship both troops and equipment during the Persian Gulf War as well as during operations in Somalia and Haiti.