BAYONNE, NJ - City officials, and the developers that have already successfully brought Costco to Bayonne, gathered to break ground on the second phase of construction at Harbor View Marketplace and ScenicVue. The site sits near the entrance to the former Military Ocean Terminal.
“For years people have asked me if is there going to be a Starbucks in Bayonne,” said Mayor Jimmy Davis during a brief ceremony held on Thursday. “Now I can tell them yes, there is going to be a Starbucks.”
''Nobody believed us when we said we could bring Costco,” said Joe Forgione, founder and principal of the firm based in the Whippany section of Hanover Township.
“We’re also going to have a Starbucks, a CVS, and an LA Fitness Center, designed to help fill a retail need for local residents,” he added of the more 90,000 square feet of retail space that will occupy the site.
Designated as the developer of a 16-acre portion of the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor in 2016, JMF is also set to transform a portion of the Harbor Station South section of the Peninsula into 650 residential units as well as more than 25,000 square feet of lifestyle amenities including a rooftop resort-style swimming pool that will look over the rolling hills of the links style Bayonne Golf Club just across the inlet.
“We came in and saw a niche for super high end residential,” Forgione said.
A former long-time Commissioner of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, a graduate of civil engineering, and a member of the New Jersey Civil Engineers, Forgione has developed more than 2,500 residential units and multiple commercial and retail properties during his career.
Accurate Builders & Developers was founded by Jack Klugmann in 2009, and has successfully developed and constructed a number of higher density multifamily projects in both suburban and urban areas along train lines with over 2,000 units constructed to date
But, he said, he and his partner were also concerned about providing retail to residents.
Although the partnering companies, JMF Properties, RD Management LLC, and Accurate Builders and Developers each have a differing specialties, Klugmann said they agreed to work jointly on the development.
Part of the attraction of the residential portion, Klugmann said, will be the views.
“These rental residences will be in two -five-story buildings that will give people spectacular views of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, New York Harbor and Manhattan,” he said. The project will also include an 820-space enclosed parking garage.
Officials said the whole project is made possible partly by two significant transportation infrastructure improvements – a pedestrian bridge across Route 440 to the 34th Street station of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail, and new ferry service to Manhattan. Davis predicted that the cross river travel will start next spring.
“We can talk all we want about the pool and the 25,000 square feet of amenities, but people need access and those two projects will provide that access,” Klugmann said.
Davis said the project is one of the many pieces falling into place that has allowed for the redevelopment of the former military base.
“There have been plans for development here for nearly 20 years,” he said. “But over the last three years we’ve seen real progress.”
“We have the funding in place for the pedestrian bridge thanks to Senator Bob Menendez, who got a federal grant,” Davis said. “We’re only waiting on Public Service to move some utility poles so we can start. Once this is complete, people from around our city can come down here to walking path and see for themselves what has been accomplished.”
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