BAYONNE, NJ - The owners of an East 12th Street apartment complex that provides affordable housing to nearly 150 Bayonne families was granted a 15-year extension to their existing tax abatement. The 4-1 vote came at the Bayonne City Council’s meeting on April 15. The extension is the second to an abatement that was originally approved in 1978.
Reflecting on his concerns when his colleagues approved the initial extension in 2018, Councilman Gary LaPelusa said that he was “worried that if we granted it back then, the complex would seek another extension, and as it turned out, it did.”
LaPelusa provided the lone dissenting vote adding that he knew the extension was allowed because of recent legislation but that he still thinks it’s “not a good idea.”
Leading the support for the extension was Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski who clarified that not only would the payments to the city increase over the length of the 15-year abatement, but also that the terms of the abatement require the management company to upgrade the 147 apartments – most of which would be done within the first three years.
“This will improve the quality of life for some of poorest families in the city,” she said. The agreement also requires the housing complex to supply its own trash maintenance and pickup, reducing the cost to the city as well as keeping the curbs near the complex free of trash.
‘We will monitor constantly and failure to complete these requirements would mean they would lose the abatement,” she said.
Because of state restrictions on construction due to the COVID-19 emergency, work on the project will start once the state lifts the state of emergency, she said.
Usually a critic of abatements, Bayonne resident and former council candidate Peter Franco, supported the extension, applauding what he said would be a $12,000 upgrade per unit. “I’ve been in that complex when campaigning. Some of them are in pretty rough shape.”
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