Bayonne officials, impressed by the city’s population growth in recent years, plan to conduct a study of all the redevelopments that have taken place in the city since 2014, a study that could influence future decisions on residential development.
At a recent council caucus, Law Directory Jay Coffey outlined what the study would encompass, beyond what local officials can see with their own eyes.
‘There is the visceral [data] where you can say there are more people here, but you want to have the empirical data to back it up,” Coffey said.
According to Coffey, the population shift in the city is visible, but the administration wants hard data to understand how the redevelopment is going.
“We determined how many projects got their [certificates of occupancy] and how many people have moved in,” Coffey said. “That’s what you’re really limited to, isn’t it?” The ones that have already been built… So we’re going to take all of those, and NW Financial, our office of the tax assessor, and the administration have already started working on that to identify how many properties have been approved, how many have their [certificates of occupancy]and find out from our tax records… They report to the city so we know how many units are occupied.
Coffey expects the study to take 60 days after the resolution is passed at next week’s regular meeting.
Although it is not on the Bayonne City Council agenda, First Ward City Councilor Neil Carroll made the announcement during the July 13 caucus meeting. Carroll had requested the study in previous months.
“I would just like to add for next week that we have a resolution formalizing the absorption rate study that will be carried out by NW Financial, our tax assessor office and redevelopment consultant, to determine the number of units created , the number occupied, the number available and the number of units in the pipeline, etc., and so on,” said Carroll.
Carroll said he thinks it will span from 2014 to present. City Council Speaker Gary La Pelusa said that was when the city’s first redevelopment was built under the current administration.
Study to focus on units, not other measurements
In response to a question from Second Ward Councilor Jacqueline Weimmer, Coffey added that this study would not include studying the impact of redevelopment in schools or traffic patterns and other things of that nature. Instead, it lays the groundwork for examining these questions.
“In theory, that will give us information about the influx and then we can judge that,” Carroll said.
“We are going to solve for X as if it were a mathematical equation. How many units have been built, how many units are occupied, that sort of thing,” Coffey said.
“They might not give you the opinion in this study, but we can probably make a decision based on the data we get,” La Pelusa added.
Weimmer then asked if the study would include demographics and people occupying the units in each part of the city, to which Coffey confirmed that it would not.
“It will be a matter of occupied units,” Coffey said. “The actual breakdown I think would be something a little bit more detailed that we had to bring in a third party for that. Because if you’re looking at the demographics, like the number of school-aged children, the number of older people we have, that’s a different kind of study. It’s just nnew units in town.
The future of redevelopment at stake
According to Coffey, the results of the study will assess the future of redevelopment in the city.
“If you’re building 100 units and 100 are occupied, then okay, obviously there’s a need for those units and there’s always a willingness for people to rent,” Coffey said. “If you find out you’ve built 100 and only 5 are occupied, then why do you need to build another one? It’s as simple as that.”
“It will help us move forward to see how aggressive we want to be,” said La Pelusa. He also thanked Carroll, who requested an absorption rate study in the past: “I know you’ve been asking for this for a long time and I commend you for it.”
Council will hear the resolution at its regular meeting on July 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall at 630 Avenue C. For more information, consult bayonnenj.org.
The move can be seen as the Davis administration seeking to follow through on a campaign promise to suspend most major residential redevelopment outside of the former Bayonne Military Ocean Terminal (MOTBY) pending a redevelopment study. existing and planned. Now, only time will tell what the study will determine and whether Bayonne’s redevelopment boom will continue unabated or come to a halt as the city catches up to its growing population.
For updates on this story and others, visit www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.