NJ Urban Enterprise Zone Authority Awards $2.5 Million for Bayonne Crossing Project
Economic Development Project to Create 2,100 Jobs

TRENTON – The New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) Authority Board today awarded the City of Bayonne UEZ a $2.5 million loan for Bayonne Crossing, a retail project on Route 440 in Bayonne that will create 900 permanent retail jobs and 1,200 union construction jobs.

"Governor Corzine is dedicated to growing jobs in New Jersey and re-energizing the state’s urban areas with quality economic development projects," said Acting Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and UEZ Board member Commissioner Charles A. Richman. "The UEZ loan approved today will help accomplish both those goals."

The Bayonne UEZ will provide the $2.5 million loan to Cameron Group LLC, the project developer. Bayonne Crossing has executed leases and letters of intent with more than a dozen stores, a list that includes:

·     Lowe's Home Improvement;
·     Longhorn Steakhouse;
·     New York Sport's Club;
·     Walmart; and
·     TGI Friday's.

"Bayonne Crossing will convert a blighted site into a retail area that will encourage Bayonne residents to stay in the city to shop and dine," said Caren S. Franzini, UEZ Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA). "The project will also bring more people into the City to both shop at the new retail center, as well as purchase goods at Bayonne’s other commercial establishments."

It is anticipated the loan, which is for seven years at an annual interest rate of 2 percent, will be used for infrastructure and/or land acquisition. Work onsite is expected to start in the next few weeks and conclude in late autumn 2010 when all buildings are scheduled to be completed, operational and open for business.

"The City of Bayonne is a strong supporter of this shopping center project. My administration has shepherded the Bayonne Crossing mall through the development process," said Bayonne Mayor Mark A. Smith. "We are looking forward to the jobs that will be produced by both the construction phase and the completed mall. When the mall is fully up and running, it is expected to produce between $1.5 million and $2 million in UEZ sales tax revenue that can be plowed back into Broadway, our traditional shopping district."

Aside from the UEZ, Bayonne Crossing has also received a $2 million loan from the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, which is a DCA affiliate; a $2 million loan from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority; and PILOT bonds from the City of Bayonne's Local Redevelopment Authority. Key Bank has committed up to $26 million in construction loan financing, including land acquisition for the $80-million-dollar project.

The UEZ Program was enacted in 1983 and became a DCA affiliate in 2008. The program was created to foster an economic climate that revitalizes designated urban communities and stimulates their growth by encouraging businesses to develop and create private sector jobs through public and private investment.

From the initial 10 UEZs that were designated in 1984, the program has grown to 32 UEZs in 37 municipalities throughout the state. Under the program, sales tax revenues generated by UEZ businesses are dedicated for use within the zones for economic development projects. Businesses participating in the UEZ Program can charge half the standard sales tax rate on certain purchases.

For more information on the UEZ Program, please log on to http://www.nj.gov/dca/affiliates/uez/index.shtml.