BAYONNE – After legal issues delayed it for almost two years, the Omni nursing home project will resume construction on Broadway between 29th and 30th streets. This is the first nursing home in Bayonne, and is considered the centerpiece of a medical zone that includes nearby Bayonne Medical Center and a number of medical offices along the Broadway shopping corridor.
“The resumption of this project is a key element towards revitalizing Bayonne’s economy,” said Mayor Mark Smith. “We look forward to the creation of new jobs during the construction phase and permanent professional jobs after the building is completed. After the facility is operational, those employees will provide a boost to Broadway by spending money in nearby stores and restaurants.” Smith continued, “The nursing facility will also enable our residents to have convenient healthcare options right here in our hometown.”
Omni Health Systems has filed requests with the Bayonne Planning Board for minor modifications of the plans originally approved for the project three years ago. The City of Bayonne has begun its technical review of the amended plans this month. Subsequently, the Planning Board will consider Omni’s proposed amended site plan.
The Bayonne Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the original plans for the 120-bed facility in February 2009. Following that approval, project preparations moved forward with the demolition of the former New Jersey Bell Telephone building at the corner of 29th Street and Broadway. The site was cleared, and covered sidewalk scaffolding was erected. Before making additional progress, the construction project was halted as a result of legal claims made involving the former owners of Bayonne Medical Center. One of the claims sought to void the hospital’s earlier sale of the Broadway property to Omni. The shadow of the hospital’s bankruptcy proceedings delayed the project until November 2011, when Judge Stern of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court issued a summary judgment decision in favor of Omni. That decision threw out all of the bankruptcy claims, and cleared the way for the resumption of the Omni project.
In the interim, Omni had moved forward with other state and local approvals needed for the project.
The existing plans call for the construction of a ten-story nursing and rehabilitation center that would provide an estimated 250 jobs. Omni will construct the nursing and acute care facility as originally planned. However, Omni has proposed some modifications to the ancillary portions of the property. Pending municipal approval of the modified plans, Omni would anticipate resuming construction activities sometime this summer. Thomas O’Connor, an attorney for Omni, stated, “Omni is excited to finally be able to move ahead with this facility, which it believes will help to meet a critical need for long-term healthcare in the City of Bayonne.”