Jersey City and Bayonne lead the race to become home of New York City's new transmission tower, and the final decision could be influenced by whether or not the Metropolitan Television Alliance (MTVA) wants to deal with the issues an observation deck would create.
Nicholas A. Chiaravalloti, executive director of the Bayonne Redevelopment Authority, said the tower would be located at the eastern tip of the peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, a 430-acre former military terminal being renovated for mixed use. The tip juts out 2.5 miles into New York Harbor.
"We're interested because it fits within our development criteria, which is to generate revenues, create jobs and improve the quality of life," says Chiaravalloti. "But we're still early on, and we haven't changed the zoning on the site."
Jersey City has made it clear that it is interested only in a tower with an observation platform. Chiaravalloti says that, while a platform would make the tower more attractive as a tourist attraction, it's not the only option for Bayonne.
"There are other mechanisms that can be used to make it a tourist attraction," he says. "And it's my understanding that the MTVA does not want an observation deck due to security concerns."
Chiaravalloti says Bayonne want to see the entire plan for the harbor, what amenities are needed to make it a tourist attraction and the look of the overall design.
But Jersey City wants its observation tower.
"One of the reasons we thought it was a great idea for Jersey City is that it can attract tourists, which usually means having an observation tower, something that brings people to the site," says Dan Frohwirth, director of real estate and marketing, Jersey City Economic Development Corp. "I can sort of understand the MTVA's position, but it makes the tower a pretty sterile thing. I don't know how that's going to play out."