1932, a group of Bayonne businessmen started working on a plan
to build a port terminal off the east coast of Bayonne into New
York Bay to create additional industrial space for the city. The
plan was completed in 1939 and dredging and filling work on the
man-made peninsula began the same year.
US military became involved in World War II, the Navy was
looking for an east coast port location and was very interested
in the site. In 1941, the Navy took over the peninsula from the
City of Bayonne adding the largest dry-dock on the eastern
seaboard, along with dockyards and storage facilities. Opening
in 1942, Bayonne’s military base was operated by the Navy as a
logistics and repair facility until 1967 when the Army assumed
control of the property.
its years of operation, the Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne (MOTBY)
was a vast naval supply center. Ships carried goods from the
terminal for every major US military operation from World War II
to the Persian Gulf and Haiti missions in the 1990's. At its
peak, MOTBY employed about 3000 civilian and US armed services
personnel and handled more than 1 million tons of cargo a year.
With the end of the Cold War and decreased need for deploying US
military forces, the federal government began closing down US
military bases all over the world. In 1995, the Base Realignment
and Closure Commission (BRAC) voted to close MOTBY despite
strong opposition from local, state, and federal officials.
the Army had 2500 employees at the base, many of which were
civilians who lived in the area. These jobs were gradually
phased out over the next 3 years. Some employees accepted
transfers to other bases while others retired early.
1, 1999 Colonel Charles Beck, commander at MOTBY since July
1996, turned the command over to Colonel William Black, the
final commander of the base. At that time, there were only about
300 employees remaining.
MOTBY flag was lowered for a final time during the closing
ceremony on Sept. 23, 1999. All civilian jobs were eliminated by
Sept. 30, 1999.
On April 25, 2002, MOTBY
was officially renamed The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor by the
Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority.
The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor • 51 Port
Terminal Boulevard • Suite 21
Bayonne, NJ 07002-5035 • (201)
823-0333 • www.bayonnenj.org/blra