The NJ Meadowlands Commission announces plans to redevelop underutilized properties
As a regional planning agency, one of the most important tools in the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission’s (NJMC) possession is the ability to shape redevelopment plans. These plans serve as blueprints for the transformation of underutilized properties in the Meadowlands District into thriving centers for economic growth and development. The Meadowlands region is the economic driver for Northern New Jersey, with close proximity to New York and major roadways, rail lines and ports. The NJMC is committed to ensuring that no spare parts, or in this case parcels, are left along the side of the road to economic recovery.
Successful redevelopment brings many benefits. Land owners see their property values increase. The new businesses that sprout from previously neglected lots bring with them new jobs, stimulating the local, county and State economies. In recent months, the NJMC staff has identified and drafted a plan for a new redevelopment area and adopted an important amendment to an existing redevelopment plan, making the Meadowlands an even more attractive location to do business.
Specifically, we are very excited to share with you some of the details and new possibilities presented by the draft Koppers Coke Peninsula Redevelopment Plan in the Town of Kearny and the changes to the Paterson Plank Road Redevelopment Plan in the Boroughs of Carlstadt and East Rutherford. In addition, remediation work continues in the northern part of the District within the Teterboro/Industrial Avenue Redevelopment Area, where retail establishments and restaurants will replace the site of a former factory.
Koppers Coke Peninsula Redevelopment Plan
The NJMC is pleased to be working toward the approval of a redevelopment plan that will encourage the productive development of 74 underutilized properties, spread across 367 acres in the industrial part of eastern Kearny, into a vibrant hub for industrial, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and trucking-related uses. Disaster recovery facilities and data centers are additional permitted uses included under the redevelopment plan, which also provides for marine-related business such as boat sales, rental and repair facilities. The Koppers Coke Peninsula Redevelopment Plan is expected to be presented to the NJMC Board of Commissioners for adoption in the coming months and will serve as the foundation for the economic revitalization of the area.
The redevelopment area is strategically located along the Hackensack River and near many major roadways and rail lines, including the New Jersey Turnpike, Route 280, and the Newark and Belleville Turnpikes, providing easy access to nearby Port Newark and New York City. The Amtrak Northeast Corridor and NJ Transit Morris and Essex rail lines also pass through the redevelopment area. The plan presents a significant opportunity for businesses to capitalize on existing rail, road and marine transportation infrastructure.
The NJMC is pleased to have worked closely with Kearny and HCIA officials as well as private property owners to craft a comprehensive redevelopment plan that offers a highly-anticipated and prosperous vision for Kearny’s economic future.
This redevelopment initiative in Kearny can also help advance development of properties with a long history of industrial usage and contamination, many of which are in various stages of remediation. The Koppers Coke Peninsula Redevelopment Area includes the 25-acre former Standard Chlorine property, a Superfund site currently owned by the Town of Kearny. The Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA) owns a total of 175 acres within the proposed redevelopment area, including the 170-acre Koppers Coke property, formerly used by the Koppers Seaboard Coke and By-Products plant from 1917 to 1974. This redevelopment area will provide the opportunity for the development of one of the largest consolidated parcels of vacant land available in the Meadowlands.
Paterson Plank Road Redevelopment Plan Amendment
The NJMC is committed to advancing Governor Christie’s objective of making New Jersey a home for growth by working to enhance the business climate in the Meadowlands District. To help achieve this goal, the Commission is working with stakeholders in the business community to ensure the needs of area companies and developers are addressed. The Paterson Plank Road Redevelopment Plan amendment is one example where the NJMC and the local business community have joined together to advance this goal. In response to petitions by area property owners and prospective developers, the Commission has amended the Paterson Plank Road Redevelopment Plan to introduce new land uses that would heighten its attraction to existing and potential new businesses and allow for the retention and expansion of existing businesses.
The highly-trafficked Paterson Plank Road Redevelopment Area totals 250 acres on and around Paterson Plank Road within the Boroughs of Carlstadt and East Rutherford, an ideal place to do business. It is an access road to the Meadowlands Sports Complex, located six miles from Manhattan, and near major roadways such as New Jersey Routes 3 and 17, and the New Jersey Turnpike.
To encourage business attraction, retention and expansion, the amendment to the redevelopment plan consolidated five zones within the redevelopment area into three separate areas: a Commercial Gateway Center, a Light Industrial Center and an Environmental Restoration Area. The types of uses permitted in the redevelopment area have been expanded and include retail, business support services, commercial indoor recreation, hotels and motels, movie theaters, offices, restaurants, and research and development facilities. The Light Industrial Center can accommodate public utilities, warehouse and distribution facilities, wholesale establishments, light industrial and flex space. The Environmental Preservation Area ensures that ecologically-sensitive wetlands are protected from development.
The amended plan provides businesses with more flexibility for investing and expanding in this centrally-located area. It is envisioned that the new land uses in the redevelopment area will complement facilities at the sports complex and become a part of the attraction to this important regional destination.
Teterboro/Industrial Avenue Redevelopment Plan
Remediation work continues at the Teterboro/Industrial Avenue Redevelopment Area adjacent to Teterboro Airport. The 63-acre former Honeywell property is poised to become a mixed-use development that allows for 425,000-square-feet of retail establishments and restaurants; 100,000-square feet of office space; 225,000 square-feet of light industrial, warehouse and distribution uses; and a number of additional uses such as training and vocational centers and indoor commercial recreation facilities.
This redevelopment area will provide a much-needed centralized shopping area for those who live and work in the Borough. While only 67 residents reside in Teterboro, the town is home to nearly 100 corporate and industrial workplaces, and its population swells to 15,000 during the day. The redevelopment plan encourages vibrant development in a currently underutilized area. Visitors and employees will benefit from the site’s proximity to NJ Transit’s Pascack Valley Rail Line, the airport and major roadways, including Routes 17, 80 and 46.
The NJMC looks forward to sharing more positive news regarding redevelopment and economic growth throughout the year as we continue to reclaim, restore and redevelop the Meadowlands District.
By Senator Marcia Karrow, Executive Director of the NJ Meadowlands Commission. Senator Karrow has served as executive director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission since January 2011. Her proven ability to work with various stakeholders to support economic development and sustainability mirrors the NJMC’s dual mandates of promoting economic growth and protecting the environment.