The iconic Nabisco factory in Fair Lawn scheduled for implosion on April 15 was postponed without a new date announced.
The postponement comes amid residents’ concerns over the safety of imploding the 1958 asbestos-laden structure. The factory located at 22-11 Route 208 at the junction of McBride Avenue was shuttered by Nabisco’s parent company Mondelēz in July 2021 and demolition began last fall.
Bristol Environmental was managing the removal of the remaining asbestos at the demolition site. Controlled Demolition Inc. was hired to perform the implosion.
Greek Development based in East Brunswick paid $146.5 million for the near-40 acre property, purchased from Mondelēz in October 2021. The developer has been overseeing the demolition of the factory.
Greek Development filed an application with Fair Lawn to develop a 644,075-square-foot warehouse on the property. The proposal includes plans for 10,000 square feet of office space and 256 parking spaces, plus 102 loading docks. In addition, there is space for 120 trailers. Langan Engineering & Environmental Services is listed as the civil engineer for the proposed new project.
The implosion postponement was due to “delays in ongoing efforts with local and state agencies to fulfill all regulatory requirements and make all necessary pre-implosion arrangements,” Greek Development told NJBIZ in a statement.
Residents will be notified two weeks prior before the implosion is rescheduled. The demolition contractor and developer have established a designated phone number for people to call if they have questions, comments or concerns — 315-651-5082. Residents are asked not to call Fair Lawn or Glen Rock town hall or police.
“Ownership’s priority is to ensure the safety of its workers and the surrounding community and will continue transparency with the public as it works to revise the proposed schedule,” Greek Development said in the statement.
Fair Lawn Mayor Kurt Peluso has said the development will be good for the area and he was glad someone quickly purchased the site after it was closed.
“We’re excited about the potential for new jobs in the area. When you have a facility that large, the employees often visit the restaurants that are nearby,” the mayor told northjersey.com.
A petition signed by over 1,000 residents of Fair Lawn and Glen Rock asked local officials to see data such as seismic readings and studies on air quality to determine the safety of imploding the building. The petition also calls for environmental testing before, during and after the implosion.
“We have a particular concern about the possible soil, air, and water contamination from dust that will settle and soak into residential yards and possibly the fields at Hamilton School, depending on wind direction. We are also worried that larger residential areas beyond Iris Court could be at risk for air, soil, and water contamination,” residents said in the petition.