Carteret, NJ – Mayor Dan Reiman announced today that the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, has given through a competitive application process the town’s Chrome Waterfront Redevelopment Area, which includes the Waterfront Park, a Brownfield Development Area (BDA) designation, qualifying it for up to $5 million in annual environmental investigation and remediation funding over a five year period.
The designation, and additional funding will allow the Borough to continue with plans to develop the former industrial sites consisting of 105 acres, which is adjacent to the recently completed 17 acre Waterfront Park. The Park has served as the nucleus of a larger scale remediation that the Borough has considered for over a decade, but for which it has lacked necessary funding. The park itself has expanded to include an exercise trail, recreational and fitness amenities, and a sensory garden. A 250 slip marina, and NYC Ferry have also been announced as being among future developments.
At least as significant, the Reiman administration has retained its plans to develop other abandoned industrial sites north of Waterfront Park, which include the EI DuPont, Agrico and former Mobile Chemical sites, to host an inter-modal ferry service to Manhattan, and the establishment of “Carteret Landings,” a $1.5 billion transit village to be built adjacent to the public transit ferry. The mixed-use community will include luxury condominiums and a boardwalk with restaurants and retail shops, and is expected to invigorate the town’s economy.
Through the NJDEP and NJEDA Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF), these properties will all now qualify for up to an annual amount of $5 million in BDA funding that will be applied for on a site by site basis. This will include 100% of the cost for environmental investigation and 75% of the remedial action work to be performed in order for the properties to be beneficially redeveloped. The program is the only of its kind in New Jersey that provides grants to public entities for cleanup costs of Brownfield sites.
Under the BDA approach, the NJDEP works with selected communities affected by multiple Brownfield sites to design and implement remediation and reuse plans for these properties simultaneously. The BDA approach enables site investigation, remediation and reuse to occur in a coordinated fashion. In the process, various stakeholders, including owners of contaminated properties, potentially responsible parties, developers, community groups, technical experts for the local government and residents, and residents themselves, are invited to participate in this cleanup and revitalization approach.
“The redevelopment ideas local officials have been discussing for these sites demonstrate a great deal of progressive thinking and commitment to the state’s Smart Growth objectives,” DEP Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson has stated. “They include a variety of plans for mass transit access, mixed-income housing, green building design, and enhancement of open space.”
Mayor Reiman has announced that the Borough will most likely apply to fund the remediation and dredging that will make way for the town’s highly anticipated marina, which will comprise Phase III of the Waterfront Park development. In 2006, the NJDEP awarded Carteret an additional $600,000 to begin the construction of an extension to the Veteran’s Memorial Fishing Pier, which will serve as a breakwater and precede the marina itself. $1 million for the popular fishing pier was awarded in 2005. The NJDEP is currently reviewing Carteret’s application for the necessary permits to construct the marina, which is slated to begin by the summer of 2010. The marina, nestled within a cove along the Arthur Kill, will host up to 250 slips and various amenities for regional boaters, and has led to the establishment of the town’s local Port Authority.
“This B.D.A. designation is a milestone in the development of Carteret’s waterfront properties,” Mayor Reiman has stated. “The importance of this remediation – and the potential of these formerly abandoned sites – cannot be understated. We are already seeing evidence of our Waterfront’s potential with our Waterfront Park. The evolution of this area as a center for transit and a mixed-use residential setting will help redefine Carteret, and will play a significant role in the ongoing economic rejuvenation of our town. This BDA designation and its funding will provide $25 million in necessary remediation over the next five years to further our development of a marina, ferry, and water front transit village.”