Carteret, NJ – In April, Mayor Dan Reiman signed a donation agreement with “DuPont” which will allow Carteret to continue with its plans to redevelop waterfront “Brownfields” properties. The Borough filed suit against E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, the American chemical company, in 2008, claiming that it had allowed approximately 35 acres of waterfront property to lie dormant for decades, hosting debris and contaminants left by the Agrico Chemical Co., after acquiring the company in the 1920’s.
“Simply put, DuPont sat on this property for 80 or 90 years,” Mayor Reiman stated, “with no intention of putting it to use, foregoing any environmental responsibilities therein, and to the detriment of our community. Now DuPont has stepped up to the plate – they have assumed responsibility for cleanup, and have agreed to donate waterfront property valued at over $9.5 million to further our Waterfront Park expansion, provide open space with additional public access to our waterfront, and support the marine ferry terminal.”
The agreement will require DuPont to transfer a total of 10 acres of property immediately adjacent to the Arthur Kill to the Borough. Valued at over $9.5 million, the property will ultimately host the Borough’s future ferry terminal, adjacent parking, and river walk extension.
The proposed ferry terminal will lie to the north of the borough’s Waterfront Park along the Arthur Kill, and is expected redefine the Borough’s commuter value by providing inter-modal transportation to Manhattan via a convenient water route. The DuPont parcel and waterway will allow for marine facilities for docking and loading, a parking lot and drop off area, and a terminal building for ticket purchases.
“The Borough Council and I are committed to the restitution of dormant brownfields in Carteret,” Mayor Reiman added. “Plans for these sites may vary, but in all cases will allow for the revitalization of abandoned or underutilized areas relinquished from industrial and manufacturing companies. We have fought many hard fights necessary to build a better Carteret. We have said on countless occasions that we would not tolerate the ‘mothballing’ of abandoned industrial property in Carteret, and we meant it.”
As part of the project, the Borough has completed plans to develop a portion of the ferry terminal property and the 30’ wide easement along the “Green Belt,” or upland of the Arthur Kill, for use as a continuation of the River Walk that spans the length of Waterfront Park.
The northern extension of the path will be 2,230’ in length, and provide additional recreational space for pedestrians and cyclists, along with new “fitness stops,” or exercise amenities similar to those along the existing River Walk, and bicycle stands for commuters.
The Borough plans to continue with the development of the River Walk with other future projects, and ultimately to have it connect to other local pedestrian pathways in the establishment of a riverside pedestrian network.
“The River Walk represents our efforts to maximize our waterfront’s potential,” Mayor Reiman said. “It will indefinitely prove an invaluable recreational resource to residents and visitors, and will ultimately be an integral part of our ongoing waterfront redevelopment.”
“Tying in with our future ferry terminal project, our River Walk will further our efforts to establish a multi-faceted waterfront,” Council President Susan Naples added, “which goes beyond recreation as a public resource for our residents.”