A new three-building, 1.2 million-square-foot logistics park is quickly taking shape in Carteret, helping to revitalize a site that had been plagued by decades of contamination.
Located just east of the New Jersey Turnpike, the property is already home to a nearly complete, 480,000-square-foot warehouse that its developer said is drawing interest from several prospective tenants. Crow Holdings Development is now set to ramp up construction on the remaining two, which will bring another roughly 690,000 square feet to the tract just north of Industrial Highway.
The firm on Tuesday welcomed public officials and a long list of service professionals involved in repositioning the site. Among them was Rinaldo “Ron” D’Argenio of Rahway Arch Properties, which spent more than a decade cleaning up the site from years of contamination left by manufacturing uses, before securing approvals from the state Department of Environmental Protection and selling the parcel to Crow Holdings.
“These gentlemen took a very contaminated site and understood the possibilities of what we are sitting at and standing at today,” said Clark Machemer, a senior managing director with Crow Holdings, referring to the partnership of D’Argenio, Paul Weiner and the late Cesare “Chet” Pucillo. He also cited the role of Carteret’s longtime mayor, Daniel Reiman, and other borough officials that have helped create a hotbed for logistics space off Exit 12 of the Turnpike.
“A project like this requires both vision and fortitude, and this is a trait shared by all three — Carteret and Mayor Reiman, DEP and Rahway Arch,” Machemer added. “So we at Crow Holdings and our entire development team and partners are privileged to be a part of the culmination of well over 10 years of effort, which included planning, public policymaking, remediation and problem-solving.”
The event came 14 months after Crow Holdings announced its acquisition of the site, located off Salt Meadow Road. The developer is marketing the space alongside Cushman & Wakefield brokers Stan Danzig, Jules Nissim and Kim Bach, as tenants continue to vie for modern industrial space in a state that is still vastly undersupplied.
The complex is also creating hundreds of construction jobs and what will be some 1,000 permanent jobs at delivery.
“This has been a long project and, while Clark may have only (been here) in the last two and a half years, he in fact was the first person that Chet and I walked this site with in 2010 after we closed,” said D’Argenio, managing member of Rahway Arch. “And Clark has been a friend for many years from his previous employment and he’s the guy that we always wanted to do this with. And I guess it was meant to be, because years later when he joined Crow, we revisited it and we were able to do all of this, so it’s been a wonderful experience.”
As Reiman noted, the property at one point had a 30-acre impound that was leaching millions of gallons of cyanide-laced water into the Rahway River, adding that an earlier berm and cap had failed. That paved the way for Rahway Arch and an organization known as SoilSafe to remediate the site in concert with DEP officials and a consulting team led by Al Free of EastStar Environmental Group.
Machemer, meantime, cited a host of professionals involved in guiding the cleanup and preparing the site for redevelopment, including Riker Danzig as real estate counsel, environmental lawyer Dennis Toft of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC and land use attorney and state Sen. Bob Smith. The team also includes David Glass, SESI Consulting Engineering and Alston Construction, the project’s general contractor.
Such projects have helped bring Amazon and other high-profile users to the Exit 12 submarket in recent years. Reiman also tied the borough’s revitalization to the $160 million expansion of the interchange, which started nearly 20 years ago under former Gov. Jim McGreevey.
“We’re happy to be here, we’re so thrilled that we have a 100 percent union construction project totaling $300 million in investment,” Reiman said. “So with that, thank you, god bless you, we look forward to leasing this up and we look forward to the long-term tax ratables and we look forward to permanent jobs here on-site, once complete.”