Bridge Industrial joined city leaders and other officials on April 13 to mark the start of construction on a two-building, 1.04 million-square-foot logistics complex at 1160 State St. in Perth Amboy. — Courtesy: City of Perth Amboy
By Joshua Burd
Bridge Industrial has broken ground on a project that will add more than 1 million square feet of new warehouse and logistics space to Perth Amboy, while helping to repurpose another once-contaminated site along the city’s waterfront.
The developer on Thursday joined city leaders and other elected officials to mark the start of the highly anticipated, two-building project at 1160 State St., which sits on the banks of the Arthur Kill and minutes from the New Jersey Turnpike and Outerbridge Crossing. Its plans call for facilities of 243,600 and 800,000 square feet that will comprise BridgePort II, with construction slated to be complete by the second quarter of next year.
In the process, it’s remediating a 73-acre site previously owned by the American Smelting and Refining Co.
“For years, we have been working with the state and the developer to turn this brownfield into a tax-generating amenity that can benefit our city,” Perth Amboy Mayor Helmin Caba said. “Today, I salute the Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency for its doggedness in ensuring this project happens. BridgePort II will serve as a shining example of major brownfield redevelopment that other cities will emulate.”
The project also follows Bridge’s development of a first phase in the city, which totaled 1.3 million square feet across three buildings and attracted high-profile tenants such as Target. Similar to phase two, the project required an extensive environmental cleanup.
“Our ongoing partnership with the city resulted in a seamless approvals process,” said Jeff Milanaik, Bridge Industrial’s Northeast region partner, “and we look forward to working alongside Mayor Caba and the city to bolster the local economy, showcase the region’s talented workforce and create new job opportunities.”
Tashilee Vazquez, executive director of the Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency, hailed the firm’s latest project while detailing several key figures for BridgePort II:
- The project is slated to generate $2.9 million in gross taxes to the city.
- It’s also expected to generate at least 500 immediate construction jobs, with a focus on city residents, requiring all tenants in the complex to provide at least one job fair at least three months before opening for business.
- Bridge is committing $1 million to the city’s open space trust fund and $500,000 for off-site improvements.
Vazquez noted that the project will have environmentally sensitive features such as rain gardens, separating the combined sewers to prevent untreated sewage from being released into the Arthur Kill, as well as roofs that can accommodate solar panels.
“This project is a perfect example of Perth Amboy’s resurgence,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, a Democrat based in Woodbridge. “Local leaders seized the opportunity to take advantage of the strategic location to clean up the contamination of the past, attract jobs and restore this property to the tax base for local services.
“Public safety and economic opportunity will now replace environmental hazard and blight. Many thanks to Mayor Caba, the City Council and the Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency for their hard work — it has paid off.”
City officials on Thursday said that, according to Environmental Protection Agency records, American Smelting used the site to reduce non-ferrous metal ores to their metallic form. That meant the parcel required heavy site cleanup and ground improvements, while Bridge needed to create the full site infrastructure, with multiple retaining walls and ample parking for vehicles and trailers.
Also required is the installation of a 12-inch water line stretching nearly a mile through nearby public roads, according to a news release. Bridge, meantime, will install a long sidewalk on the east side of High Street, connecting to the Harbortown residential neighborhood.
“A former brownfield site has been revitalized to serve as a job creator, tax revenue generator and state-of-the-art green facility that will benefit the city’s future and local economy,” state Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez said. “I applaud the project developer, Bridge Industrial, for recognizing Perth Amboy’s potential and for working with the city to craft a project that yields substantial benefits for our community.”
In September 2009, the site was purchased out of bankruptcy court, kickstarting the extensive remediation process, the news release said.
“The smart and environmentally conscious redevelopment of this strategically located brownfield will not only generate hundreds of new jobs for the area but will serve as a major tax-revenue generator for the town,” state Sen. Joe Vitale said.