The new Cummins Inc. training, sales and repair facility in Kearny — Courtesy: Hartz Mountain Industries
By Joshua Burd
Hartz Mountain Industries and Cummins Inc., a global engine maker and power company, have completed a new 57,000-square-foot facility in Kearny, marking a milestone in a complex, long-running effort to redevelop a former landfill in the Hudson County town.
The companies announced the completion of the training, sales and repair facility on Thursday as part of an effort that goes back more than 20 years. They have restored the former Harrison Avenue Landfill after more than $8 million in privately funded environmental remediation and the endorsement of a host of county and state agencies.
The landfill had been out of service since the early 1970s. As the town-designated redeveloper, Hartz is now pursuing another phase that calls for a 197,000-square-foot refrigerated warehouse.
“We’ve been committed from the onset to turn this underutilized and contaminated former municipal landfill into an income-generating asset for the town,” said Gus Milano, CEO and president of Secaucus-based Hartz Mountain. “It’s been a prolonged process that’s required overcoming significant engineering and construction challenges, including environmental remediation, water treatment and detention, and traffic upgrades to enhance conditions on Bergen Avenue.”
He added that the firm was “proud to have constructed this facility on the site to be used by Cummins,” which will bring some 120 jobs to the town when fully operational. The Columbus, Indiana-based company designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines, along with alternative-fueled electrical generator sets and related components and technology.
“Cummins is pleased to grow our presence in the community and more thrilled that in the process, we were also able to improve the environment and strengthen the economic vibrancy of the area,” said Terry Bartlett, operations manager of Cummins Inc. “The state-of-the-art Cummins facility will be used to sell and repair Cummins products to help our customers remain productive and successful and to train our technicians in the latest technologies.”
Cummins is relocating to 435 Bergen Ave. from Newark. In 2015, the state Economic Development Authority awarded the company a nearly $3.2 million tax credit over 10 years as an incentive to invest in the new Kearny facility instead of moving the operation out of state.
“Cummins’ decision to build its new facility in New Jersey helps to illustrate how the Grow New Jersey program is achieving its legislative objective of encouraging the creation and retention of skilled jobs in the State,” said Tim Lizura, president and chief operating officer of the EDA. “We appreciate Cummins’ commitment to expanding in New Jersey and are thankful for the partnership of Hartz Mountain and other stakeholders that have worked to advance this project.”
The project involved several other government entities, including the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which had designated the site as a redevelopment area. The town of Kearny also sought to encourage redevelopment by designating the landfill as what’s known as an Environmental Opportunity Zone.
“The NJSEA is very pleased to see this project come to fruition, as it accomplished two important goals — the remediation of a contaminated former landfill and the return to productive use of a long-dormant property,” said Wayne Hasenbalg, CEO and president of the NJSEA. “This is precisely the type of project the NJSEA envisioned in implementing the Kearny Area redevelopment plan.”
Hartz Mountain now has a second application pending for its planned refrigerated warehouse development, which it says is also consistent with the redevelopment plan.
“This is a tremendous example of remediating and repurposing a contaminated site for a project that generates jobs and economic growth,” said Bob Martin, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection. “The DEP’s Office of Brownfields Reuse provides the coordination capabilities and technical expertise to make a wide range of projects like this become reality across the state while creating opportunities to make good use of long-unused or underutilized land.”