Dominique Lueckenhoff — Courtesy: Hugo Neu Group
By Joshua Burd
Hugo Neu Group has bolstered the team overseeing its landmark Kearny Point project, tapping a longtime federal official to oversee environmental initiatives at the 130-acre site.
The developer announced Wednesday that it has hired Dominique Lueckenhoff, who spent more than two decades with the Environmental Protection Agency, as senior vice president of corporate affairs and sustainability. The new role will focus immediately on Kearny Point, the company’s $1 billion adaptive reuse of a historic, 4 million-square-foot former ship-making facility in the Hudson County town.
Lueckenhoff reports to Hugo Neu CEO Wendy Neu and will oversee all partnerships and initiatives related to corporate sustainability, climate adaptation and resiliency, environmental policy and green business growth and investment opportunities, according to a news release. Her focus also includes social, environmental and economic well-being activities related the development and communities impacted by Kearny Point.
The project, which has placed a premium on resiliency and green design, has already attracted more than 200 businesses.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Dominique on board, and look forward to her many contributions to both the Hugo Neu Group and Kearny Point as she leads our efforts to achieving the highest possible levels of environmental sustainability and ecological restoration,” Neu said. “Dominique’s experience, proven leadership, and extensive sector knowledge will propel Kearny Point ahead to becoming a model for the responsible environmentally and socially conscious redevelopment of similar large-scale, challenging projects throughout the country.”
Lueckenhoff brings more than 25 years of environmental experience and award-winning program development and management with the EPA, the news release said. She served as senior advisor to the agency’s Region 3 administrator, where she developed and led strategies and initiatives related to public-private partnerships, next-generation technologies and alternative financing.
She also spearheaded market-based approaches to achieving “faster, cheaper, greener” environmental improvements, such as holistic watershed protection and community resiliency, the news release said. As senior advisor, Lueckenhoff created and led the nationally recognized, public-private initiatives that resulted in major, integrated water infrastructure solutions.
“Sustainability is not an end product — it’s a value, belief and adaptive approach that recognizes the importance of people, planet and profit towards achieving long term resiliency and success — for all,” Lueckenhoff said. “Undoubtedly, it is also an integral force driving the Kearny Point redevelopment consistent with the mission and values of Hugo Neu.
“I’m excited to work on every sustainability-driven aspect of the project — from green storm water infrastructure to renewable energy to next-gen recycling and other resiliency measures, including policy and drivers of successful carbon-based economies. It will be incredibly rewarding to translate my years of public sector leadership experience to my new role on Hugo Neu’s executive team.”
The developer said its plans for Kearny Point will “pursue maximum reliance on renewable energy sources, high-efficiency building systems and green infrastructure measures.” That will include green and blue roofs, naturalized detention basins, bio-swales, advanced storm water filtration systems and the removal of impermeable surfaces throughout.
Plans also call for reintroducing native beneficial plantings that promote bio-diversity and the restoration of the fragile estuary ecosystem along the Hackensack River’s edge. The property sits at the confluence of the Hackensack and Passaic rivers.
Hugo Neu is redeveloping the property, which served the U.S. Navy during both World Wars, into a hub for creative business and technology. The full Kearny Point redevelopment is expected to span more than 2 million square feet and has already attracted users of all sizes, from entrepreneurs to a fashion design and supply chain startup that will occupy a new 113,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.