DEP COMMISSIONER ANNOUNCES BROWNFIELD DEVELOPMENT AREAS
FOR NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP, ORANGE AND WEST ORANGE, AND SALEM CITY
(07/02) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection
Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today announced efforts to revitalize
more than 200 blighted properties through the designation of Brownfield
Redevelopment Areas for Neptune Township, Monmouth County; Orange
Township and West Orange Township, Essex County; and Salem City,
"Redevelopment of brownfields is a key component of restoring
the economic vitality of our cities and older suburbs,'' Commissioner
Jackson said. "In addition to removing environmental threats,
cleaning up these properties and making new investments in their
redevelopment preserves open space by taking pressure off undeveloped
Brownfields are properties that are abandoned or underutilized
because of actual, suspected or perceived contamination. Under DEP's
Brownfield Development Area program, designated communities identify
clusters of brownfield sites for coordinated remediation and reuse.
The latest designations involve a commercial district that has
languished since the 1970s, a one-time center for the hat manufacturing
industry, and a once-prosperous South Jersey port area.
Located between Route 35 and the Asbury Park border, the 3.5-acre
Neptune-West Lake Avenue Brownfield Development Area was once the
core of a thriving commercial district. Many of the more than 40
properties in this area were abandoned or burned down during races
riots of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Redevelopment plans for this area call for 202 market-rate and
affordable residential units, 95,000 square feet of commercial space,
60,000 square feet of office space, a municipal park, a police substation,
a learning center and a public plaza.
The Orange/West Orange Central Valley Brownfield Development Area,
meanwhile, was once a center for the hat manufacturing industry.
It includes 17 properties straddling Orange and West Orange. The
12-acre area is roughly bounded by Nassau Street, Valley Road, Central
Avenue and Scotland Road.
The planned end use for this area includes 1,500 market-rate residential
units and 250,000 square feet of commercial retail space. An additional
component calls for 800 residential units and a public park.
The Salem City Industrial District Brownfield Development Area
encompasses 150 properties sprawling over 230 acres in the city's
northwestern quadrant, including waterfront and upland properties
along the Salem River and Fenwick Creek. The area is marked by vacant
land, former bulk fuel storage facilities, and marginal or abandoned
manufacturing facilities, including the former Heinz Co. site.
The city plans to prepare a detailed market study, land use plan
and conceptual site plan.
With the three new designations, DEP now oversees 18 Brownfield
Development Areas. Other municipalities with Brownfield Development
Areas include Bayonne, Camden, Elizabeth, Newark, Paterson and Trenton.
Municipalities with designated Brownfield Development Areas are
eligible for up to $5 million in assistance per calendar year from
the state's Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund. The money
may be used for site investigation and cleanup.
City Works, a nonprofit development company working on Neptune's
redevelopment plans, and HANDS Inc., a nonprofit committed to redevelopment
in the Oranges, plan to apply for additional site investigation
money through a pilot program authorized by the Legislature.
City Works is the first nonprofit to act directly as applicant
for inclusion in the Brownfield Development Area program.
Each Brownfield Development Area is assigned a DEP case manager,
who is responsible for coordinating technical and financial assistance
for the communities and for coordinating revitalization efforts
with other state agencies, including the Economic Development Authority
and Department of Community Affairs.
Local steering committees direct the development of plans for each
Brownfield Development Area with DEP assistance.
"These are high priority sites for redevelopment and were
selected through a rigorous review process,'' Commissioner Jackson
said. "Bringing these properties under one umbrella creates
new opportunities for neighborhoods to make their communities better
places to live.''
DEP is accepting applications from municipalities interested in
being included in the BDA program in 2007. Applications must be
submitted by the steering committee representing the community.
Applications must include a description and explanation of the
Brownfield Development Area and its proposed boundaries, a clear
identification of the brownfield sites to be addressed, and current
activities within the area.
The deadline for applications is March 31. For more information,
go to: http://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/brownfields/bda/announce.htm