Carter Wallace Facility
Township of Cranbury, Middlesex County
The Carter Wallace Facility operated in Cranbury for almost 50
years before closing its doors in 2002. Leaving behind significant
contamination, the site has been remediated and is now designated
a Foreign Trade Zone. Rockefeller Group Development Corporation,
well known for Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, constructed
and now manages the150 acre site – a bustling warehouse
and distribution park.
The site, located at 324 Half-Acre Road, was formerly agricultural
and undeveloped land before the 1958 construction of the Carter
Wallace Facility. The facility produced and distributed consumer
products, including over-the-counter medicines, pet care products,
and toiletries. At the time of initial construction, there were
no existing wastewater utilities; the facility constructed its
own for the treatment of industrial and sanitary waste.
In 1990, Carter Wallace began the excavation and subsequent remediation
associated with 5 underground heating oil storage tanks. A groundwater
investigation that was conducted in 1991 revealed contamination
related to volatile organic compounds. In 2002, the property was
further investigated for contaminant issues associated with the
former wastewater treatment facility. These investigations were
in accordance with the Industrial Site Recovery Act, which mandates
an environmental assessment at the transfer or close of an industrial
facility. The investigation and remediation were performed separately
over two sections of the site, beginning with work by Earth Tech
of Trevose, PA in 2004 and continued by Environmental Waste Management
Associates in 2007. Heavy metals, in concentrations above NJDEP
cleanup standards were found to be resultant of the old on-site
wastewater treatment facility.
The remediation, which occurred in conjunction with development,
involved the removal of contaminated soils and any remaining treatment
facility infrastructure. While the site is fully remediated with
multiple letters of No Further Action issued by the DEP, groundwater
is being remediated naturally, and thusly, monitoring is on going.
With the most recent building completed in 2007, the warehouse
and distribution park, known as Rockefeller Group Foreign Trade
Zone/Exit 8A, serves the supply needs of multiple corporations.
As the site is now a Foreign Trade Zone, global distributor Kuehne
+ Nagel occupies 324 Half Acre Road, as well as Crate & Barrel
and Pearson Education in adjacent buildings. In addition to the
obvious benefits of remediation, the site generates increased
tax revenue for Cranbury Township and provides jobs for citizens.
The warehouses in the park, some new and some restored, were
constructed with the environment in mind. The Rockefeller Group’s
design utilized existing infrastructure and many of the new construction
materials were bought locally. All materials unable to be reused
were recycled. Additionally, the roofs of all buildings are designed
to reduce heat-island effect, which results from the differing
thermal properties of concrete and building materials compared
to those of soil and natural materials. By reducing the heat-island
effect through the roof structure, the new park will subsequently
reduce the amount of energy utilized for cooling, and therefore
reduce energy costs and pollution.
As the site is on Cranbury Brook, The Rockefeller Group has also
taken care to protect the brook’s ecosystem and organisms.
The layout of the buildings has enabled an extension of the stream
buffer, providing increased space for wetlands and forest, now
permanently preserved through a deed restriction. Another benefit,
is the implementation of a water treatment system for all stormwater
before discharge into the brook.
Today, Exit 8A serves as a model for brownfield re-development,
sustainability, and environmental awareness. Home to multiple
global distributors, the park has revitalized a contaminated,
under-utilized site to one that benefits both the environment
and the Cranbury community.
Photo Credits: Rockefeller Group Development