Community Collaborative Initiative (CCI)

Gerdau Steel, Perth Amboy

CCI helped make a “good” project “great” through early involvement and active collaboration with the City and redeveloper. A 100-acre former steel mill site on the Raritan River – adjacent to 2nd Street Park – sat underutilized for over a decade and was a blight on the community. The City was negotiating with an interested redeveloper when CCI learned of the project. The day after the property sale, CCI and the City met with the redeveloper to discuss the proposed logistics center slated for the property. CCI built trust with the developer and City so that the economic development project could also provide social and environmental gains. This critical project will create 800 local jobs in a community where 40% of residents do not have access to a vehicle. CCI helped incorporate green infrastructure into the storm water management plan, including a 2-acre retention basin that will double as a City amphitheater, rain gardens, and permeable pavement in the parking lot. Additionally, CCI promoted the creation of a linear park that will allow for waterfront access in otherwise landlocked neighborhoods. A historic building was rehabilitated and will house the Perth Amboy Office of Economic and Community Development.

This project highlights the value of being on the ground in the city. These wins were possible because multiple stakeholders discussed the plans prior to finalization. CCI brought NJDEP experts to the table before the project was finalized, saving valuable time and money for the redeveloper, and shepherded the project through the Department, making the developer comfortable taking a non-traditional path forward.

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