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Brownfields Reuse Success Stories Carter Wallace Facility


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.

artist's depiction of the finsihed project

Aerial photo of the area

Exterior view of the Center

Antrim Hardware

Photo Credits: Rockefeller Group Development Corporation