Carteret To Receive State Funds For Waterfront Redevelopment

CARTERET—Last week, Mayor Dan Reiman, representatives from the state Department of Environmental Protection and local stakeholders formally signed Carteret’s Waterfront Brownfields Development Agreement. The agreement will allow for up to $5 million annually in state funds in brownfields remediation along Carteret’s Waterfront Park and Redevelopment Area.

“This B.D.A. designation is a milestone in the development of Carteret’s waterfront properties,” Reiman said. “The importance of this remediation – and the potential of these formerly abandoned sites – cannot be understated. We are already seeing evidence of our waterfront’s potential with our Waterfront Park. The evolution of this area as a center for transit and a mixed-use residential setting will help redefine Carteret, and will play a significant role in the ongoing economic rejuvenation of our town. This BDA designation and its funding will provide $25 million in necessary remediation over the next five years to further our development of a marina, ferry, and water front transit village.”

In February, Reiman announced that the Borough will apply for funds for the remediation and dredging that will make way for the town’s highly anticipated marina, which will comprise Phase III of the Waterfront Park development. The NJDEP is currently reviewing Carteret’s application for the necessary permits to construct the marina, which is slated to begin by the fall of 2010. The marina, nestled within a cove along the Arthur Kill, will host up to 250 slips and various amenities for regional boaters, and has led to the establishment of the town’s local Port Authority.

Through the NJDEP and NJEDA Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF), these properties will all now qualify for up to an annual amount of $5 million in BDA funding that will be applied for on a site by site basis. This will include 100% of the cost for environmental investigation and 75% of the remedial action work to be performed in order for the properties to be beneficially redeveloped. The program is the only of its kind in New Jersey that provides grants to public entities for cleanup costs of Brownfield sites.

At least as significant, the Reiman administration has retained its plans to develop other abandoned industrial sites north of Waterfront Park, which include the EI DuPont, Agrico and former Mobile Chemical sites, to host an inter-modal ferry service to Manhattan, and the establishment of “Carteret Landings,” a $1.5 billion transit village to be built adjacent to the public transit ferry. The mixed-use community will include luxury condominiums and a boardwalk with restaurants and retail shops, and is expected to invigorate the town’s economy.

Under the BDA approach, the NJDEP works with selected communities affected by multiple Brownfield sites to design and implement remediation and reuse plans for these properties simultaneously. The BDA approach enables site investigation, remediation and reuse to occur in a coordinated fashion. In the process, various stakeholders, including owners of contaminated properties, potentially responsible parties, developers, community groups, technical experts for the local government and residents, and residents themselves, are invited to participate in this cleanup and revitalization approach.

“The redevelopment ideas local officials have been discussing for these sites demonstrate a great deal of progressive thinking and commitment to the state’s Smart Growth objectives,” DEP Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson said. “They include a variety of plans for mass transit access, mixed-income housing, green building design, and enhancement of open space.”

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