CARTERET — Wakefern Corp., the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the U.S., will become the latest business to locate to Carteret, according to Mayor Dan Reiman and the borough’s Economic Development Office. Wakefern has begun construction within the larger of two IPORT-12 facilities at N.J. Turnpike Interchange 12.
In 2006, Reiman joined with representatives from Panatonni Development to break ground for the IPORT-12 project, which is now the largest light industrial facility in Carteret. The redevelopment has been part of the state’s “Portfields Initiatives,” and was constructed on Brownfields sites that previously contained 113 acres of inactive landfills.
IPORT-12 includes two buildings totaling 1.2 million sq. ft.
Wakefern will occupy 1,064,000 sq. ft. comprising the property’s second and larger structure, where it will provide distribution of dry goods to Shop Rite, Price Rite, and various other grocery stores throughout New Jersey.
Headquartered in Keasbey, Wakefern operates over 2.5 million square feet of grocery and non-food warehousing. Cooperatively owned by and built upon a foundation of independent retailers, Wakefern extends its services to customers throughout New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Its wholesale reach also includes international as well as domestic customers, providing them with quality grocery, perishable, and non-foods products.
The new storage and office facilities are expected to be completed by July 27.
Located immediately off the New Jersey Turnpike, and adjacent to the Turnpike Authority’s $130 million Interchange 12 improvements, Wakefern’s IPort-12 facility is approximately 15 minutes from Port Elizabeth, 20 minutes from Newark International Airport, and 35 minutes from New York City.
The landfills, which were closed in 1981, were the location where, in 1994, former Governor Whitman signed the “Landfill Reclamation District Act.” Plans to remediate and redevelop the site had stalled for 12 years, and had previously included proposals for a shopping mall.
Panatonni, the third largest industrial developer in the United States, invested $150 million in the project, offering distribution, manufacturing, and import/export facilities. Part of the state’s Smart Growth model, it involved a three-phase, $100 million redevelopment of a total of 120 acres.
“For decades this landfill represented a major obstacle towards continuing economic development in Carteret,” Reiman said. “Previous administrations and state programs failed to adequately recognize and make use of the landfill’s potential, leading to proposals involving malls and shopping centers that proved impracticable to develop, or otherwise never came to fruition. Through state and local initiatives, including that of the Urban Enterprise Zone, remediation efforts on the part of the D.E.P., and partnerships with private sector developers, we have successfully put these 113 acres back to use for Carteret and New Jersey, with companies like Wakefern leading the way towards continued economic development.”
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