KEARNY, NJ—Indiana-based technology and power company Cummins has opened a new 57,000 square-foot training, sales and repair facility at the former Harrison Avenue Landfill in Kearny, NJ redeveloped by Hartz Mountain Industries.
The new building is a significant milestone as the two companies restored the site to productive use. This presented a significant challenge and took more than 20 years to accomplish, and required more than $8 million in self-financed environmental remediation, and the endorsement of numerous County and State agencies including the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
“We’ve been committed from the onset to turn this underutilized and contaminated former municipal landfill into an income-generating asset for the town,” says Gus Milano, president and CEO of Secaucus, NJ-based Hartz Mountain. “It’s been a prolonged process that’s required overcoming significant engineering and construction challenges, including environmental remediation, water treatment and detention, and traffic upgrades to enhance conditions on Bergen Avenue. We’ve worked closely and received support and approvals from numerous agencies throughout this complex endeavor, and are proud to have constructed this facility on the site to be used by Cummins which, when fully operational, will bring a total of approximately 120 permanent jobs and a significant economic boost for the town.”
Hartz Mountain, an experienced industrial developer that has constructed 20 million square feet of warehouses in Hudson County alone, was designated by Kearny as redeveloper of the site. Hartz Mountain agreed to use private capital to remediate the contamination left behind upon the closure of the town’s landfill, saving Kearny taxpayers many millions of dollars. The Cummins project represents the culmination of these efforts, and it was done without a tax abatement.
“Cummins is pleased to grow our presence in the community and more thrilled that in the process, we were also able to improve the environment and strengthen the economic vibrancy of the area,” says Terry Bartlett of Cummins. “The state-of-the-art Cummins facility will be used to sell and repair Cummins products to help our customers remain productive and successful and to train our technicians in the latest technologies.”
Out of service since the early 1970s, the former Harrison Avenue Landfill was designated by the NJSEA as a redevelopment area and by Kearny as an “Environmental Opportunity Zone” to encourage redevelopment. The NJSEA adopted a redevelopment plan for the site in cooperation with the town to encourage industrial uses in the hopes of creating new jobs and tax ratables for Kearny.
“The NJSEA is very pleased to see this project come to fruition, as it accomplished two important goals — the remediation of a contaminated former landfill and the return to productive use of a long-dormant property,” says Wayne Hasenbalg, executive director of the NJSEA. “This is precisely the type of project the NJSEA envisioned in implementing the Kearny Area redevelopment plan.”
“This is a tremendous example of remediating and repurposing a contaminated site for a project that generates jobs and economic growth,” says Bob Martin, commissioner of the NJDEP. “The DEP’s Office of Brownfields Reuse provides the coordination capabilities and technical expertise to make a wide range of projects like this become reality across the state while creating opportunities to make good use of long-unused or underutilized land.”
Cummins is the beneficiary of a Grow New Jersey grant, intended to encourage job growth in the State.
“Cummins’ decision to build its new facility in New Jersey helps to illustrate how the Grow New Jersey program is achieving its legislative objective of encouraging the creation and retention of skilled jobs in the State,” says Tim Lizura, president and chief operating officer of the NJEDA. “We appreciate Cummins’ commitment to expanding in New Jersey and are thankful for the partnership of Hartz Mountain and other stakeholders that have worked to advance this project.”
Hartz Mountain has a second application pending for another project at the site — a 197,000 square-foot refrigerated warehouse — that is also consistent with the redevelopment plan and will bring additional jobs and tax ratables to Kearny.