S. Kearny industrial site primed for redevelopment


Photos courtesy of Hudson County Improvement Authority/ Different views of the old Kopper’s Seaboard Coke site in south Kearny which the Hudson County Improvement Authority is trying to market.


By Ron Leir

A long-neglected industrial parcel in South Kearny is getting some renewed attention.
The former Koppers Seaboard Coke property at Fish House Rd., which ended operations in 1979, is again being targeted for redevelopment by the Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA), which is reviewing a number of proposals for the site.
Acting on behalf of Hudson County, the HCIA acquired the 130-acre property, bounded to the north and east by the Hackensack River and by a drainage ditch to the west, in the 1980’s with the intention of building an incinerator there to handle municipal wastes. The county invested more than $60 million in cleaning and prepping the site, but was stymied when the state frowned on burning trash.
Now the county, stuck with a big debt, is looking for ways of turning the land into a profit-making venture. New Jersey Transit was considering purchasing the land to build a rail storage yard or tunnel for the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) – a proposed commuter rail link to Manhattan to run under the Hudson River – but that plan died when Gov. Chris Christie killed New Jersey’s participation in the ARC
project a year ago.
Earlier this year, acting on a directive from the county Board of Freeholders the HCIA solicited proposals for use of the property.

Photo courtesy of Hudson County Improvement Authority/ Another perspective of the 130-acre Kopper’s site.



HCIA Executive Director Norman Guerra said that three companies came up with plans for refrigerated warehouse distribution centers. They are: Morris Company of Rutherford, Rockefeller Group of Mount Olive, and Silverman Development of Jersey City.
Sundurance LLC of Edison and Garden State Solar Farms of Linden offered to develop
solar farms.
Clean Earth of Hatboro, Pa., proposed a soil processing facility.
And four firms – WSI Management of Plant City, Fla.; Waste Management of Houston, Texas; Port Echo Holdings of Hammonton; and NRG Energy of Princeton – pitched “resource recovery-related” projects.
However, Guerra said that the latter four proposals are being separated from the others for now for further exploration of “resource recovery technologies that are environmentally sound” that the HCIA may look to tap in the future.
Guerra said there’s a possibility that the authority might look to set aside 20 acres
of the Koppers tract to be dedicated to some type of resource recovery operation. “It
could be an anchor to provide energy to other users on the site,’’ he said.
Guerra said that the state has indicated it “will work with us” on that process.
But before any of that can happen, Guerra said the HCIA would have to issue Requests
for Qualifications from potential applicants, followed by Requests for Proposals, all of
which would be reviewed by county officials.
One thing, at any rate, is clear. “We are not looking for any form of incineration such
as waste to energy plans,” Guerra said.
Hudson County currently sends its municipal garbage and Type 10 commercial wastes to a privately-operated facility in Essex County where it is processed and baled and shipped by rail to West Virginia for disposal.
The county pays $70.50 per ton for the service. The county pays about $26 million for
the processing and disposal of 370 tons of trash annually.

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