Feb. 29, 2012
Jersey City has big plans for 100 acres on West Side along Hackensack River
By Terrence T. McDonald
Up to 8,100 residential units.
As much as 1 million square feet of office space.
Some 23 acres of open space.
Those are just some of the proposed features of Bayfront, a transit village set for 100 acres of chromium-tainted land along Route 440 in Jersey City. City officials hope their success in developing Jersey City’s eastern waterfront can be replicated on its West Side.
Captain Bill Sheehan, of Hackensack Riverkeeper, an environmental organization, said Bayfront will give the city “a real shot in the arm.”
Sheehan was on hand earlier this month for a City Council caucus at which city officials presented the governing body with their latest plans for the 100-acre Bayfront, a project first dreamed up during the Glenn D. Cunningham administration.
The development would sit on land formerly owned by Morristown-based Honeywell International Inc, north of Society Hill, along the Hackensack River. Last month marked the four-year anniversary since the city teamed up with Honeywell to create Bayfront.
“Bayfront represents an extraordinary effort among numerous city officials and our partners at Honeywell to transform the West Side by making it safer and more attractive, while also creating substantial economic development, jobs, and tax revenue for our city,” Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said in a statement.
Chromium contamination at the site has its roots in the late 19th Century, when Mutual Chemical Co., a Honeywell predecessor, started piping chromium processing residue from its plant into the Hackensack River.
Construction isn’t expected to begin until 2016, with initial occupancy beginning the following year. Though work is not scheduled to end until 2043, the city is already at work preparing the area for the massive development.
City officials say much of the contamination has been remediated.
The on-site headquarters for the city Department of Public Works and the Jersey City Incinerator Authority, meanwhile, will be demolished, as will a handful of other buildings used by the city and the JCIA. The DPW and the JCIA will move to a new East Linden Avenue complex, with construction on that facility expected to begin this year.
Councilman Michael Sottolano, who represents Ward A, where most of the Bayfront property sits, has called the plans “dynamic.”
“I don’t know if it’s all going to be done in my lifetime, but I sure hope so,” Sottolano said.