Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency (PARA) has recently entered into an agreement with Viridian Partners, a developer, to undertake the remediation and redevelopment of a 44-acre blighted property known as “Gateway.” This ambitious project, expected to cost over $110 million, aims to revitalize the contaminated parcels of land located between the Route 35 Victory Bridge, Smith Street, and Riverside Drive. Once completed, the project is projected to create more than 400 long-term jobs and generate $1 million in local tax revenue.
As part of the redevelopment plan, a significant portion of the land adjacent to the Smith Street business corridor, spanning over nine acres, will be remediated and made “pad ready” for the city. The city officials in Perth Amboy will have the opportunity to decide how best to utilize this land for future development. Additionally, the developer will remediate and enhance another nine acres of land, providing Perth Amboy residents with passive recreational areas, including the natural surroundings of Sonnaman’s Creek and trails leading to a gazebo overlooking the Raritan River.
Approximately 25 acres of the Gateway property will be dedicated to the construction of a state-of-the-art, one-story, 471,000-square-foot warehouse. To minimize traffic congestion in business and residential areas, trucks accessing the warehouse will be directed through Riverview Drive via its intersection at Smith Street. The warehouse development will also incorporate berms, buffer landscaping, and other natural screens to mitigate its impact on the surrounding environment.
Perth Amboy Mayor Helmin J. Caba expressed enthusiasm about the commercial prospects of the Gateway property, emphasizing its ideal proximity to Route 440 and other major highways. He highlighted the three-pronged strategy being implemented by the city, PARA, and the developer, which includes the developer’s responsibility to remediate the land, create a public park, and transform nine acres of valuable land into buildable property as part of the overall downtown redevelopment initiatives.
Viridian Partners was selected by PARA based on their extensive experience in remediating contaminated properties in Middlesex County and successfully converting large industrial sites into clean, tax-generating establishments. The company has previously developed projects such as the ePort 1 warehouse along the Arthur Kill in Perth Amboy and the redevelopment of a 400-acre former munitions plant in Cranbury, which now houses warehouses for Amazon and Wayfair.
Michael Cahn, a principal with Viridian Partners, emphasized the appeal of the Gateway project due to its exceptional proximity to major highways. He expressed the company’s eagerness to collaborate with Mayor Caba and PARA in breathing new life into the neighborhood and addressing the blighted eyesore that has awaited redevelopment for decades. Cahn also mentioned the presence of a landfill on the site, which the company will address as part of their remediation efforts.
The Gateway property was previously occupied by a roofing company that manufactured asbestos shingles, ceasing operations approximately 23 years ago. Viridian Partners has been working closely with the city since 2014 to develop an all-encompassing plan for the extensive site, which requires the assembly of 28 parcels to comply with the redeveloper’s agreement.
The next step in the process involves Viridian Partners submitting a site plan to the city’s Planning Board for review and obtaining approvals from Middlesex County and the state Department of Environmental Protection. The developer is expected to break ground no later than spring 2025, with an estimated timeline of one year for the remediation process and another year for the vertical construction of the Class A warehouse and the nine-acre open space area.
PARA Executive Director Tashi Vazquez expressed the city’s eagerness to see the long-discussed possibilities at Gateway finally come to fruition. Vazquez praised the collaboration between Mayor Caba, Viridian Partners, and other visionary partners, all united in their goal to create a lasting redevelopment project that directly benefits Perth Amboy residents. Through their joint efforts, they are determined to make this major parcel a symbol of progress and prosperity for the entire community.