Legislators and local representatives celebrated last week the purchase of 90 acres of land on the former Military Ocean Terminal Base (MOTBY) by a private equity company that will construct 1.6 million square feet of industrial warehouse space by 2021.
Joel Bergstein, President of Lincoln Equities Group (LEG), said the project will bring 2,700 permanent jobs for future tenants of the warehouses and 750 construction jobs during the redevelopment process.
The existing World War II-erawarehouses once stored missiles, tanks, and all kinds of cargo to ship abroad to support war efforts from 1967, when the peninsula became a military base, to 1999, when the base closed.Then, in 2007, Ports of America purchased the land and buildings where it has been ever since. Those old warehouses will be demolished, and the land raised by six feet, which Silberstein said will require 2 million tons of fill that will pave the way for “the next generation of industrial warehousing.”
“As the e-commerce industry and same-day-delivery services expand, the demand for industrial warehousing near ports and major metropolitan areas will rise,” said Bergstein. “We see tremendous potential in this underutilized waterfront site and look forward to transforming it into a location that can attract a large company.”
While the old warehouses were designed to accommodate military cargo, the new ones, in fact, may be better suited to temporarily store consumer products for companies like Amazon.com, Inc., which has been expanding its network of fulfillment centers across the country to meet consumer demand for fast shipping. The company has ten sites throughout NJ and is now tied with Verizon as the fifth largest employer in the state.
“As the e-commerce industry and same-day-delivery services expand, the demand for industrial warehousing near ports and major metropolitan areas will rise.” – Joel Bergstein
Out with the old, in with the new
“When I was growing up in this town it was an industrial city, so to be able to do this now and bring modern-day industry back into Bayonne, that’s what it’s all about,” said Mayor James Davis at a press conference on the base that was attended by Sen. Corey Booker, city council representatives, and Sen. Robert Menendez.“There is no greater joy in being mayor than being able to work with government in creating jobs and putting people back to work.”
“What happens here in NJ is critical for our nation’s economy as a whole,” said Menendez, who launched his re-election campaign that morning.“The Northeast Corridor region contributes 3.7 trillion dollars to the nation’s gross domestic product. That’s 20 percent of the entire nation’s gross domestic product that comes from our region. A strong NJ economy helps fuel a strong American economy.”
“This is a really exciting moment,” said Booker, who advocated for “strategic investments” in the region that he said, “can be leveraged for the most change.”
“This is the area that we can see grow,” he added.“This region is the most economically productive region in all of North America. If we improve our ports and rail systems, we can leverage this growth in a way that is going to serve us all.It’s projects like this that make a difference in New Jerseyans’ lives.”
Rory Pasquariello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.