Editor’s Note: This story was originally reported for our content partner, GlobeSt.com.
SOUTH KEARNY, NJ—(SBN)—The Hugo Neu Company, redevelopers of the former World War II shipbuilding complex at Kearny Point in South Kearny, NJ, is hoping to get a crack at the Amazon headquarters announced last month.
Michael Meyer, director of development for the diversified recycling, manufacturing and real estate enterprise, tells GlobeSt.com that the firm is offering a package of two sites, one in Kearny Point and the other nearby in South Kearny that total 225 acres and are “ready to build,” and could accommodate a million square feet of “creative office” by 2019.
“In this area, the western waterfront and South Kearny, there has been a substantial amount of public investment in infrastructure, parks and open spaces, and there is substantial additional public investment planned,” he says. “We think that this opportunity with Amazon can spur both public and private investment to accommodate all of Amazon’s needs in one of the densest, best-connected geographies in the northeast.”
You can listen to our conversation with Michael Meyer in the player below.
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The transportation infrastructure of the site should be more than adequate for the influx of Amazon employees, Meyer says. Amazon has suggested that the new headquarters will need to accommodate 50,000 or more workers.
“We’re nestled between the Ironbound section of Newark and the west side of Jersey City,” he says. “You can’t get a more connected infrastructure, the highway infrastructure comes right through our site, the choices of mass transit options are throughout our site, we are two miles from Newark Penn Station and near the Journal Square Transportation Center. We’re pretty much as connected as a property of tis size that’s buildable can be.”
The site of the former Federal Ship and Dry Dock, the property housed about 50,000 workers during World War I and World War II, and currently houses about 3,000 workers in redeveloped space.
Meyer says his team has been working closely with New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority, which is assembling information about various options around the state for Amazon. He says NJEDA is very supportive of efforts to “redensify” sites like Kearny Point.
Hugo Neu is ready to move forward with adaptive reuse of former craneway buildings at the property, with approvals in hand, and is just awaiting the right tenant. The firm has resiliency plans that will raise the property well above FEMA elevations required for flood mitigation, he says.
“We know what is strong about our site, which is, there is a lot of property available for redevelopment,” he says. “You’d be hard-pressed to find 225 acres of buildable land in this geography that’s owned by a handful of owners who are cooperating with each other. So Amazon has the ability to define and be part of the overall vision of building this site out.”
Already, Kearny Point is home to a wide range of creators, from craft-food artisans to tech trendsetters to filmmakers, concentrated in Building 78. The collaborative work environment offers a variety of flexible office options, pre-furnished team offices and a co-working facility known as Kearny Works. On the building’s ground floor, Dry Dock Bistro, a 2,500-square-foot nouveau American bar and grill, accommodates Kearny Point’s growing roster of businesses and visitors. The building is also home to a 5,000-square-foot roof deck and lounge, along with a 3,000-square-foot indoor event space, managed by JPO Concepts.
Kearny Point’s master plan, conceived in partnership with STUDIOS Architecture and WXY architecture + design, features more than 25 acres of new open and civic space, including restored native habitat, a continuous waterfront promenade, and a living shoreline. The plan also calls for high efficiency building systems, solar and wind energy, and a multi-modal “complete streets” strategy. As part of its mission to promote sustainability, Hugo Neu is implementing additional green infrastructure measures, including green roofs/blue roofs, naturalized detention basins, bio-swales and the removal of impermeable surfaces throughout the site, replacing them with a variety of permeable surfaces limiting run-off into the Hackensack River.
Correction, 10/3/2017, 10:38 a.m.: Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this story described Kearny Point as being located in Jersey City. The property is actually in South Kearny, NJ.
Steve Lubetkin is the news director for StateBroadcastNews.com. Steve’s journalism background includes print and broadcast reporting for NJ news organizations. He refocused on multimedia journalism and podcast production after a long career in corporate branded journalism and public relations.
He has won numerous awards for his audio and video news reporting from the Garden State Journalists Association, and he has also been recognized for video by the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has produced a wide range of audio and video podcasts in his other role as managing partner of State Broadcast News’s parent, The Lubetkin Media Companies.
Steve is co-author, with Toronto-based podcasting pioneer Donna Papacosta, of the book, The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional.
In March 2021, he was elected to the board of directors of the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and in July 2021 he was named secretary of the chapter. In August 2021, he was honored by SPJ with one of the organization’s 2021 Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Awards, given to regular members of an SPJ chapter who go above and beyond in serving their chapter.
Steve has been the computer columnist for the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey, since 1996.
Steve also has reported on-camera and produces virtual conferences for NJSpotlightNews.org, a public policy news coverage website focused on New Jersey government and industry; and for clients of StateBroadcastNews.com, a division of The Lubetkin Media Companies LLC.
From May-November 2019, he produced and reported a weekly podcast, The CRE News Hour, a news and features program focusing on the commercial real estate industry.
From 2014 to 2019 he was New Jersey and Philadelphia editor for GlobeSt.com and filled in covering Chicago/Midwest and Atlanta.
Steve has also served (from August 2017 to March 2018) as national broadcast news correspondent for CEOReport.com, a news website focused on practical advice for senior executives in small- and medium-sized companies.
Earlier in his career, Steve reported on rock music at the Jersey Shore for the Asbury Park Press, and was a broadcast news anchor and production engineer for WJLK-AM & FM, then owned by the Press. He also worked as a general assignment reporter for the Red Bank Register, Shrewsbury, NJ.
You can email Steve at email@example.com.