After a decade of civil engineering and surveying, land-use consultancy Dresdner Robin recently finished the first phase of environmental remediation at The Cove in Jersey City. This project is a venture between Argent Ventures and H&R REIT. The $10 million revitalization is only phase one with the infrastructure improvement design and permitting to be submitted to the NJDEP.
How will this improve the city?
Partners on the project—Argent, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency and the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority—are looking to benefit the city with their development. Some of these efforts include reducing sewer overflows and providing tidal flood resilience for downtown. Also, the creation of a two-acre public park among other infrastructure. The park will restore tidal salt marsh with public access, creating a scenic path to Liberty State Park.
The NJDEP has recognized the property as a Brownfield Development Area due to its extensive industrial use and waste. As is, Jersey City relies on a combined sewer system. This allows sewage and storm draining to run through the same pipe, damaging water quality. Addressing this issue is namely one of the larger incentives for moving forward with the venture. However, improved infrastructure will also allow for live-work-play and a mixed-use site for residential, retail and life sciences laboratory opportunities.
“The sewer improvements are a crucial early component to The Cove and its eventual completion,” said Dresdner Robin project manager Chris Collins. “This type of storage is an effective mitigation method employed by other large cities and municipalities across the country–from New York City to Boston to Washington, D.C. It will be the first of its kind in Jersey City and will provide significant water quality benefits to the surrounding waterways.”
What are the next steps?
The next step for the project, beginning mid-2021, involves designing a subsurface overflow storage chamber to temporarily contain toxic runoff. Currently, all waste flows into the nearby marina basin and the Hudson River.
“This is not a typical redevelopment project; as a matter of fact, there is nothing typical about this project. It is without question the most complicated remedial project that I have been involved with,” added Douglas Neumann, director of environmental services at Dresdner Robin. “In addition to working closely with the NJDEP and EPA on the remediation front, Dresdner Robin is also working with the JCMUA as it pertains to the Mill Creek Combined Sewer Outfall–in the middle of the project area.”
A site elevation of approximately 10-12 feet has been recommended by Jersey City’s resilience studies. This will hopefully pave the way for a new public park. Roadways are also expected to be constructed to mitigate flooding and account for future rise in sea levels. This is anticipated to be completed by February 2022.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation is also looking to develop a $10 million project. This will include a 32-story mixed-use building right across from The Cove in Jersey City. All future efforts and construction will begin later this year.
Main image courtesy of Ennead Architects