The long-awaited construction of a 380-acre industrial park on former Ingersoll Rand property in Warren County, N.J., has begun.
This morning officials marked the start of Bridge Point 78, a project that will consist of seven buildings, bringing a total of 3.8 million square feet of industrial space to the region.
“We stand here today at the turning point,” said Stephen Ellis, mayor of Phillipsburg, adding that the industrial park could help jumpstart the town’s revitalization.
Ellis described how the former Ingersoll Rand property once employed more than 4,000 manufacturing workers. Many of them lived in Phillipsburg and surrounding communities, where the plant’s decline over the past few decades had an impact, he said.
Earlier this year, Bridge Development Partners in Parsippany, N.J., bought the property for $43 million from Opus Investment/KTV Inc.
Bridge Development helped the former owners with overall design concepts for several years before eventually buying the site from them.
The former Ingersoll Rand property is at 942 Memorial Parkway in Warren County, along the Interstate 78 corridor and Route 22, covering both Phillipsburg and Lopatcong, two New Jersey towns near Easton, Pa.
Though Ingersoll Rand once operated a manufacturing site at the property, it sat vacant for decades, prompting many people in the community to wonder when it would return to active use.
Milanaik said his history with the site goes back to 1980 when he had interviewed for a job at the Ingersoll Rand plant. Lopatcong Mayor James Mengucci also spoke about his personal connection to the site, noting how his father started his career at Ingersoll Rand and worked there for many years.
He described Bridgepoint 78 as a project that would help bring what appears to be a very promising future, one that would impact the entire area.
The first group of buildings in Bridge Point 78 will include one at 975,700 square feet; another at 607,200 square feet; one at 175,000 square feet; and another at 419,400 square feet. Construction on those buildings should finish by the end of 2019.
The second group of buildings should be complete by 2020. It features one building at 500,000 square feet; one at slightly more than 1 million square feet; and another building at 262,500 square feet.
The buildings are going up on speculation, with no tenants in mind, but are geared to users looking to move in shortly after construction is completed.
CBRE is marketing the property and Mindy Lissner, executive vice president at CBRE, said the project is an alternative to the Lehigh Valley, offering a better quality of life and better work force.
“This one’s different and for good reason,” said Jake Terkanian, first vice president of CBRE. He described it as “the best located industrial site on the Eastern seaboard.”
The site is about two miles from Interstate 78 and Route 33 and 55 miles from the Port of New York and 85 miles from the Port of Philadelphia.
Milanaik said Bridge Development is actively looking for sites to develop that are in need of environmental remediation, such as this one. He estimated that the project would bring thousands of jobs from both the construction and logistics work.
Bridge Development is using Premier Design & Build Group, based in Chicago, as the general contractor and Cornerstone Architects Limited of Chicago, as the designer.
Tax credits from the Grow NJ Assistance Program apply to the site, as do other economic incentives. The property also offers a 30-year Payment in Lieu of Taxes or PILOT program and benefits from an Urban Enterprise Zone. The UEZ program allows up to a 50 percent reduction in the sales tax rate on certain purchases as well as a tax exemption on qualifying capital equipment for new facilities.