By Tom Hayden
PERTH AMBOY — The city has historically depended on its waterfront along the Arthur Kill to supply industry, but much of that business has gone, leaving rusting brown fields.
Now, the city will see the Arthur Kill once again bring in business with a company planning to develop a port and more than a 1 million square feet of warehousing.
On 100 acres just north of Route 440 and the Outerbridge Crossing in the city, the Colorado-based Viridian Partners will build three large warehouses.
Shipping containers will be brought in either on ships along the Arthur Kill or on rail lines that already lead to the area. Trucks will take the containers to stores across New Jersey or over the bridge to New York.
“Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, all the way to the Hamptons,” Viridian president Tate Goss said.
“You’ve got water, rail and highway access, all right here,” Goss said. He estimated 85 percent of the merchandise would be trucked across the river to New York.
Viridian plans to close on purchase of the industrial property by August and start demolition of the existing building and redevelopment of tract later this year. The site has 1,700 feet of waterfront.
Viridian, which has owned a large warehousing site in Cranbury for nearly eight years, had searched for several years for another port south of the congestion surrounding the Meadowlands and other New Jersey ports, Goss said.
Mayor Wilda Diaz celebrated Viridian’s estimated $90 million plan with a city hall press conference.
“I believe that Viridian Partners’ venture in our deep-water port will promote and create an interest for other businesses,” Diaz said.
Perth Amboy labeled the site an e-port, stressing efforts to attack businesses developing renewable energy.
“I’ve been in office since 2008, and a priority of mine since that time, in such a difficult economy, has been to make sure that our residents have jobs, to create ratables, and overall create a better quality of life here in the city,” Diaz said.
Officials did not estimate the number of jobs that would result from the project.
Viridian’s project is near two other redevelopment efforts along the Arthur Kill.
Last July, Vopak, a company based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, announced plans to renovate 23 acres of the former Hess Oil tank farm for bulk liquid storage. The property had been unused since Hess vacated it in 1996.
Last week, Buckeye Partners, a major supplier of bulk liquid products, agreed to purchased the Chevron plant that had seen reductions in activity in the last 20 years.