Cranbury Logistics Center

Cranbury, NJ

Quick Facts

395-acre former munitions and fireworks factory that exploded in 1954

Complex remediation of a highly dangerous site containing munitions of explosive concern (MEC) throughout the site with the development acting as a final engineering control

250-acres of site placed into a permanent conservation easement

Over 40-acres of on-site wetland mitigation, forest enhancement and turtle and salamander habitat improvements

Recognized by ULI as the 2017 New Jersey Industrial Deal of the Year


Land (acres)


Project Outcome

2.8 msf Class A warehouse park

Seller/Responsible Party

Cranbury Development Corporation (Seller) and U.S. Department of Defense (PRP)

Historical Use

Munitions and fireworks manufacturing

Capital Partner

Clarion Partners


Clarion Partners


Amazon, Wayfair, Performance Team Logistics


The property was previously utilized by the former Unexcelled Chemical Corporation from 1930 to 1954 and was home to manufacturing operations including the production of signal flares, fireworks, insect repellant, and in later years military munitions including grenade fuses and six-pound napalm bombs. The plant was closed on July 30, 1954 by the New Jersey Department of Labor shortly after an explosion at the facility resulted in the deaths of two plant workers. The explosion dispersed MEC and heavy metals throughout the site, which remained abandoned and dormant for over 50 years until Viridian commenced the clean-up in 2013.

Development Plan

The 395-acre property is located at the northeast corner of New Jersey State Highway 130 and Brick Yard Road, two miles from the New Jersey Turnpike Exit 8 and five miles from Exit 8A. This area is one of the most strategic supply chain hubs in the U.S. Viridian secured entitlements for a Class A, 2.8M square foot, 3-building warehouse distribution park. After approvals, Viridian completed remediation, site work and major infrastructure improvements. In addition, Viridian completed the on-site mitigation of over 40-acres of high resource value wetlands and over 100-acres of forest enhancements and habitat restoration. The project was delivered in pad-ready condition to Clarion Partners.

Challenges & Solutions

The site was littered by unexploded MEC from the 1954 explosion. Cranbury Township had originally planned to develop the site into a park; however, they soon realized the impossibility of managing the remediation required to safely construct a park on the site. Viridian, working closely with the NJDEP, devised a remedial strategy to remove the MEC and cap the impacted areas with concrete and asphalt. In addition, wetland and wildlife habitat that had formed in the impacted areas since the explosion were mitigated on site and out of the development footprint. This was a great example of how the real estate end-use helped to finalize the remediation and land-use strategy. The development envelope is located directly on the contaminated portion of the site, with the building foundations, exterior parking and circulation roads acting as the engineering control. This created an opportunity to leave the majority (250 acres) of the site available for extensive wetlands preservation and enhancement, creating a preserved natural conservation area.

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