Russo Development and Forsgate Industrial Partners have completed the $42.5 million purchase of the 718-acre Kingsland Tract, a former landfill spanning the municipalities of Lyndhurst, Rutherford, and North Arlington, and will build Kingsland Meadowlands, a new logistics e-commerce development of up to six buildings totaling more than 3 million square feet of industrial space.
To close the transaction, which Russo and Forsgate won in a competitive bidding process in June 2015, the partners engaged in a complex entitlement and engineering design process that resulted in a master plan that will transform this blighted property into a modern industrial complex unlike any other development of its kind in the Meadowlands region. The partners expect to deliver the first building to the market in late 2021.
“This transaction not only delivers significant revenue to the state, it also transfers the cost of on-going environmental management from the NJSEA to the developer – and it finally allows the host municipalities to realize sorely needed property tax revenues,” says Governor Phil Murphy. “The high-paying construction and permanent jobs generated by Kingsland Meadowlands will enhance both the business environment and the reputation of a region known as the world leader in logistics facilities and operations.”
“The Meadowlands submarket is one of the strongest industrial/warehouse markets district in the United States, and the opportunity to build this project in such an outstanding location is a great accomplishment for not only our companies, but for the region that we have helped develop over the course of more than 100 years of combined history,” says Edward Russo, CEO of Russo Development, whose company, along with Forsgate Industrial Partners, has been active in the Meadowlands since the 1960s and are both in their second generation of family management.
With the country’s premier road network serving 20.3 million people within 60 miles and a skilled labor force of more than 1.3 million just eight miles from New York City, the Meadowlands region is unmatched as a logistics center. The region’s retail marketplace remains strong while the online economy has spurred new requirements for delivery solutions, all of which have driven growth in the market, resulting in an occupancy rate of more than 95% for logistics e-commerce facilities such as those planned for Kingsland Meadowlands.
“Kingsland Meadowlands is not only an opportunity to create a new standard for logistics e-commerce users in the world’s premier economic region, it is the long-awaited result of decades of effort to reclaim the usefulness of a great piece of property,” says Alex Klatskin, General Partner of Forsgate Industrial Partners.
“The sale of the Kingsland Tract is the culmination of many years of complex work by the NJSEA staff, the municipalities and the developers,” says Vincent Prieto, President and CEO of NJSEA. “We look forward to a new generation of contributions to the Meadowlands Community from this esteemed property.”
There have been multiple, failed attempts over the years to redevelop the Kingsland Tract. In the 1990s, plans for its redevelopment included golf courses and a luxury resort, but during the financial crisis the project failed and the site reverted to the NJSEA’s predecessor, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, which completed a portion of an environmental clean-up program and offered the site for sale.
“We are very grateful that two of the most formative developers in our region, Russo Development and Forsgate Industrial Partners, were given the opportunity to reinvent this critically important piece of property,” says Jim Kirkos, president of the Meadowlands Chamber. “The Kingsland Meadowlands plan is consistent with the business culture of the region and will be a welcome addition to a market hungry for logistics capacity. The golf course resort previously envisioned for this site could never have created the economic activity and career opportunities appropriate for the Meadowlands’ highly skilled employment pool.”
“Today, the Kingsland Tract has transformed from being a disappointment and a burden into being a point of pride and a critical financial resource for our community,” says Mayor Robert Giangeruso. “Russo and Forsgate have been great collaborators in envisioning a new source of economic activity.”
Tom Sullivan of CBRE, Inc., represented the NJSEA in the marketing and sale of the property.
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