Kearny Point Fuels Business Growth Post-Sandy
During World War I, the historic Kearny Point, located across the river from New York City, served as a massive shipbuilding site. Hugo Neu, one of the world’s foremost salvage and recycling companies, purchased the site after the war and used it for dismantling, scrapping, and recycling operations. However, Hurricane Sandy inflicted significant damage on the Kearny Point site in 2012, leaving the area in need of a total redevelopment effort.
Providing Opportunities for Entrepreneurs to Flourish
Hugo Neu turned to Bohler to help turn the site into something meaningful for the community, with a strong core of growing businesses. Hugo Neu wanted to create an innovative series of flex, co-working, industrial, and event spaces at Kearny Point, with an emphasis on under-served small businesses and entrepreneurs through affordable office and warehouse space.
Their goal was to continue Kearny Point’s long history of fueling job creation and economic development throughout the region.
Mitigating Flood Risk
Situated on the Hackensack River waterfront, the site’s risk of flooding and substantial damage from large storms posed significant challenges for the project team. Bohler’s design needed to protect the site from future storm damage. Utilizing guidelines provided by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and evaluating storm and river modeling, Bohler recommended raising the site nearly 10 feet.
Maximizing Leasable Area
While the solution to raise the site overcame one obstacle, it posed additional challenges. Not only were hundreds of truckloads of dirt required, but the team also had to incorporate existing buildings that were to remain on site and be retrofitted. Collaborating with the collective project team, Bohler’s creative design turned existing floor slabs into basement floors.
This created a valuable opportunity to increase leasable area, as the new basements became huge, one-level parking garages specifically designed to flood in a bad storm. Without this innovative solution, parking would have consumed valuable above ground space.
Supporting the Community
Bohler also developed innovative stormwater management design and reduced impervious surfaces wherever possible, creating the opportunity for a park-like feel. Along with the creative green space design for Kearny Point’s tenants, the team made efforts to support the local community. Assisting with paperwork to obtain grant money for public infrastructure improvements, Bohler provided Hugo Neu the opportunity to redesign the nearby Hackensack Avenue and boost the utility infrastructure.
As a measure of recognition for the project work, Hugo Neu and the Kearny Point project received the Smart Growth Award from New Jersey Future. The awards honor projects that “promote land-use policies that help revitalize cities, protect natural lands and provide robust transportation access, expand access to safe and affordable housing, and fuel a prosperous economy.”
Bohler’s efforts helped Hugo Neu move forward with the Kearny Point project, enabling the client to provide the small business community with an affordable launching point and improve the local economy – all while creating resiliency from future storms.
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