The former location of Nesma Auto Sales, Inc. and Mark One Auto Group, dealing in automobile sales and service, will be put to new, yet similar, use after significant remediation has ensured the safety of this former brownfield. The site, at the intersection of Communipaw Avenue and Seidler Street, will now house an Autozone. This remediation will benefit the Jersey City community through the revitalization of a contaminated site and the generation of increased tax revenue.
Developed since 1896, the site has been used commercial and residentially, with past uses including a bakery as well as Nesma Auto Sales, Inc. and Mark One Auto Group. After demolition of the existing site structures, including a sales office, auto garage, and parking lot, a site investigation conducted by Whitestone Associates, Inc. revealed that soil levels of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals exceeded state standards. Most contaminants were attributed to historic fill.
Remediation activities included excavation of approximately 1400 tons of contaminated soil for off-site disposal, including a PCB hotspot. The site was also capped to ensure both protection from and containment of any remaining contaminants. The site is currently awaiting a letter of No Further Action from the NJDEP, but has undergone remediation pursuant to non-residential-use standards. A deed notice will be filed to prevent disruption of the cap.
In addition to the aesthetic benefits of remediation, the site will also now generate increased taxes for Jersey City, enabling increased funds for community programs and services. Between the years 2000 and 2005, prior to site remediation and construction, the property taxes for the site hovered around $2,500. However, for the year 2007, after the majority of the remediation had been completed and the Autozoneä was built, the property taxes for the site leapt to approximately $26,600 – over a ten-fold increase!
The $415,000 remediation cost was funded in part by the Brownfield Reimbursement Program. The program, run jointly by the NJDEP, NJ Department of Commerce, and NJ Department of Treasury, reimburses up to 75% of remediation costs through state taxes generated by a new construction on a brownfield site. With the remediation now complete, what was once the contaminated site of an old car dealership, how houses a new Autozone – revitalizing and generating increased tax revenue for Jersey City.