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Redevelopment Projects

RFQ - LANDFILL AND STATION AREA REDEVELOPMENT AREA

Landfill

On September the 4th, 2007 the Borough Council unanimously adopted the revised Redevelopment Plan for the Landfill project. Titled the “Somerville Landfill & Station Area Redevelopment Plan”, this document provides the specifications and details needed by developers to evaluate the project in real terms and to make a judgment as to whether they wish to pursue the project or not.



Landfill overview
• Request list for RFQ/P
• Landfill and Station Area Draft Redevelopment Plan Introduction
• Landfill and Station Area Draft Redevelopment Plan - Presentation
• Landfill Redevelopment Plan Presentation 4-28-07
Landfill Visioning Study Presentation October 21st, 2006

 Station & Landfill Redevelopment Plan  

• Landfill environmental issues

Landfill BDA Review Presentation, March 2010

• March 11 Workshop - Stakeholder Concepts
Visioning Workshops pictures
• Estimated timeline
• March 11 Workshop Documents
• Landfill history
• Landfill model photos
• Technical advisory committee
• Landfill stakeholders committee
• Mayor's Thank You to Visioning Workshop Participants
Borough Landfill Area Extension Report
• Landfill Area Extension Study Map
Landfill update 1/7/08
Landfill Vision Plan

This Plan is the end result of a two year long public process began in October of 2005 with the first of a series of public forums and workshops designed to allow residents to work with Urban Planners and Borough officials to create a vision for the ultimate redevelopment of the landfill area.

Over a period of 16 months a series of increasingly intensive workshops provided residents the opportunity to design in detail the overall uses for all portions of the redevelopment area. Factors they addressed included; cost of environmental clean-up, cost of site preparation and construction, wetlands preservation, road network, utilities infrastructure and property tax generation among a myriad of other factors, the result of these workshops was the award winning “ Station and Landfill Area Vision Plan” adopted by the Borough Council in January of 2007. This Vision Plan formed the basis for the revisions to the original redevelopment plan for the area which had been written in 1998.

In October 2007, a RFQ/P (Request for Qualifications and Proposals) was issued by the Borough to the redevelopment community. This request was a detailed document that specified to potential developers the process for submitting proposals, the requirements they would have to meet to qualify, how proposals were evaluated and the timing of responses among other details.

Potential developers had a number of months to prepare and submit proposals to this request. Responses were screened by the Redevelopment Committee (using a pre-defined set of criteria) and those deemed most suitably “Qualified” invited to make public presentations of their proposals. Once the public presentations were completed and public feedback received, a final determination was to be made as to who will be designated as the Boroughs Redeveloper of the Landfill Redevelopment Area. Responses were due at the end of January 2008.

During this time the financial markets had began their downward spiral, taking the housing market with it.  As a result the Borough received only one submission to the RFQ/P.  While the submitters were well qualified and experienced, the redevelopment committee, in conjunction with representatives on NJT, recommended to the Borough council that the proposal not be accepted.  The reasoning for this was, a) with one submission being received there was no ability to compare with alternative approaches to the project, b) the submission did not address all required elements of the RFQ/P, c) the committee did not want to to recommend to the Borough that it enter into an agreement that due to the financial market conditions could delay the project indefinitely and leaving the Borough with no recourse for action.

In October of 2008 the Borough and NJT released a revised RFQ (Request for Qualifications) to the developer community as it appeared the financial markets were stabilizing, responses were due at the end of November 2008. Four well qualified developers responded to this request, one being the same group who responded to the original RFQ/P.  All four were interviewed and found to be financially sound and asked to submit a short written proposal as to how they would approach this project, this was due at the end of February 2009.

By the due date all four had withdraw from the project stating the financial markets had dropped so much over the intervening months that they could not commit to such a complex, long term project at that time.

Since that time, the Borough has undertaken the responsibility of completing the Environmental Investigation of the whole site, using grant money from the NJ DEP receiving in June of 2009 $2.2 million to complete these investigations.  In September of 2009 the Station & Landfill Area was designated a Brownfield Development Area (BDA) by the NJ DEP following eight months of screening by the DEP.  This important designation will allow the Borough to proceed with its objectives of remediating the "Green Seam" portion of the site as recreational and open space, as the BDA designation allows for not only environmental investigations but the remediation of sites through  the HDSRF Grant program.

Other Important Facts Relating to this Project

The redevelopment area or zone as it is sometimes referred to, includes public and private lands and comprises of approximately 160 acres, extending from the Somerville Railway Station to the Raritan River. It is bisected by Route 206 with the lands to the east of this road consisting of wetlands and flood plains. The adopted Redevelopment Plan addresses the redevelopment of the larger area west of 206 extending to the Railway Station. Detailed maps are on the Borough web-site.

The creation and development of the Vision and Redevelopment Plans was funded by grants or direct contribution by; NJ TRANSIT, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs– Office of Smart Growth, New Jersey Department of Transportation and Somerset County through it’s Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP).

Environmental investigation and testing has been funded through grants for Somerset County EDIP and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection through the HDSRF grant program.

While the Redevelopment of this area is a Borough initiative, NJ TRANSIT is a partner in this project; they are the largest landowner with the exception of the Borough, the Somerville railway station has been identified by NJ TRANSIT as the most important on the Raritan Valley Line and much of the initial construction will be on NJ TRANSIT property.

The Borough and NJ TRANSIT entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that defined the roles, expectations and responsibilities of both partners throughout the project.

The Borough has determined that it will seek additional grant funding to pursue the construction of some of the required infrastructure needed on the site, this includes the construction of major connector roads and the Green Seam.

The Borough is agreeable to sub-dividing the site if developers make proposals for specific locations that are consistent with the redevelopment plan.

The Borough is working with the Somerset County Business Partnership to determine if an emerging technologies center is viable and if so can it be located on portion of the site and if so where.

New Jersey TRANSIT has started extensive reconstruction of the Somerville Railway station at a cost of approximately $16 million.  This is due for completion by the end of Summer 2010.

The Economics

Based on 2006 calculations the project when complete will generate an estimated;
• $9 million in tax revenues,
• Generate 460 new jobs,
• Generate a (post tax) payroll of $20.6 million,
• Generate $88.7 million in annual personal expenditures. (Refer to Vision Plan pages 33& 34).

During construction this project can be expected to create directly or indirectly up to;
• 2,500 jobs,
• Generate $140 million in payroll,
• Generate $113 million in personal expenditures. (Refer to Vision Plan page 34).

You can direct questions relating to this project through the Borough web-site or directly to Redev@somervillenj.org by phone a message can be left at 908-725-2300 extension 1905.

The other Redevelopment Projects 
The Landmark Center
The East End Area of town 
The Kirby Ave. Area