290 Homes Planned For Garden State Paper Site

From the Herald News:

With no buyer for plant, housing is planned

When Richard Chmielewski talks about losing the job he performed for 25 years at Garden State Paper during the 2001 Enron collapse, it’s what he doesn’t say that carries the most weight.

And then five years went by.

Now, the majority of the nonpartisan City Council is pushing to build 290 housing units on the site. Mayor Frank Calandriello said the redevelopment plan was chosen as a last resort when city officials realized no one was willing to purchase and reopen the factory.

“Honestly, we really don’t have many options,” Calandriello said. “We need action. We need progress. And this is a step in the right direction.”

When Garden State Paper’s owner, Enron, declared bankruptcy in 2001, the factory, which produced newsprint for newspapers across the country, was forced to close after more than 40 years.

“It’s not something Garfield is doing wrong,” Calandriello said. “Industry has been leaving the state of New Jersey for the past 20 years. It’s just too expensive to stay here.”

Instead of employing 250 area residents at the site, which has remained untouched since closing in 2001, the property will most likely bring in more than $2 million in annual tax ratables once the 290-unit housing project is built. Officials said they hoped construction would begin in two years. When GSP was operating, it brought in $300,000 annually in taxes, the largest city ratable at that time, officials said.

The Redevelopment Agency approved the preliminary plan for the housing project submitted by H.P. Garfield LLC on a 5-1 vote at a special meeting on June 19. On Aug. 8, Calandriello, Councilmen Joe Delaney, James Krone and Stanley Moskal voted for the zoning changes needed to build the housing complex.

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10 Responses to 290 Homes Planned For Garden State Paper Site

  1. Anonymous says:

    you gotta be kidding me??

    If its not one thing, its another.

    I hope you all are looking to move away from NJ soon.

    I don’t care how much you like this state, it ain’t what it use to be, and its going down the drain faster than I thought it would.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Why? The plant has been shut down for years, and it’s not going to start up again. Why not try to put something useful there?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Last thing NJ needs is more houses. Thats all I am saying. Sometimes things are better left undone.


  4. I know someone who used to work at Garden State Paper. He said the land is a big cesspool of bad chemicals.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is when comedy turns to tragedy. There is so much wrong with this it’s difficult to know where to begin.

    I’m going to have to go with my favorite:

    “the property will most likely bring in more than $2 million in annual tax ratables once the 290-unit housing project is built.”

    Unfortunately, the people that move into those units would require about $5 million in services.

    I can understand how a young reporter comes back to the office and puts something like this into the story. I have no idea how anybody employed as an editor at any paper in the country can leave it there.

    The only property that produces more in taxes than it consumes in services is vacant land. Period. end of story. Please stop.

    Got my rant out of the way, now for some cold hard reality. This land will not be developed for at least another decade.


  6. Anonymous says:

    I agree you cant keep up with
    the downfall of this state.

    It truly is unbelievable.

    What use to be a nice state, is
    now sadly just a WELFARE state.

    The state has been hijacked.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well, my company does environmental remediation projects, so it looks like a great idea to me.

  8. Anonymous says:

    My ex-father-in-law worked there for over 20 years and he also said the land is a big cesspool of bad chemicals… seems that any vacant land in Jersey is being built with houses.. ENOUGH ALREADY!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    so if companies keep leaving, who is going to live in all these new housing units?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Here’s where I think the Internet comes in super handy. Now anybody, not just corporate economists, can figure out which states are the most tax-advantaged and friendly to business (which, of course, means jobs).

    Go to the Tax Foundation site. If you live in one of the 10 lowest-rated states for business-friendliness and you’re having a hard time finding good work, move to one of the 10 highest-rated states. They also do research on tax policy, and one of the interesting things I read was their commentary on state tax incentives. Incentives mean that your state’s tax structure is so bad that you have to offer goodie bags to get interest, and once those goodies are gone businesses will move.

    Especially in this day and age where knowledge workers can live anywhere (Indiana or India) states need to adjust.

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