RIDGEFIELD — The Planning Board has given the green light to construction on a 19-acre site near Overpeck Creek that once held the Pfister Chemical factory.
Coming to the site will be a 254,000-square-foot industrial building as well as parking for about 160 vehicles.
“There was a site plan approval as well as a parking variance granted for the property,” at a January Planning Board meeting, said board attorney John Schettino.
The Pfister Chemical factory sat on the property until it closed in 2002. The tract was dormant for years before undergoing necessary environmental cleanup work in 2016.
The property was contaminated with volatile organic compounds, mostly xylene and chlorobenzene, as well as some PCBs, which hindered sale or development for years.
After failed attempts to sell the land, Pfister received funding from William Procida of Procida Funding & Advisors in Englewood Cliffs. They received a $7.5 million loan for the cleanup, and Procida will oversee the redevelopment.
Pfister operated the site from 1936 until 2002. The company made textile dyes at first and later focused on custom orders, as well as chemicals for water-treatment plants and the dyes used to make architectural blueprints.
“It’s a place that a lot of people have talked about developing,” Schettino said. “This will be a low-intensity, two-story warehouse distribution building with offices.”
About 20,000 square feet of the building is expected to be put to use for offices to aid the warehouse operations, Schettino said.
New Jersey has seen a surge in warehouse development in recent years, partly tied to the rise in online retail and the need to store products near customers.
Mayor Anthony Suarez pointed out that development there could be beneficial to residents throughout the borough. “That land has been vacant for about 16 years. There has been no ratable at all, so this could change that,” Suarez said.
“I know that it was in high demand, so I wish the best of luck to whomever uses the property,” he said. “It will be good to see them get it done.”
Just across Overpeck Creek in Ridgefield Park, developers are moving forward with plans for the $1 billion Skymark Development project, which will include a 10-acre wildlife habitat as well as 271,900 square feet of retail space and more than 1,500 residential units, in what is touted as the largest development in Bergen County in decades.