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BAYONNE, NJ-Officials of this waterfront city’s Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) have come to an agreement under which the U.S. Army will spend $11 million on an environmental cleanup of contaminated portions of the 437-acre Military Ocean Terminal. The Army has largely vacated the sprawling facility, which has been designated by the city for mixed-use redevelopment.

Under an ambitious plan approved by the Bayonne city council last month (see earlier story), the site will eventually be reborn as an 18 million-sf commercial development that is expected to include some 5,000 residential units, offices, retailing and a new port facility. Build-out is slated to take up to 30 years to complete, and the total cost is projected to be in the $32 billion range.

As far as the LRA’s clean-up agreement with the Army, the contaminated parcels within the larger site were supposed to remain under Federal control at least until a remediation program was finalized. The $11 million deal is expected to return portions of the tract to city ownership as soon as early next year. In other words, the ongoing work is expected to come under direct city supervision within the next few months, according to local officials, and redevelopment can move ahead even before the Army releases the land.

Under the arrangement, which is called the Environmental Services Cooperative Agreement, the land will be cleaned up in accordance with state standards, which are said to be tougher than the Federal government’s requirements. The remediation effort is expected to take at least four years to complete.

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