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JERSEY CITY-This city’s deal with Honeywell International is one giant step closer to reality. The city council has formally approved a tentative settlement with the Morristown-based industrial giant involving the redevelopment of 100 acres of contaminated between Route 440 and Newark Bay at its confluence with the Hackensack River.

As reported by GlobeSt.com, officials of both Honeywell and Jersey City last week finally unveiled a plan to clean up the chromium-laced site and begin its redevelopment. The tentative agreement had ended a two-year legal battle between the city and the company over responsibility for the cleanup–the site had been contaminated by the Mutual Chemical, a predecessor company to Honeywell. With council approval, the last major hurdle is approval by the New Jersey DEP of the cleanup process.

The deal just approved by the city council calls for Honeywell to serve as the site’s master redeveloper, responsible for the cleanup and for selling the land, likely to multiple developers. The city owns 41 of the 100 acres, and would garner that share of the land sales revenue, with estimates of that share ranging as high as $150 million. Honeywell will make upfront payments to the city totaling $25 million over the next two years, which would be credited toward the city’s share of the land sales.

The master plan outlined by the city and Honeywell calls for upwards of 8,000 residential units, including an affordable housing component, along with at least a million sf of commercial space. Some 20 acres would be left as open space, and existing city public works facilities on the site would be relocated or rebuilt, with Honeywell agreeing to pay $13 million toward any relocations. Also part of the plan are a riverfront walkway and a new light rail station.

“I look forward to the city’s west side being developed,” said Ward D councilman William Gaugham after the body approved the deal, which has been a major initiative of the administration of Mayor Jerramiah Healy. “This is a landmark project for Jersey City.”

“It will unlock the redevelopment of the west side by establishing investment and job-growth incentives,” says a Honeywell spokesman, who declined further comment.

Honeywell and city officials also took the occasion of the council vote to unveil the initial architectural renderings of the proposed development. Altogether, city officials estimate that it could take as much as 20 years to build it all out.

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