Commercial Development Company, a specialty developer of polluted industrial “brownfield” sites, has bought the 1 million square-foot Congoleum factory on Sloan Avenue, which has been empty for about a year.
The St. Louis-based developer plans to raze all of the buildings on the 65-acre site except for a 150,000-square-foot warehouse, to build a mixed-use development.
Congoleum, which makes vinyl floor tiles, closed the plant in late 2014 to consolidate operations with its plant in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. About 65 employees were laid off.
Because decades of manufacturing has left the property polluted, CDC said a traditional real estate deal was impossible. The buyer had to include in the deal a plan to relieve Congoleum of environmental liabilities. Environmental Liability Transfer, an affiliate of CDC, will perform cleanup at the site.
“The logistical attributes and location of this industrial campus in Hamilton represents a tremendous opportunity for new development, and we are very excited to see the economic and environmental benefits this transaction brings to the area” said Steve Collins, executive vice president of Commercial Development Company. “CDC’s acquisition and ELT’s assumption of environmental risk is the first step toward repurposing and returning this site back into productive use.”
The company said it would market the property for “commercial and industrial development,” although it is located in Hamilton Township’s “Arts and Entertainment District” that town officials have touted as a cultural destination. It is near the Grounds For Sculpture, the South Jersey Transit Center, and the I-295 exit.