Since 1960, NJBIA has presented the award to companies that have constructed, expanded or renovated buildings and development projects with significant economic benefit to the community, community involvement and architectural merit.
Stefan Pryor, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development in the City of Newark, nominated AMB Liberty Logistics Center for the distinction. The project team includes KSS Architects, site developer AMB Property Corporation, general contractor RC Andersen LLC, structural engineer Harrison-Hamnett, P.C., and Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, which is monitoring the groundwater. Edmund Klimek, AIA, a partner at KSS, said the 191,000 square-feet distribution center provides many benefits to Newark.
“AMB Liberty Logistics Center returns new industry and new jobs back to the city,” said Klimek. “The project took a former set of abandoned industrial sites and combined them to create a new viable industrial site that was includes environmental remediation. It’s industry, but clean industry.”
In 1947, Penick Pharmaceuticals first developed the 9-acre site for chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing. When operations ceased in 2005, the site contained about 30 industrial buildings that had produced hazardous materials, including inorganic chemicals, opiate narcotics, codeine and morphine. The brownfield site also had asbestos and lingering underground storage tanks, which had the potential risk of contaminating groundwater.
Despite the site’s need for extensive environmental remediation, AMB and KSS saw an opportunity to redevelop and revitalize the land for distribution and industrial use. Its incredible location, adjacent to Newark International Airport, the NJ Turnpike, Port Newark and an extensive railroad system, provides unparalleled access to multiple modes of transportation from which the distribution center can receive and distribute goods across the country.
AMB Liberty Logistics Center will also play a significant role in the economic revitalization of the City of Newark. It will provide millions of dollars in revenue as industrial development in the region grows. In fact, within months of its completion, the building attracted its first tenant, Mimeo, which leases about one-third of the warehouse. AMB Liberty Logistics Center has the potential to create 100 to 200 full time jobs for the local, skilled workforce, some of which remains from the area’s former industrial prosperity.
It was important to the team and local planning board that the project be sustainable and environmentally sensitive. The project team took six months to remediate the site and abate the asbestos. After demolishing the existing and extensive infrastructure, the team salvaged 100,000 board feet of timber, 200 tons of scrap metal, and 25,000 tons of crushed concrete, brick and asphalt, a significant portion of which was used in the new construction.
KSS (kssarchitects.com) designed the building with several environmentally sustainable features. Exterior walls were constructed with insulated precast concrete panels, which require less time, equipment and fuel to erect on site than poured concrete. The building’s white thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roof membrane will reduce solar heat gain. The team installed vapor barrier and monitoring wells to monitor the existing underwater storage tanks. The distribution center also features 36-feet clear ceiling height, 32 loading docks, two drive-in ramps, 33 spaces of trailer storage and 130 parking spaces.