Real Estate

Landmark Water Tower Along Route 206 Torn Down and Dismantled

c95f1313797084c001a9_hillspixtowersideways.JPG
The water tower on the ground Wednesday morning. Credits: Rod Hirsch
295f12162fcec3d1de72_hillspixtowerspaceship__1_.JPG
Looking like a satellite that came crashing to Earth, the late afternoon sun on Wednesday casts an eerie glow on the top of the water tower which is being cut up for scrap. Credits: Rod Hirsch
019829c9e880c071de3a_hillspixtowerstanding.JPG
The water tower just three hours before it tumbled to the ground Credits: Rod Hirsch
18e812ae407e9165b6c7_sompixtowercut.JPG
Work crews use heavy equipment to rip apart the steel legs and support beams. Credits: Rod Hirsch
c6f5fd9472f69208d329_hillspixtowerdebris__1_.JPG
The water tower was quickly reduced to a pile of scrap steel Credits: Rod Hirsch
7ddeba8bb76d78419604_hillspixtowergoingup__1_.JPG
Workers begin a visual inspection of the steel structure on Monday, 24 hours before the tower was leveled. Credits: Rod Hirsch
4f4b4e882b0e82a06ec8_hillspixtowerplane.JPG
A private airplane from nearby Central Jersey Airport flies over the tower on Monday. Credits: Rod Hirsch
f100548f62ab2064ff91_hillspixvetindparknewbuildingCBRE.jpg
A 700,000 square-foot logistics center will be built at Veterans Industrial Park in Hillsborough by a Los Angeles commercial real estate developer.
220e47c8d92d3c442da0_hillspixroyalcabinet1.jpg
The water tower looms over the devastation left behind by the February, 2016 fire that destroyed 500,000 square feet of warehouse space at Veterans Industrial Park. Credits: Rod Hirsch/Tapinto file photo
bc5beac8d33e5c0d13ff_hillspixfirevote1.JPG
Fire spreads through the warehouse complex at Veterans Industrial Park in February, 2016. Credits: Rod Hirsch/Tapinto file photo
b672102757631e45e22b_hillspixfireflag__1_.JPG
The water tower is shrouded by the thick black smoke that spread for more than 50 miles during the February, 2016 warehouse fire at Veterans Industrial Park. Credits: Rod Hirsch/Tapinto file photo
c95f1313797084c001a9_hillspixtowersideways.JPG

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – Looming over the former GSA complex along Route 206 since World War II, the water storage tower had grown obsolete years ago.

It had always been a roost for pigeons, hawks and other birds of prey, affording an expansive view of the township, nearby Manville and beyond. In more recent years, it had sprouted an odd assortment of satellite dishes and repeaters used by emergency services and commercial interests.

The landmark had long been a reference point for out-of-town truckers and millions of motorists who drove north and south on the state highway. 

Sign Up for E-News

The faded blue steel structure had stood as a sentry and witness to history, until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night when the massive structure tumbled to the ground in the midst of a pelting rain, accompanied by a racket that sounded as if a freight train had derailed.

Work crews had been preparing the site for more than a week, clearing out trees and fences where the tower would fall.  Sparks began to fly at dusk Tuesday as workers used cutting torches to weaken the support beams.

By mid-afternoon Wednesday, the tower’s support beams were a twisted mass of rusting steel; the huge water tank sat on its side, with gaping holes caused by the huge cutting shears of the heavy-duty equipment brought in to clean up the jumbled pile of struts and beams.

The demolition of the rusted tower at Veterans Industrial Park is part of a reclamation project at the sprawling warehouse complex following a massive fire in February, 2016 that leveled two warehouses at the property owned by the US Veterans Administration.

It took 19 hours before the massive blaze was declared under control, with hundreds of firefighters from more than 90 companies as far away as Pennsylvania helping to contain the blaze, which sent billowing black clouds of smoke out over the Atlantic Ocean.

Investigators from the federal government, New Jersey, Somerset County and Hillsborough spent months sifting through the rubble and conducting interviews in an attempt to determine the cause of the fire, which caused an estimated $50 million in losses. They were unable to pinpoint the cause, although the official investigation ruled out any criminal intent.

Work crews have been busting up the concrete slabs of the old warehouses, crushing and recycling the material which is now being used as part of the foundation and new footprint for a planned 700,000 square-foot Class A industrial building to be known as Midpoint Logistics Center.

The new complex is being developed by Industrial Realty Group, located in Los Angeles, a national commercial real estate development and investment firm. The CBRE Group has been retained as the leasing agency for the property. A small CBRE billboard at the entrance of the property advertises the availability of   leases to multiple tenants.

Construction has yet to begin.

The federal government bought the property in the early days of World War II, and soon, a sprawling complex of warehouses and storage facilities spread across the expansive 369-acre property; more than 2,500 people worked at the facility, in addition to military personnel.

Prisoners of War from Italy, and later Germany were housed in the barracks; on Sundays, there were supervised picnics on the grounds, with Italian relatives from Manville and surrounding towns invited to spend the day with the POWs.

In later years, the federal government stored precious metals on the secured site, while continuing to add to its stockpile of mercury stored at what had become known as the Defense Logistics Agency Depot. The federal government stored about 12,500 55-gallon drums of mercury at the site during World War II and continued adding to it over the years.

Hillsborough was finally able to convince the government to remove the mercury in December, 2010; the stockpile was transported by rail to Nevada.

Portions of the original property were purchased by Hillsborough Township and Somerset County in 2009 when it was declared government surplus.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Warren

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16 wearing a black collar. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.

 

Warren Financial Planner Fined $500K, Barred from Selling Securities for Defrauding Seniors of $6.1 Million, NJ Attorney General Says

June 16, 2018

NEWARK, NJ –  A Warren resident and his company, a Morris County investment advisory firm, were fined $500,000 in civil penalties and barred from selling securities for fraudulently selling at least $6.1 million in unregistered securities to elderly and retired New Jersey investors, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced on Friday. 

The Bureau of ...

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019 and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 23, 2018

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019

and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

 Susan G. Komen North Jersey announced that it will award a total of 13 grants to 11 local community non-profit organizations in its nine-county service area for 2018-2019, with an increase in total program funding at 15% year over year. Since ...

Moms Helping Moms Foundation Receives Overwhelming Support from Community to Help Mothers this Mother’s Day

North Plainfield, NJ - Mother’s Day is often celebrated by showering the women in our lives with beautiful flowers, heartfelt cards, and taking them on special outings to show them how much they mean to us. Yet, for many low-income mothers living in our community, they struggle each day to provide the basics for their babies.

Diapers are a necessity yet one in three families in the ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c0dcc5b06e5dfbe83904_vbs2018-banner

Mon, June 25, 8:45 AM

Stonecrest Community Church, Warren

Summer Spectacular 2018 VBS

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_c0dcc5b06e5dfbe83904_vbs2018-banner

Tue, June 26, 8:45 AM

Stonecrest Community Church, Warren

Summer Spectacular 2018 VBS

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_c0dcc5b06e5dfbe83904_vbs2018-banner

Wed, June 27, 8:45 AM

Stonecrest Community Church, Warren

Summer Spectacular 2018 VBS

Religions And Spirituality

Obituaries

Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Manutti Marina in Belmar: Top Choice for Boating, Fishing and All-Around Family Fun

June 12, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — It’s no secret that Belmar Manutti Marina ranks among the best boating destinations along the Atlantic coast.

Tucked along the eastern shoreline of the idyllic Shark River — just a five-minute trip by boat to the ocean — the state-of-the-art marina is a top choice among boaters looking to stay for the season, enjoy a vacation or spend the weekend.

In ...

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16 wearing a black collar. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.

 

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

To Our Republican Supporters in Warren Township,

June 12, 2018

 

I want to thank the voters of Warren Township for the overwhelming support Gary and I received on the June 5th primary election.  This would not have been achievable without the hard work of our families, many friends and supporters as well as the loyal Republicans that cast a vote for us and our shared goals.  

 

The campaign is not over until the ...

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

Dear Editor:

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by ...

Watchung’s Rizzi Ties Record at Rotary Track and Field Meet, North Plainfield Middle School Dominates in Awards Tally

June 9, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - With an overcast sky and pleasantly cool temperatures, young student athletes from area middle schools and one elementary school gathered for the 91st Annual Rotary Track and Field Meet, held June 6 at the Hub Stine Athletic Complex in Plainfield.

Vincent Rizzi, holder of the Meet high jump records for boys ages 12 and 13, tried valiantly to best the 14 year old boys’ ...

Thousands Expected for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

SCBP Biz Fest 2018 Draws Record Crowd

SOMERSET, NJ - More than 500 people attended Biz Fest 2018, Somerset County's ‘hyper-local’ trade show and networking event, on Thursday at the Imperia.

The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) organized the event.  SCBP Vice President of Business Services Chris Edwards said that this year's Biz Fest was a huge success. 

"This has been ...

Update: Police Break Up Fight Involving 40-50 People at Bridgewater Commons Mall

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported in an incident that shut down Bridgewater Commons Mall Thursday evening after a fight involving a crowd of 40-50 people.

Police are still investigating unconfirmed reports of shots being fired, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

The mall is closed for the evening as the investigation continues.

Somerset County ...

March for Watchung Library and Rally Set for Saturday

WATCHUNG, NJ - Supporters of keeping a Watchung Library in Watchung have organized a March For Watchung Library to be held on Saturday, June 16. 

The Coalition to Save the Watchung Library is rallying support and have asked all who want to participate to “paint a sign, put on some purple, and come out and join your friends and neighbors for a Rally on the Green and ...

Thousands Expected for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

Third-annual Juneteenth Parade and Heritage Festival in New Brunswick this Weekend

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Vulcan Pioneers of New Brunswick, comprising the city's Black Fire Fighters Association, will host the Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 16 to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth celebrations are held across the country to mark the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865. That state was one of the last locations to learn of ...

Manutti Marina in Belmar: Top Choice for Boating, Fishing and All-Around Family Fun

BELMAR, NJ — It’s no secret that Belmar Manutti Marina ranks among the best boating destinations along the Atlantic coast.

Tucked along the eastern shoreline of the idyllic Shark River — just a five-minute trip by boat to the ocean — the state-of-the-art marina is a top choice among boaters looking to stay for the season, enjoy a vacation or spend the weekend.

In ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...