SOUTH AMBOY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Could a city in Middlesex County, New Jersey, be the next hot spot?
Where in New Jersey can you find undeveloped waterfront? South Amboy, right on the Raritan Bay.
“There’s not a better place in New Jersey to be proximal to everything that New York City has but to come here and enjoy our nice little suburban enclave on the bay,” business administrator Glenn Skarzynski said.
The city expects to become the only state-designated transit village with both rail and ferry service. The project will be paid for with federal funds with the hope it is completed in the next two years. The train station already exists in the center of town, a stone’s throw away from where the ferry is planned.
“Get you to lower Manhattan within 41 minutes, so we’re hoping that that’s going to bring more commuters to South Amboy and also to help with our redevelopment,” South Amboy Mayor Fred Henry said.
A walkable transit village is planned for immediately adjacent to the ferry. It will be called the Manhattan Beach Club, a 1,900-unit luxury apartment complex.
In addition to servicing local commuters, officials hope to draw people from out of town to dine and shop in the downtown area.
“We’re actively looking for businesses that will provide a service. Restaurants will be great for our town. We’re always looking for a good grocery store,” said Jorge Gonzalez, president of the South Amboy Business Association.
Locals who spoke to CBS2’s Meg Baker like the idea.
“I think it can make South Amboy great again,” one young woman said.
“I think it would be a big advantage,” another woman said.
The area where the ferry will be constructed is known as the “coal dumpers.”
“Coal was being used as a fuel. It was mined in Pennsylvania, shipped across New Jersey and came to South Amboy, where we had our piers down here, and it was shipped on barges to different places around the world,” Henry said.
It had been left vacant for more than 20 years as industrial contamination was cleaned up.
Now, it’s ready for a fresh start and new residents.