By Douglas E. Hall
Developer Fred Daibes, who has played such a large role in the transformation of Edgewater from the wreckage of what was once an industrial power house along the Hudson River to the attractive residential community that it now is, is planning to develop what is left from the despoilment of the riverfront property, specifically the contaminated superfund site that lies between 115 River Road (the old Bridgeview/TD Bank building) and City Place on River Road in the southern end of the borough.
As envisioned by Mr. Daibes, the site will be dominated by a round-shaped office building called the Promenade with a marina and possible ferry terminal. This would be the second ferry terminal for the borough. The first is located on River Road where it is joined by Route 5. When the Mayor’s Ferry Study Committee recommended the establishment of ferry service in 2003 at the northern terminal (Edgewater Marina), where ferry service now operates, it also recommended that a second terminal should be established in the southern area of the town at a future date.
With Mr. Daibes planning to build several apartment buildings in the area, some of them possibly high rises and the apartments that are being constructed on the iPark/Edgewater mixed use site (the former Unilever plant site) near the new Borough Hall, there no doubt will be more than sufficient new residents seeking a rapid convenient commute to Manhattan on this additional ferry service. It is apparently premature to determine if New York Waterway would serve this new site as it does for the existing site at the Edgewater Marina. A spokesman declined to comment.
Mr. Daibes has acquired sever parcels of land in the southern portion of Edgewater, including the 16-acre superfund site, which is administered by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. EPA has studied the former industrial site for several years, which has been contaminated by various companies going back to the late 19th century when the production of coal tar (used in roofing and road pavement) began there.
Also acquired by Mr. Daibes is the land portion of 115 River Road. This building was constructed in 1909 by Spencer Kellogg and Sons, Inc. for the processing of linseed oil. With its nearby neighbor, Archer-Daniels-Midland, the two companies made Edgewater the world’s largest producer of linseed oil, which was used in the manufacture of paint, varnish, and linoleum. The portion of the 115 River Road building that extends out over the Hudson River remains in the hands of Tom Heagney and his son Scott.
At press time it was not clear if renovation and expansion plans of the building proposed by the Heagneys would be pursued. These plans, approved by the borough last year, called for an additional third story to be added to the building for apartments and conversion of offices on the portion of the building that extends over the Hudson into a banquet hall/ballroom. In fact the land portion of the building might be razed by the new owner, Mr. Daibes. Such a decision might be driven by some contamination the building reportedly suffered from its close proximity to the superfund site as contaminants reportedly leached through the ground on to the 115 River Road property.
Mr. Daibes also purchased properties on the west side of River Road, across from the new Borough Hall and 115 River Road. In this area he plans to construct a multi-story office building with 3,500 square feet on the ground floor dedicated to the creation of a borough museum