Preserving New Jersey’s Industrial Heritage: A Business Feasibility Study Assessing the Restoration and Reuse of the Hackensack Waterworks

Client: Rutgers Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability
Faculty: Christine Chisholm
Team: Cristina Baldor, Noah Branman, Randi Chmielewski, Ziwei Song, David Strungis
Year: 2012
Recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the eleven most endangered historic places in the United States, the Hackensack Water Works is a monument to New Jersey’s industrial past. Since its donation to Bergen County in 1993, the site has languished in a state of abandonment and disrepair due to a lack of funding and common vision for the site. The Rutgers Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability, through interactions with government representatives and public stakeholders, has identified the creation of a business feasibility study as a crucial next step toward the restoration of the historic water works. This study included an examination of comparable projects, an analysis of supply and demand conditions in Bergen County, a financial model for potential cash flows given specific assumptions, and recommendations for a possible nonprofit entity to engage in public/private partnership with Bergen County.