After more than seven decades of operation in Bordentown, last fall, Ocean Spray juice manufacturers shut down the plant and took its production operations across the river, leaving the 62-acre site open for development.
Now, an industrial space developer is in the beginning stages of exploring new uses for the space, and the prospects are looking promising to Mayor Joseph Malone.
“Once we get it redeveloped, it’ll pretty much be the same flow and amount of jobs,” Malone said.
While the developer, Modern Recycled Spaces, has yet to finalize what exactly the old juice producing building will be turned into, some prospects include an upscale grocery store, a microbrewery, a space for creative art, or food places.
“Specific uses haven’t been determined yet,” Malone said.
Modern Recycled Spaces, based in Hamilton, specializes in buying and transforming warehouses and commercial space into offices, shops, factories and studios to be leased out.
“I think we’re pretty creative in what we do,” said Dan Popkin, owner and founder of Modern Recycled Spaces. Some of the developer’s previous successful projects include Lambertville’s Union St. warehouse, which now hosts Kromite LLC., Taglio Design, and Rojo’s Roastery.
As far as the Bordentown location is concerned, Popkin said that he has big plans.
“We want to utilize the warehouse and its existing space,” he said. “It’s great space.”
If possible, Modern Recycled Spaces hopes that it can conserve the bottling portion of the warehouse, and that is where the option of a microbrewery comes into play.
Regardless of the turnout, Popkin said that he wants to make the warehouse “something that makes it more of a destination.”
Ending 71 years of operation in Bordentown, Ocean Spray relocated to Upper Macungie, Pennsylvania to a more efficient and modern facility, the company’s cooperative communications director Kellyanne Dignan said.
“Bordentown will always be a very important part of Ocean Spray’s history and we’re excited for the future,” Dignan said.
The autumn move left about 150 of the 250 nonunion workers unemployed, while the employees relocated their careers to the new factory. Like the mayor, Popkin said that the new development, which will provide low-cost lease space for interested businesses, can bring back the amount of jobs lost.
The exchanging of hands from Ocean Spray to Modern Recycled spaces is still ongoing. Once the sale is finalized, Popkin said that the developers will work on finding and finalizing tenants to lease the building.
“You’ll hear a lot about it within the next 90 days,” he said.