A property in a Jersey City industrial park that was expected to be converted into a bowling alley and brewery might instead be used for an entirely different purpose.
The premises, located at 1 Edward Hart Drive across from the New York Daily News’ printing plant, are now slated to become home to a medical marijuana manufacturing and distribution facility. The proposed complex near Liberty State Park would be used to “grow, cultivate, manufacture, process, and dispense cannabis under a state license for medicinal uses,” according to a resolution from the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA).
On July 16 all present members of the JCRA’s Board of Commissioners passed the resolution in question, which allows for a redevelopment agreement between the agency and the developer of the facility to be executed. The name of the developer has been identified as Nuka Properties, LLC, though the complex is expected to be operated by an affiliated firm called Liberty Plant Sciences.
Although the former LLC is not listed in the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services database of business names, a company of the same name is registered with the State of Colorado out of Henderson, a suburb of Denver. Peter Barsoom, a cannabis company executive whose firm is reportedly working with former New Jersey Governor Jim Florio on expanding the 1906 cannabis brand into the Garden State, is listed in the Colorado filings as Nuka’s registered agent. Additionally, New Jersey’s business filings show that the Liberty Plant Sciences affiliate was incorporated out of Henderson.
Barsoom mentioned a proposed Jersey City facility in an interview last year with Rolling Stone, stating that “we have a property that is right next to Liberty State Park…and we are planning to build a world-class cultivation and manufacturing facility that would be a destination.” He added that visitors would be able to come to this complex and learn more about cannabis.
The JCRA’s resolution on this matter mentions that following negotiations between the agency and the developer, “the JCRA has determined that the project achieves the objectives of the redevelopment plan and it is therefore in the JCRA’s best interests to enter into a redevelopment agreement.”
The property is situated near the corner of Morris Pesin Drive and was previously used by The Wall Street Group as a printing plant, but the facility was significantly damaged during Superstorm Sandy. Subsequently, there was a proposal by Michael Dorrian of Dorrian’s Red Hand to convert the premises into a bowling alley, brewpub, and rooftop, but the project was never completed.
Records from the June JCRA meeting state that the firm behind the bowling alley proposal, 1 Edward Hart Road, LLC, “has been unable to perform under its redevelopment agreement” and is now under contract to sell the site to Nuka Properties, LLC.