Northern New Jersey Oil Corporation (Northern New Jersey Fuel Oil Co)

 




Investigating the site, I was greeted with a disheartening scene as I approached the fence. The telltale signs of a vigorous demolition effort were evident, signaling that the once desolate and overgrown area had been subjected to a thorough dismantling, nearing its completion. It was particularly disappointing for me, considering that I had frequented the site a couple of times, only to miss out on exploring its secrets during my previous visits. The once prominent oil tanks had vanished, leaving behind a neat pile of debris, a poignant reminder of their recent presence.  In its place, the earth lay leveled with grey gravel stones, where the four imposing oil tanks had stood for a considerable period. Undeterred by the setback, I wanted to revisit the standalone building that had eluded my curiosity until then, harboring an intriguing piece of alien-themed graffiti by a renowned artist. Alas, my hopes were dashed as I discovered the building had succumbed to the ongoing renovation efforts, it was now secured at all entrances by plywood boards. 





Delving into the scant online archives, I uncovered that the Northern New Jersey Oil Corporation, established in 2007 as a wholesaler dealing in petroleum and related products, had an enigmatic history. Astonishingly, available records indicated that the enterprise had experienced a swift rise and fall within the same year. How could a company be established and subsequently defunct within such a short period? Moreover, the property had remained vacant for a significant duration before October 2007. During this period, the desolate land had become a clandestine dumping ground, attracting the attention of the Newark Illegal Dumping Task Force, which apprehended an individual caught unlawfully disposing of old gasoline stored in 5-gallon containers. In the antiquated Google Street View photos, a yellow towing service canopy was discernible, serving as the last sole business remnant bearing any company's namesake. 




You can see the changes by looking at my 2017 revisit here: Abandoned Oil Depot: Revisited (2017) It was already too late to enter the remaining building left after demolition. I had not entered the building during my revisit the last time. A choice I regret now. Pictures taken in 2018.


However, in the realm of Piers, Wharves, and Docks, the property had been known under a different moniker, namely Riverbank Petroleum Co. or Riverbank Petroleum Inc. This facility facilitated the transportation of petroleum products via barges. According to the book 'Access to Wharf,' the approach to the dock was through a tunnel beneath McCarter Highway, housing an intricate network of pipelines: one 8-inch and one 6-inch, extending from the wharf and tunnel to four street-level storage tanks at the terminal situated on the opposite side of McCarter Highway. These tanks boasted a cumulative capacity of 47,600 barrels of oil. However, during the survey conducted in 1998, the pipelines were inactive, with the tanks devoid of any contents. Furthermore, historical records indicated that the City of Newark had assumed complete ownership of the property long before 1998, implying that the facility likely ceased its operations sometime in the early 2000s, subsequently undergoing a name change during that period.


Examining past public records of real estate transactions, it came to light that the property had changed hands for a noteworthy sum. Back on September 30, 1991, it was sold for a staggering $750,000, only to be acquired for a mere $20,000 in 2019, signifying a dramatic depreciation in its value. This transaction marked a transition from a commercial-class property back to public ownership in 2019, with 2052 McCarter Industrial Urban Re emerging as the purchaser, having acquired the land from the City of Newark.


As of present, the property has undergone a complete transformation, having been repurposed into a thriving location for Enterprise car and truck rentals, catering to the transportation needs of residents and visitors alike.









Sources:


1. Baldwin, Carly, "Middletown Man Charged With Illegal Dumping In Newark", Patch, January 12, 2018

2. Port Series. United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1979. [Page]

3. The Port of New York, NY and NJ and Ports on Long Island, NY. United States, The Corps, 1988. [Page]

4. Newark International Airport Ground Access Monorail, Northeast Corridor Connection Project, Essex County and Union County: Environmental Impact Statement. United States, n.p, 1996. [Page]

5. Small Business Conversion Problems -- 1964, Hearings Before ... 88-2 on ... June 23 and July 7, 1964. United States, n.p, 1965. [Page]

6. Northern New Jersey Oil CO, manta,

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