Mayor Booker, Brick City Development Corporation, Prudential, and CitiLog Celebrate Grand Opening of CitiLog's Urban Sawmill in Newark's North WardTargeted News Service
NEWARK, N.J., Aug. 2 -- Prudential Financial issued the following news release:
Mayor Cory A. Booker, the Newark Municipal Council, East Orange Mayor Robert Bowser, Sustainability Officer Stephanie Greenwood, Department of Neighborhood and Recreational Services Director Tharien Karim Arnold, CitiLog Principals Stubby Warmbold and Maria Warmbold, Prudential Financial Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility Lata Reddy, New Jersey State Parole Board Division of Community Programs Director Lenny Ward, and other dignitaries held a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday to celebrate the grand opening for CitiLog's urban sawmill, at 82-88 Springdale Avenue, in Newark's North Ward. Also in attendance of the event were Paterson Mayor Jeffery Jones, Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith, and Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli and seven members of the East Orange Municipal Council.
"The opening of the CitiLog facility is groundbreaking and beneficial to the City of Newark in many ways. First, it will reduce the costs the City incurs in removing damaged and fallen trees, which benefits our taxpayers. Secondly, CitiLog has a strong commitment to supporting our ex-offender re-entry efforts, by hiring ex-offenders, and providing job training for underprivileged youth. That commitment will bring hope and empowerment to Newark residents who are most at risk and in need. Thirdly, CitiLog supports our environmental agenda, by reducing Newark's carbon footprint. All of this is being accomplished by a family-owned business, which has invested in the City of Newark's future and partnered with us to bring positive change to our City and economic prosperity to our residents. We welcome CitiLog and its energy and ideals to the City of Newark, and congratulate the team at BCDC and Prudential that worked so tirelessly to help in today's event," said Mayor Booker.
CitiLog is an entirely different business model than logging on the West Coast. Founded by Stubby Warmbold and his wife Maria Warmbold in the late 1980s, CitiLog utilizes urban wood to produce a range of wood products. CitiLog was developed around the concept of "Upcycling," which is the practice of taking something that is considered waste and turning it into something of greater use or value, in their case, urban logs.
Nearing completion, a large circular sawmill will be operating at this site and will be capable of sawing 15,000-18,000 board feet of urban lumber per day. In August of 2011, Stubby Warmbold decided to transform what was once four-acres of abandoned, contaminated fields and turn it into Newark's first truly Zero Waste business.
"My family and I are proud to cut the ribbon on our first zero waste urban sawmill. CitiLog will use our 'waste' by further upcycling the biomass by generating our own electricity, heating, and eventually cooling - making our green company 100% self-sufficient and carbon neutral - all while saving precious landfill real estate. CitiLog is setting a new standard for the transformational role that local business can play in promoting economic development, neighborhood revitalization, sustainability, and job creation. It is a sin to waste good wood and we are looking forward to becoming an environmental resource for Newark and the State of New Jersey," said Mr. Warmbold.
In July 2011, Prudential Financial committed to an investment in CitiLog Enterprises, LLC, with a seven-year term loan for up to $2,820,000 plus an 18-month bridge loan for up to $1,670,000. Both loans were used to fund the facilities, machinery, and equipment to build the new wood biomass processing facility.
"We applaud Stubby and Maria Warmbold for their vision of developing an urban sawmill in Newark and of using that business to create green jobs for local residents. Like CitiLog, Prudential also is deeply committed to the revitalization of Newark as well as to efforts that sustain our environment. That's why we are so proud to partner with the team at CitiLog in helping to bring this dream to reality," said Ms. Reddy.
CitiLog's "closed loop" production process takes fallen trees from towns and contractors in Passaic, Hudson, and Essex Counties and turns them into dimensional lumber and industrial wood products for sale in the same areas. In addition, CitiLog Newark will be designing and producing hardwood commercial products including siding, and indoor and outdoor furniture. With support from NJ Board of Public Utilities' NJ Clean Energy Program, the company is also on track to be LEED Platinum certified by generating more electricity. CitiLog is also exploring the use of ash from the power system as compost and is capturing rainwater to meet its on-site greywater needs. CitiLog is also working with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on mapping its carbon offsets and is exploring the possibility of selling carbon credits.
"CitiLog is at the leading edge of sustainable business practices not just in Newark, but nationally. The company is demonstrating the power of a 'Zero Waste' approach - changing a costly disposal problem into raw material for economic opportunity and a healthier local environment. The Newark Sustainability Office looks forward to a long, productive relationship with this new partner," said Sustainability Officer Greenwood.
Director Arnold said, "Newark used to spend about $80/ton disposing of fallen trees by sending them to landfill. There they would decompose, creating greenhouse gas and contributing to climate change. Now, Newark takes most of its tree waste to Citilog - for free. This not only saves money directly, but also boosts revenue coming in through the State Municipal Tonnage grants for recycled material."
"As we learn about the CitiLog entrepreneurs and their business operating model and mission, we are happy that they found a home in Newark," said BCDC CEO Lyneir Richardson in a statement.
"Citilog is a wonderful project that will certainly help our neighboring community of Newark, and I am glad this project will assist in providing jobs, especially to those re-entering society. It will also help East Orange in the development of the surrounding area, as well as assist us moving forward in working with and asking business owners to aid in making this project successful: I join the other community partners involved in order to ensure this initiatives' success," said East Orange Mayor Bowser.
CitiLog is working with the New Jersey State Parole Board and the City of Newark's prisoner re-entry program to provide free training and job opportunities for formerly incarcerated residents who are trying to learn a trade and transition into the workforce as a productive citizen.
"The lives of ex-offenders are completely changed through this program. Helping people turn their lives around is something city mayors have to face every day CitiLog is accomplishing this feat. They should change their name from CitiLog to CitiLives! I hope this project expands in the future and I give thanks to the hope it brings the community," said Director Ward.
Currently, CitiLog has 13 employees at CitiLog Newark, of which eight employees reside in Newark or East Orange. When CitiLog is fully up and running, the company will employ approximately 35-40 people.
"I was unemployed for two years before CitiLog and I didn't know anything about logging but they brought me in for a job. I now have hope for success in the future," said CitiLog employee Bruce Thompson said.
CitiLog employee Donald Van Dyke said, "This is an amazing opportunity and I am so thankful to CitiLog for having a huge impact on my life."
About the City of Newark, New Jersey
Newark, commonly referred to as Brick City, is the third oldest city in the United States and the largest in New Jersey, with a population of more than 280,000 people. Newark sits on one of the nation's largest transportation super-structures including an international airport, major commuter and freight rail lines, major highway intersections and the busiest seaport on the east coast.
With a new Administration as of July 2006, Newark continues to see signs of a strong revival. Its population showed growth in the most recent census. Its six major colleges and universities are further expanding their presence. The rate of production of affordable housing has doubled, and new businesses are moving in. There is still much work to be done but Newark is on its way to achieving its mission: to set a national standard for urban transformation.
About Brick City Development Corporation
Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC) is the primary economic development catalyst for Newark, New Jersey, organized to retain, attract and grow businesses, enhance small and minority business capacity, and spur real estate development within the city.
BCDC initiates and executes economic development activities to produce and sustain economic growth, generate jobs and create wealth for the citizens of Newark. Our team serves as advocates within the City's municipal structure and provides a hands-on client management approach.
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