By Bill Cleary
THE Boondoggle-- In 2008 Gloucester City purchased Chatham Square, a 100-unit apartment complex, located at Block 256, Lot 1, at Route 130 and Klemm Avenue. The price? $4.25 million. At the same time the city bought the adjacent Gloucester Terrace complex located at Block 256, Lot 4, for $1.65 million. Two years later the city hired Oren Brothers of Philadelphia to develop the units into townhouses. Oren borrowed $1.1 million from the City’s UDAG program to fund the development of those properties. The total taxpayers investment, $7 million. That figure does not include closing costs, engineering and legal fees, along with maintenance costs. Nor does it include the property tax revenue the city has lost over the five years the property has remained vacant. Not one of those townhouses has been sold.
Seventeen miles away in nearby Delran a private sale, involving another
ARE YOU IN THE MARKET FOR A SCHOOL? The Gloucester Catholic High School Boy’s Annex, Monmouth and Burlington Street, Gloucester City, is up for sale. The two-story brick school building with basement is about 10,662 square feet. The asking price, $629,900. Taxes are $58,676 annually. Call Weichert Reality 1-800-872-7653. The Annex, originally the Berryman Estate, opened as Saint Mary’s High School in 1926. After the construction of the current “Main Building,” located two blocks away on Cumberland Street, it became known as the Boy’s Building because Gloucester Catholic was co-institutional. In recent years, the Annex has housed mostly freshmen homerooms and classes. Freshmen, along with the Junior-High students are now using the former Saint Mary’s Grammar School Building, Cumberland and Sussex Streets. The grammar school was closed last year by the Diocese because of financial reasons. Without a doubt this is going to be a hard property to sell. Here is a thought: The City of Gloucester likes to buy real estate, so maybe Weichert Reality should give them a call.
FIRE DEPARTMENTS RECEIVE GRANTS--Merchantville and Audubon Fire Departments will receive a total of $485,820 from the federal government to hire firefighters and purchase new-life saving equipment. The bulk of these funds were given to Merchantville, with the borough receiving a $300,000 grant to add three firefighters. The remaining $185,820 will be directed to Audubon to replace 33 new self-contained breathing apparatuses, a device worn by first responders to provide breathable air in life-threatening conditions. Both grants are paid for through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
NEWSPAPERS CUTTING STAFF--The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest dailynewspaper, eliminated the jobs of 34 employees earlier this month. The layoffs included editors, news clerks, and photographers. Publisher Richard Vezza blamed the cuts on continuing financial pressures stemming from a steady decline in readership and sinking ad revenues.
The South Jersey Times, located in nearby Woodbury, also cut staff this month. Officials for the paper said a slow economic recovery coupled with industry challenges led to the elimination of 11 jobs at that newspaper. Eight full-time and three part-time people lost their jobs, according to Joseph P. Owens, the newspaper's general manager. About 150 full- and part-time people work at the newspaper, he said. Those affected worked in the business office, news, circulation, advertising and production departments. The newspaper serves readers in Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland and parts of Camden counties. Its affiliated website is nj.com.
Have a Tip or Snippet? Send it to CNBNews@verizon.net
RELATED: CNBNEWS POINT OF VIEW
related: ClearysNoteBook YouTube Channel
CNBNEWS TIPS AND SNIPPETS