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POSTED May 14, 2007

She writes, "First, I believe you must really be referring to what has been known as "Gloucester Point", which is located along the Delaware River in Gloucester City.  Beazer Homes is no longer under contract to purchase the property and all of the parties involved, including Beazer Homes, are considering the best way to develop the property given the current housing market."

Demolition of the old GAF plant was completed earlier this year. 

Butch Berglund, one of the principals of Gloucester Point Inc., said that the project will continue forward without Beazer. "Gloucester Point owns the property. We have most of the permits needed to begin construction of single family homes and condos on the site.  We are talking to several builders who are interested in the site.  The site will be redeveloped. We have too much time and money invested in it to withdraw now. " 

Gloucester City has been trying to develop its riverfront for the past 25 years. The first announcement of a grandeur style proposal was made in 1984 when a group of developers approached the city with a plan to build "Hollywood East" on the riverfront.  The project called for condos, a marina, restaurants, housing and movie studios. After the "City Fathers" authorized several costly studies the idea was scrapped because the developer would not released their source of funding.

That was followed by the King Street Corridor Plan, which was similar to Hollywood East proposal without the movie studios. After spending another $100,000 or so to do one more study it never got beyond the talking stage.

Over the next several years different groups of individuals came forward with an idea of just building a restaurant on the waterfront at the old Coast Guard Base, King Street and the river, surrounded by a marina. The restaurant was thrown out the window when former Mayor Chuck Billingham and council agreed to lease the former Coast Guard office building to Holt Cargo for 99 years.

A small version of the marina (only 25 slips) was built for several million dollars in the late 1990's.  All the studies that the City paid to have done recommended at the minimum the marina should have at least 100 slips to make a profit.  Whoever designed the City's marina forgot to include fresh water and fuel for the boats. As such the marina has continued to cost the City more money to operate then what it is making.

It didn't help either that the marina was closed for a year or more because of an oil spill.  And then there was the  lawsuit brought by the dredging company building the marina that cost taxpayers $260,000 to settle along with attorney fees of $300,000 plus. 

CNBNEWS UPDATE January 30, 2014: Seven more years have gone by, the site still hasn't been developed. In the meantime the James administration spent $5 million plus of your money to buy the old Harshaw Chemical/AMSPEC property on Water Street. As for the million of dollars spent on studies and architect drawings for the Southport acreage they have been thrown away. Instead of the plans to build homes, condos, townshouses, retail shops and a marina this valuable piece of real estate, located on the Delaware River in Gloucester City, will be used for a trash to compost plant. The owners of the startup comany have also been named the new developer for Southport. 
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