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Gloucester City Planning Board Considering Development Plans; Meeting Wednesday Night

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William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet 

GLOUCESTER CITY, NEW JERSEY (October 16, 2018)(CNBNewsnet)—Redevelopment plans for properties on the west side of Broadway will be discussed at the Wednesday, October 17 Gloucester City Planning Board meeting to be held at 7:30 PM in council chambers, 313 Monmouth Street.

On January 25, 2018 City Council adopted resolution R#027-2018 directing the Planning Board to conduct an "Area in Need of Redevelopment" study. The area to be studied as directed in the Resolution is bounded by the Delaware River to the west, Somerset Street and Monmouth Street to the north, Washington Avenue to the east and Powell Street to the south. The resolution initially identified a large area, which consisted of approximately 500 parcels. However, it was decided to cut the area and focus on a smaller size.

According to Kathy Jentsch, municipal clerk, the Planning Board will release the findings of their study after Wednesday night's public hearing.

As a result of an Open Public Records Act request (OPRA) CNBNews received a copy of an Tri-Party agreement between the City, developer Commerce Pursuit Capital, and the American Legion, Post 135. That agreement calls for the City to  exchange a property at 31-38 Jersey Avenue in return for the Legion property at 434 Cumberland Street. The contract calls for the developer to construct a new facility for Post 135 on the Jersey Avenue property.  The building shall not exceed 2400 square feet of total space at a cost of not more than $250,000 inclusive of all architectural, engineering, development and construction costs.  If after completion of the building it is determined that the actual costs incurred by the Developer was less than $250,000 then the Developer will pay the Legion the difference.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH THE LEGION & SCHOOL PROPERTIES?

Our OPRA request asked for all development plans for the area mentioned in Resolution #027-2018. Included in the documents received was the Gloucester City Redevelopment Opportunity Master Plan, Working to bring about the Gloucester City Renaissance dated May 1, 2017. According to that information the "Legion Block" would be developed into 80-90 Studio units with one and two bedrooms along with parking for 30 to 60 cars.

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As for the Mary Ethel Costello School building, which would include the residential properties next to the school a new 4-story multi-family residential building would be built over Neighborhood retail. The building would include 80-90 units (studios, one and two bedrooms), parking for 60-100 vehicles and Cumberland Street would be reconfigured for parking and traffic efficiencies.

That Master Plan also calls for a retail building with residential apartments above it to be constructed on the Community Garden ground at Market and Atlantic Streets across from the new Middle School.

For the plan to proceed over a $100 million investment would be needed to develop the two block area. So far no developer has been named.

The Board of Education in November 2017 hired Robert M. Sapio to do an appraisal of the school property. According to that report, that building contains 70,526 square feet and is situated on a 1.59 acre site. The building was constructed around 1890 with a subsequent addition in 1926 that consists of 60 percent of the overall building area.  "Overall, the property is considered to be in average condition. Based on my estimate of market value, the property is significantly over-assessed which has not adversely impacted on the subject property," said Sapio. He appraised the market value of the property to be worth $1,050,000.

Below are architect drawings of the proposed properties mentioned. CME Associates Consulting & Municipal Engineers did the Gloucester City West Scattered Site Area in need of redevelopment study draft.

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Gloucester City to Purchase More Real Estate

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