William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet
GLOUCESTER CITY NJ (Sept. 1, 2020)-The former GAF property at Water and Charles Street is up for sale. The asking price for 10.5 acres at 707 Water Street is $2.8 Million. In 1996 a group of private investors named Gloucester Pointe purchased the GAF ground along with the adjoining Vanguard property for $450,000.
Records from 2015 show (see below) that Gloucester Pier LLC, 90 S. Orchard Street, Gibbstown NJ took title to it for a $1. One of the principals of Gloucester Pier LLC is Anthony Velahos.
Gloucester City Mayor Dan Spencer was asked why the city transferred the deed (see below) to the property for a $1. He referred us to City Solicitor Howard Long.
Long said that the property was mistakenly sold in a tax sale sometime between 2013 and 2014. "Our firm did not represent the city at this time," Long said. He explained that because of mistake "the owner, GAF, was not notified that this ground was being sold in a tax sale. To rectify the mistake the city had to transfer the title back to them for a $1. I believe that this happened sometime in 2013 or 2014. We were appointed in January 2015 when this was being wrapped up."
For anyone unfamiliar with the Gloucester Vista plan it was announced in November 2005. The plan called for up to 450 townhouses to be built on the GAF site. More homes along with a marina and shops were proposed for the remaining 100 plus acres in that area of abandoned chemical factories designated as Southport.
As for those vacant industrial properties further down Water Street, the city signed an agreement in December 2010 with Organic Diversion LLC permitting the company to build a compost facility on the ground. The $30 million, 110,000 square foot facility will be located in the City’s Southport Development area on 9.5 acres at the end of Water Street and the Delaware River. The vacant ground was once home to New Jersey Zinc which was owned by Gulf and Western. Organic Diversion LLL, of Marlton, was founded in 2008. Principal owners include Rocco D’Antonio, Gail Rosati, John Connelly, and Joe Kozlowski.
In 2012 The Camden County Recycler newspaper published by the Freeholder Board included an announcement about the planned food and vegetative waste compost facility to be constructed on Water Street in Gloucester City. “Once in operation, this 400 ton per day indoor facility, to be owned and operated by Organic Diversion Inc. would become the first fully enclosed facility of its kind anywhere in North America.“ Officials expect construction to start in mid-summer. A 2013 opening date is anticipated. It will cost approximately $30 million to build. The six-day a week operation is expected to increase traffic to around 25 trucks a day.
Over the past ten years, CNBNewsnet has asked city officials along with Rocco D'Antonia, one of the owners of Organic Diversion when will work begin. The answer he gave was the same as it was in 2010, "the project has been delayed because of the time it has taken to get the necessary wetland permits. Shortly after Mayor Daniel Spencer was elected in 2018 we asked him for an update. He said that holdup is still the wetland permits that are needed.
Anne Forline, South Jersey Observer publisher/editor contributed to this article
published Gloucestercitynews.net | SEPTEMBER 1, 2020