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The City of Gloucester City Names a Developer for Southport Industrial Area


GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (December 31, 2022)(CNBNewsnet)--The Gloucester City Mayor and City Council have named Stephen Parnes, Catalyst Development Partners, of Atlanta, Georgia, as the Conditional Redeveloper of the Southport Redevelopment area which consists of approximately 145 acres.

James Maley Esq., of the Maley Givens Law Firm, Collingswood, who represents the city in this matter, stated in a letter to Parnes, “As Redevelopment Counsel to the City of Gloucester City, we will be preparing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) naming Catalyst as Conditional Redeveloper of the Southport Redevelopment Area. The MOU will also require Catalyst to establish an escrow account with the City, which the City may use to draw upon for its costs and expenses related to the project. Upon establishing the escrow, the City will negotiate with Catalyst to enter into a Redevelopment Agreement that will govern the project. “

Maley was a former Gloucester City Solicitor and is the longtime mayor of Collingswood.


Catalyst Development Partners, LLC

Mr. Parnes is a founding member of Catalyst and brings a wide range of real estate development and finance experience to the company. He manages the origination of projects including structuring, negotiating and closing acquisitions and then all development activities including zoning, design, permitting, pre-construction and construction/environmental remediation activities.

Catalyst focuses on the land reuse of the blighted properties and will also team with vertical builder partners to implement the environmental solutions into the end use product and site planning process. Prior to founding Catalyst, Mr. Parnes spent six years with EnviroFinance Group, LLC where he ran all development activities for the Northeast for both their brownfield redevelopment and renewable energy projects.

Mr. Parnes has over 20 years of experience in redevelopment in the tri-state area and has successfully redeveloped underutilized industrial properties into new developments of multi-family housing and commercial development.

Mr. Parnes holds a B.A. from Brandeis University and a J.D. from the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.


 Besides Parnes, the council also met with four other developers. They are 

Botond Farkas, Arbor Partners, Jersey City 

Matt Mason, Renaissance Industrial Environmental Development, Jersey City

Dan Gural, Everton Industrial Development, Medford

David Paper, Modern Mod Inc., of Neosho, MO.

For decades the area was a primary source of employment for Gloucester City residents.  Some of the factories operating in that area were Pusey and Jones Shipbuilding, GAF, Harshaw Chemical, Atlantic Richfield, New Jersey Zinc and West Virginia Paper and Pulp. Those industries closed in the late 70s early 80s leaving behind ground that contained hazardous chemicals. In 2006, the local Democratic Party announced plans to build condominiums, a marina, restaurants, and a shopping section a month before the November election. It was to be called Gloucester Vista. But they lost that election to a group called "The James Gang," also Democrats.   When the "James Gang" took power in 2007, they announced that it would take ten years or more before the Vista plan could begin because those toxic chemicals would have to be removed from the ground. One of the biggest problems with that old industrial site, besides the hazardous chemicals, is the infrastructure. If there is a heavy rain storm at the same time the Delaware River has a high tide, the two roads going in and out of that spot are impassable due to flooding.

Since 1984 the development cost to taxpayers for the many studies, architect drawings, engineer reports, maps, land surveys, etc., of those 145 acres is over a million dollars. 

In 2010 the City signed an agreement with Rocco D'Antonio of Organic Deversions Compost Company. That project never developed, and in November 2021, a $10.5 million lawsuit was filed against the City of Gloucester City by D'Antonio. The City counter-sued the developer. 


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