BY WILLIAM E. CLEARY SR.
This photo shows a stunning view of the Delaware River and the Philadelphia skyline from the old GAF pier on Water Street in Gloucester City, NJ. Surprisingly, this prime location was never developed into a riverfront restaurant or marina.
Gloucester City was once a popular tourist destination, but it seems to have lost its appeal over time. The pier will now be used for various cannabis businesses allowed in New Jersey. The council will hold a public hearing and final vote on May 15th at 6 PM to discuss the ordinance to proceed with these plans. The Gloucester City Land Development law was amended on January 23 to allow this development. The public hearing and final adoption will be held in council chambers, 313 Monmouth Street.
If approved, the new ordinance will allow cannabis businesses to operate with Class 1, 2,3,4,5, and 6 licenses (Cultivation, Manufacturing, Wholesale, Distribution, Retail, and Delivery.
Hanging over the city’s deal with the marijuana businesses is a $10.5 lawsuit filed against Gloucester City in 2021 by Rocco D’Antonio. In 2010 he was given the go-ahead to build a multi-million dollar compost recycling plant near the old GAF pier. Despite getting initial approval from the City, unforeseeable circumstances led to the agreement falling apart. The case is currently in the deposition phase, and D'Antonio has expressed his readiness to take it to trial in October.
How is it that nearby communities such as West Deptford Township, Camden City, and Brooklawn have been able to attract developers to their waterfronts? Still, Gloucester City hasn't been able to put a shovel in its waterfront shoreline for over 37 years.
Presently the GAF pier is being used as a spot for graffiti artists and teen waterfront parties. It is nice to see it is getting some use. It has been empty for 25 years or more. The cove in the photo below would be perfect for a boat slip marina. All that is missing are the docks.
Compost Plant Developer Files $10.5 Million Lawsuit Against Gloucester City Residents for Breach of Contract