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Camden County officials plan residential development for Pennsauken Mart site

11/10/2011 | Real Estate Blog

Officials in Camden County recently announced that the Pennsauken Mart site, which was set be demolished and replaced with a hockey arena and convention center seven years ago, will now become the site of residential development next summer.

Officials planning the project hope to begin occupancy in 2013 with a variety of vendors. The development plan was set up to attract “young, urban professionals” to the area.

Officials have been promising to develop the area-which consists of over 30 acres between the intersection of Routes 73, 90 and 130-for some time now. The sports arena which had been planned for the area had been planned to be the home of a professionally ice hockey. A local political had planned to purchase the team, but plans on that fell through. Following that, there were conversations about building luxury homes and big-box stores in the area, but those plans were also abandoned.

The present project comes out of a good deal of spending by the county, which $36.3 million of spending by the county to buy the land, obtaining cleanup services, paying $7.3 million in interest owed on a bond issue, fees for rolling the bond issue over for some time, and another $1.6 million to Pennsauken for lost tax revenue. The cleanup services were necessary because there used to be a gas station and dry cleaner on the site, which contaminated the soil and groundwater.

Additional funding for the project is expected to be in place and the state Department of Environmental Protection has already approved the project.

Some are concerned that the project will negatively impact the school district by failing to attract renters or by attracting low income renters. Other concerns exist, though it seems that county officials are serious about moving the project forward. Doing so

Development projects like the one at the Pennsauken Mart site can give rise to a lot of disagreements. For community members interested in moving these kinds of projects forward there can be any number of obstacles.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, “Pennsauken Mart site slated for residential development,” James Osborne, November 7, 2011.