What do you do when you’re cleaning out files and find a piece of research that you couldn’t use during a campaign because you had a seriously flawed candidate? If you’re the co-host of a weekly radio show with a blog, you write about it.
And, when that piece of research involves a piece of waterfront property in the City of Camden at a time when big tax incentives and tearing down minor league baseball stadiums are in the news that piece of research becomes interesting.
The whole affair is a bit convoluted, but it all begins with the City of Camden vacating, as seen in the Camden City Planning Board Agenda of January 12, 2006, a paper street, Marina Drive, that sat in the middle of a part of the old surface parking lot near Campbell’s Field, where the Camden Riversharks played minor league baseball. It just so happens this piece of parking lot happens to be in the middle of the building project for the new Camden Tower.
After Marina Drive was vacated it appears, based on Quitclaim Deeds, the Camden County Improvement Authority transferred waterfront property that included the paper street Marina Drive in the City of Camden to The New Jersey Economic Development Authority for “the sum of ONE and 00/100 Dollars ($1.00)” on June 16, 2016.
And it gets better! On November 28, 2016 The New Jersey Economic Development Authority transferred the property via a Quitclaim Deed to “Camden Town Center, LLC, a New Jersey limited liability company, whose address is c/o Liberty Property Limited Partnership, 1628 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.”
I could be wrong, but this appears to be quite the sweetheart deal. As I understand it, typically when developers are faced with a similar situation they purchase the property at market rate or have the municipality condemn it so it can be acquired through eminent domain. Obviously, none of that happened in this situation.
To add insult to injury it appears the Delaware River Port Authority folks were a lot smarter than the folks at the Camden County Improvement Authority or The New Jersey Economic Development Authority. They finally dumped their TRAM over the Delaware River by selling property.
So, there you have it folks. Read the documents and weep because it appears the sweetheart deals on the Camden waterfront involve more than tax incentives.