(Cherry Hill, N.J.) — Township Council on Wednesday night took the first step toward revitalizing several dilapidated and underutilized areas in Cherry Hill by directing the Township Planning Board to study four separate areas along Routes 70 and 38 to determine whether the sites qualify as “Redevelopment Areas” under New Jersey Redevelopment laws.
The four areas include: the Hillside Inn, Feather Nest Inn, and Days Inn on Route 38; Baker Lanes and Inn of the Dove on Cuthbert Boulevard; America’s Best Value Inn and the former Temple Emanuel synagogue on Route 70; and the former Saunders Publishing buildings on Hampton Road.
“For years now, these areas have been home to low-end motels and old vacant industrial buildings,” said Mayor Chuck Cahn. “It’s time we take the necessary steps to rejuvenate these gateways to Cherry Hill and transform them into more dynamic places to live and work.”
While a Redevelopment Study would ultimately help determine what will happen to each area, Mayor Cahn said, “There is no doubt that these first steps will open the doors to new investment and infrastructure that supports Cherry Hill’s thriving residential and commercial community.”
Since taking office in 2012, Mayor Cahn has made economic development and the redevelopment of Cherry Hill’s empty and underperforming commercial properties a top priority, working closely with both developers and residents to encourage revitalization and redevelopment of these sites, while simultaneously preserving open space throughout town.
“Today’s action reflects the Mayor and Council’s commitment to ensuring that Cherry Hill continues its steady and sustained trend of well-thought-out economic growth that ensures the long-term stability of our great town,” said Council President David Fleisher. “It’s time to clean up the entrance to Cherry Hill, and take advantage of the benefits of these particular areas, which are all adjacent to major roadways, close to shopping, and a ten-minute ride to Philadelphia.”
Although the Planning Board will make the ultimate determination as to whether these areas fit the criteria set forth by New Jersey’s redevelopment laws, the Mayor and Council believe they are prime examples of why these statutes exist. Redevelopment laws encourage investment by private developers in deteriorating and stagnant areas that otherwise might not occur. Redevelopment is particularly suitable for areas that are negatively affecting the community’s economic and social stability.
“Through the redevelopment process, the Township can promote the development of these areas in an appropriate and productive manner,” Mayor Cahn indicated. “We have hundreds of thousands of people visiting Cherry Hill every day to work and shop. It’s time we showcase the entrance to our town in a manner that fits with the overall character of our community.”