EGG HARBOR CITY — Developer Ray Persia and his team of professionals attended the city Land Use Board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 17, hoping to receive preliminary and final site approval to redevelop the former Acme site on New York Avenue.
Due to various issues that remain to be resolved, instead of receiving the approvals the board voted unanimously to have a preliminary site plan approval drawn up for the next meeting scheduled for Nov. 20, as suggested by Land Use Board alternate attorney Nancy Lottinville,
“They may also apply for their final approval at that time if they are ready,” Lottinville said.
Persia plans to rehabilitate the building to create 121 offices of 70 square feet for automotive sales dealers.
“New Jersey offers a wholesaler license, but the dealer needs a location in which to hang the license,” Persia said. “We will provide an office in which to store paperwork and to use as a hub. Many of these dealers purchase cars at auctions and then resell them.”
He does not expect all the dealers to be on site daily. “This will be a very, very passive use on this site,” his attorney Guido Babore said.
As part of the plan, Persia plans to totally refurbish the exterior of the building, repave the parking lot and replace the sidewalks surrounding the site. He expects to have two secretaries and a maintenance crew on site 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Egg Harbor City Planning Director Tim Michel recommended the applicant remove the current loading docks. He also suggested alternate landscaping to what Persia had proposed. While Persia was receptive to the landscaping suggestion he said he was noncommittal about removing the loading docks
Board member Michael McKenna, a city firefighter, expressed concern about an alarm sounding and then trying to locate a fire in one of 121 offices. “Are there going to be 121 separate smoke detectors,” he asked.
“This is something that can be resolved between the architect and the construction code official,” the applicant’s engineer James Clancy said.
Resident Tom Ade expressed concern that the applicant could turn the site into a salvage yard if the offices aren’t leased.
“That would not be permitted under the terms of the redevelopment plan,” Michel said.