Cramer Hill project moving ahead

May 12, 2009 7:06:44 AM PDT
A major development project is on the launching pad in Camden one that promises to inject new life into an aging neighborhood.Camden officials celebrated new plans to revitalize the Cramer Hill section of town. The ten year $860-million project calls for 3,000 new and rehabilitated housing units, retail space, a community center, park and marina.

Manny Delgado is head of Cramer Hill Community Development Corporation who also wants to see the area's two and a half mile Delaware River waterfront come to life.

"This would be all mixed income, mixed use development hopefully some restaurants and other commerce on the ground floor there and this would total about 1200 to 1300 units as well."

The original plan to revitalize Cramer Hill was unveiled in 2004. It was approved by City Council but it was controversial and was tossed out by the courts. This time officials say the plan has community support and will work.

"For what we have learned now is that we cannot start from the top to the bottom it has to start from the grass roots from the bottom up," said Angel Fuentes, Camden City Council President.

Angel Cordero is a longtime vocal community activist.

"The most important thing we are not being displaced like on the Cherokee plan that was our biggest concern and now they assure that noone is going to be displaced."

There are enough vacant lots on which to build new homes without displacing anyone that's according to the agencies that will shepherd Cramer Hill now.

Hopes for a vibrant clean and safe Cramer Hill were perhaps best summarized by local school children who attended Monday's announcement.

"And I hope everyone works together for a better Cramer Hill community," said Vianca Salcedo of St. Anthony's school.

"Cramer Hill should look like Heaven with beautiful trees and birds flying freely," said Soledad Velasquez of St. Anthony's school.

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