Bill passes to transfer plot where Riverfront State Prison once stood

The plan to transfer the 16-acre plot where the Riverfront State Prison once stood to the state Economic Development Authority is one signature away from becoming a reality.

A bill sponsored by State Sen. Donald Norcross (D., Camden) and Assemblyman Angel Fuentes (D., Camden) asking to sell the prison property to the EDA for $1 passed in the legislature earlier today and was sent to Gov. Christie for final approval.

"The Riverfront Prison has been a dangerous blight on Camden's waterfront for too long," Norcross said in a statement. "We can begin the process of replacing the site with development that will bring jobs and ratables to the city."

As I reported last month, the site has been vacant for three years in part because legislators did not realize until recently that legislation was needed to transfer the land for redevelopment.

The State House Commission, which controls the sale and leasing of state-owned properties, came up with the prison disposition procedures in 2009 and asked that the property be sold by the development authority through a public bidding process. The commission also would have to grant final approval of the winning bidder. (To read more on this, click HERE.)

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