CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) — Camden officials are heralding the latest efforts to remove blighted, abandoned buildings from the local landscape.
With a bulldozer for a backdrop, Mayor Dana Redd announced phase three of the demolition project, this one centering on closed commercial properties across the city.
As many as 15 of them will come down with the help of a $3 million state loan. Earlier work has cleared more than 600 run down houses from every neighborhood in Camden.
“The sites, once they’re cleared, we’re able to market these sites for prospective businesses that may want to relocate or expand in the city of Camden,” Redd told KYW Newsradio.
The site along Kaighns Avenue is expected to have 15 homes for low-income residents, thanks to the efforts of a church in the Gateway neighborhood that already put up houses across the street.
Reverend Willie Anderson is pastor of the Sword of the Spirit Christian Center.
“When we put just 10 homes with homeowners in this community, the crime went down 85% in one year,” Anderson said.
Priority has been given to city residents in getting the jobs to do this demolition work.
Redd is leaving office at the end of this year. City Council President Frank Moran, who has Redd’s endorsement in next week’s primary election, has vowed to continue this work if he is elected to replace Redd.