Friday, October 19, 2012

Former Auction Site in Swedesboro Preserved

Somehow we missed this back in July. Alas. It's a small purchase, but as we once saw on press material for one town's preservation organization, "Every Acre Counts."

This originally was posted on the Gloucester County Times

Gloucester County, Swedesboro to preserve former auction site on Leahy Avenue

swedesboro auction locationThe former Swedesboro Auction property is located on Leahy Avenue.
SWEDESBORO — Swedesboro officials have big plans for the Swedesboro Auction property, a three-acre tract of land on Leahy Avenue that wasincorporated into the county’s open space plan this week.

“We are only three-quarters of a square mile, but we are rich in history,” said Diane Hale, a Swedesboro councilwoman.
Until the mid 1990s, area farmers would bring their produce to the Swedesboro market to be sold. Campbell’s Soup Co. was known to make its tomato soup with tomatoes grown at borough farms.
To preserve the history, the county chipped in about $255,000 to the borough’s $85,000 to purchase the land from Swedesboro Auction, Inc. The Gloucester County Freeholders voted to authorize the payment and will incorporate the land into the Open Space Preservation Program.
When the property settlement is complete, the borough will own it, leaving Hale and the Economic Development Commission to enact plans for the plot.
“We’re going to make it into a park and do some history so people can see it,” said Helen Fromm, member of the town’s economic development commission.
While the plans are only rough sketches of what the group envisions, Fromm said the site could include historical information about Swedesboro and Woolwich’s agricultural heritage. Plus, the site — which includes several buildings where farmers would showcase and bid on produce — could be transformed into a music venue or temporary ice skating rink in the winter.
Marco Lentini, a member of the borough economic development commission, said the reinvigoration of Swedesboro shouldn’t stop at its downtown area.
“You have a revitalization of downtown,” he said. “But you can’t neglect other parts of Swedesboro.”

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