Monday, October 30, 2017

Amazon Interested in Galloway Township; Township Officials Continue to Pursue

On September 12, 2017, Galloway Township Mayor Don Purdy stated the Township was actively pursing a business development deal with Amazon through a headhunting broker for approximately a year. 

"I decided to announce that the Township was already working with a real estate broker whose client happened to be Amazon because Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson announced that the County was interested in going after Amazon" Purdy stated. "Galloway has the perfect site with rail access and immediate access to the airport and enough acreage to accommodate what Amazon is looking for. The Township wanted to be part of the package with Atlantic County"

Mayor Purdy recently come under fire by the opposing political party for not being transparent about the secret conversations with Amazon, even further stating "the Township never had private talks with Amazon about bringing a headquarters to Galloway Township" said Gorman, Crawford, Abdrabouh and Santo in news release titled "Democrats call out Purdy Team for Misleading Galloway on Amazon Headquarters." 

According to the news release, the opposing political party called the Mayor "disingenuous" after they submitted a records request to the Township seeking correspondence between the Township, Amazon and the owner of the proposed site. The Township did not have any documents before the news broke in September 2017 based on the wording of their request.

Galloway Township News contacted Mayor Don Purdy after learning of this information to question if the information released by the opposing political party was in fact accurate.

"It is disappointing that such a great potential commercial project like Amazon is being used as a political tool in an attempt to defame or discredit anyone. Their comments could hurt the efforts Galloway already put forward for this development" Purdy stated. "I specifically said we had conversations with a broker that identifies properties for Amazon, not Amazon directly. Their request was for specific correspondence with Amazon, again the Township never had direct conversations with Amazon." 

Upon request, Galloway Township News obtained emails dating back to September 2016 that showed conversations the "broker" had in attempts to obtain information on the parcel of land Galloway Township had to offer that would accommodate all the needs Amazon was seeking. Emails from December 2016 further show conversations regarding the rail line accessibility, site visits and specifications for cargo service with the airport. Conversations continued through 2017 including in one specifically stating that Amazon was "very interested."***

"Galloway has been working hard for the past several years to bring in commercial development. The residents have been asking for it and we are achieving that goal" Purdy said. 

The Township has adopted redevelopment zones in specific areas in order to attract businesses, big or small.  Wawa, Burger King , Dunkin Donuts and CVS are just a couple of the big box names that have brought new sites into Galloway and more is on the way. 

Barrette Outdoor Living now occupies the old Lenox China site on Tilton Road which brought over 500 jobs to the area. The parcel of land marketed for Amazon is located in the same area of Tilton, Pomona Road and Aloe Street. 

"Economic Incentives are an asset when the Township is talking to potential commercial developers. Galloway wants Amazon and it would be a huge asset to the taxpayers if they come here" Purdy stated. "We have an Economic Committee charged with the responsibility to go out and bring these developers to town. We are doing that with Amazon. It is not easy but everyone on Council has been trying their hardest to bring to Galloway what the resident's  not only want, but need."

***At the request of the broker, Galloway Township News is not releasing the specific emails as the emails would not be considered "government records" and are confidential in nature. 


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