on March 27, 2013 at 8:30 AM, updated March 27, 2013 at 4:45 PM
WOODBURY — Officials Tuesday night announced what they hope will be the beginning of the end to the continuing struggle to redevelop the long-vacant Woodbury Country Club.
According to Council President William Fleming Jr., a developer has stepped forward expressing interest in building three health care facilities, as well as 20 homes, on the 50-acre plot, which previously was home to a golf course and club house.
The developer, William G. Burris, Jr., CEO of the Moorestown-based Burris Construction Company, first connected with the city’s economic development committee in January after speaking with officials at Underwood-Memorial Hospital.
“The developer specializes in health care facilities, and he was referred to us by Underwood, but at this point everything is conceptual,” said Fleming.
“There is no agreement with the city or the bank at this point,” he later added. “Although Burris does have a deposit with the bank.”
Parke Bank is the primary creditor and current owner of the property, which according to Fleming has at certain points since its closure been the home of everything from squatters to grass some three feet tall.
Burris’ previous project was the Powerback Rehabilitation Center, operated by Genesis Healthcare, on Route 73 in Voorhees. The 87,000-square-foot, 124-room rehabilitation center serves patients recently discharged from the hospital, and was designed to get them out of rehab in 15 to 30 days.
Fleming along with Mayor Bill Volk said they toured the facility recently and gave the center positive reviews.
“From the site plan, to the interior as well as the landscaping outside, I was really impressed,” said Fleming. “There are many convalescencent homes in New Jersey, but this one is different, more modern.”
Volk added that he appreciated the center’s reliance on solar and hydroelectric power.
As for Burris’ plans for the country club, Fleming said the developer is proposing three buildings — a rehabilitation center, a long-term convalescencent facility and a center for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Burris has also introduced the idea of constructing 20 homes with an approximate value of $500,000 to $600,000, Fleming said. However, the council president added it’s likely Burris’ company would farm out the home construction.
“We know it’s not a golf course,” said Fleming, addressing residents at Tuesday night’s council meeting. “We’ve pursued bringing in another golf course, but none have come up successful.
“We think this could be a good answer for the property and the city.”
Contact Jason Laday at 856-686-3628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.