The Radio Lofts: Ordered To Be Demolished

I received a phone call today from the City of Camden’s Municipal Clerk’s Office. They advised me that my Open Public Records Act request was now available regarding the condition of the Radio Lofts Building at 2nd and Cooper Streets. I shall now share the report with the citizens of Camden as well as the city’s visitors, while simultaneously raising brand new issues about the same building:

Radio Lofts OPRA 10 001

Radio Lofts OPRA Receipt 001

Radio Lofts OPRA 1 001

Radio Lofts OPRA 2 001

Radio Lofts OPRA 3 001

Radio Lofts OPRA 4 001

Radio Lofts OPRA 5 001

Radio Lofts OPRA 6 001

Radio Lofts OPRA 7 001

Radio Lofts OPRA 8 001

Radio Lofts OPRA 9 001

 

The Cooper Grant neighborhood and I are very pleased that an inspection has finally taken place. As it turns out, the inspection has declared that the Camden Redevelopment Agency has been ordered to demolish the Radio Lofts since it poses a hazard to human life. We now have official documentation rejecting the claims of the City’s Business Adminstrator, by which Robert Corrales stated, “The Building is solid”. It is not, by any means, structurally solid. However, still there remain some very big questions to be answered. My first question is: Why are the sidewalks still not closed for the entire length and width of the building, plus fifteen additional feet, along Cooper Street and Front Street as the Emergency Sidewalk memo demands? These photos were taken earlier today, as you can tell by the iPhone within each picture, used as proof of both time and date.

sidewalks9.11

sidewalk9.11-2

Based upon the date of August 28th, 2014 by which the report is said to have been completed in accordance with the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, a fence was to have immediately been erected in order to prevent a hazard to human life. The report also says that failure to do so could result in fines up to $2,000 per week. I am confident that the inspection itself did not take place until September 9th, 2014 base upon my own physical observation:

inspection9.9

And to prove that I took this photo on Tuesday, September 9, 2014, here is a screenshot of my iPhone’s timestamp in my photo album:

timestamp9.11

 

Something remains to be very fishy about the exact date by which things have been completed. I don’t know why the dates would be deliberately fudged since in the end, it would result in fines and potential lawsuits. Maybe they have been fudged in order to make it not seem like the sidewalks were closed only following my filing for the open record. Who knows. But, to me at least, the fines are not what is important here. What is important is that these sidewalks still remain accessible to the public, and the RiverLine station beneath the Radio Lofts is still in operation despite this official report, which is said to have happened two weeks ago.

I urge the City of Camden to appropriately close these sidewalks so that under no circumstances can a pedestrian become harmed by falling debris. I also urge NJ Transit to close it’s station beneath the building that has been deemed structurally unsound so that under no circumstances can one of their riders become injured from the building’s falling debris. I also urge the Camden Redevelopment Agency to act upon this report’s demands so that no motorist on Cooper Street, pedestrian, or RiverLine passenger can become harmed in the future.

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