The Gloucester Premium Outlets mall will prominently feature the township’s name on many entrance signs of the new 450,000-square-foot facility.
Mayor David Mayer said it was important for township officials to include the provision as part of the final site plan approval earlier this month.
“It gives us an identity,” Mayer said. “One of the challenges of Gloucester Township is that we have so many zip codes. People think they live in Erial when they live in Gloucester Township.”
Gloucester Township, with 67,000 people, is the second largest municipality in Camden County behind Cherry Hill. But it has no postal mailing address with the name Gloucester Township. Township mailing addresses include Blackwood, Erial, Sicklerville and Glendora. The municipal hall here has a Laurel Springs mailing address.
Mayer said he wants the Gloucester Premium Outlets, which he calls the largest economic development project in the history of the township, to help identify Gloucester Township.
“We have an identity problem in Gloucester Township and that hurts us from an economic development perspective trying to bring businesses into our community,” he said. “This can really put Gloucester Township on the map.”
Mayer said many of the signs will say: Gloucester Premium Outlets at Gloucester Township.
The project by Simon Management Associates and PRIET/Rubin Inc. won unanimous final site-plan approval from the township planning board on July 23. But not everyone was cheering.
Mark and Melissa Malfara said Gloucester Premium Outlets is going to funnel traffic practically to their front door. Melissa broke down in tears moments before the planning board unanimously approved signage details for the project earlier this month.
“It should have been common courtesy to knock on our door and say, ‘Heads up, this is what’s going to be happening,’" she said after the meeting. “Not everybody reads the paper. Granted, it’s on us to find out what’s going on but people have things going on in their lives.”
Gloucester Premium Outlets is expected to bring name-brand, high-end merchandise to this oasis of land in southern Camden County. It’s located on a new College Drive interchange on the busy Route 42 highway and is expected to draw big crowds during and after its scheduled opening in the fall of 2014.