ERMA - Cape May County is taking concrete steps to develop a new "Tech Village" in Lower Township at the site of the former Everlon building at the Cape May County Airport. 

As reported by the Herald June 18, freeholders approved a plan to work with the Atlantic County Improvement Authority to build a center that would support high-technology firms which plan to develop unmanned aerial systems, or drones in this part of the county.

This is a concept that has long been part of the plan to encourage local engagement in the hi-tech drone field because of the county’s unique access to safe testing areas as well as skilled labor sources.

The Everlon building is being demolished in preparation for this development.  The demolition phase is costing $4.5 million including asbestos removal and site remediation. Road infrastructure improvements serving that area are nearly complete, at a cost of $7 million.

Cape May County must partner with the Atlantic County Improvement Authority because Cape May County does not have an authority that can oversee a project of this type.

At the June 18 meeting of Lower Township Council, representatives of the South Jersey Economic Development District provided an overview and preliminary development plan for the proposed structure. 

That plan calls for a 20,000-square-foot building to be erected that overlays the existing commercially-zoned 14-acre Everlon site.

The buildings that will initially house four tech companies and employ 130 people are designed to retain an aviation aesthetic that resembles aircraft hangers. The building is projected to cost $6.5 million.

According to Louis Joyce of the South Jersey Development District, one potential tenant is from the United Kingdom. A local firm has expressed an interest in locating their businesses in the tech village.

The long-term plan calls for additional buildings to be constructed as the local aerial systems business environment develops over the next few years.

On June 18, the Lower Township Council voted to submit the plan to the Lower Township Planning Board.

Lower Township Administrator James Ridgway stated that the Planning Board would have the plan returned to council for approval by July 2.

To contact Jim McCarty, email jmccarty@cmcherald.com.

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