A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

County Road Developments - A Reprise

APP just published its article about Monday's Aberdeen Township Council meeting, which apparently will decide the fate of RCM's two development projects. I appreciate that the APP article points out the community's concern about the municipality's lack of openness on this issue, but I'm concerned that they missed the all important Planning Board meeting set for the same evening an hour earlier. Without that meeting, the Council can't move this along. And moving it along, by hook or by crook, seems to be their intention.

What do we know about the developer of Renaissance at Aberdeen and the land's previous owners?

RCM Group was founded by Rick Cifelli of 14 Industrial Drive in Cliffwood Beach on 23 April 2004, according to Meetings Director. Aberdeener says RCM stands for Rick Cifelli Management. 14 Industrial Drive is the address of Cifelli Development and Construction, a company which does between $2.5 million and $5 million in business annually. Cifelli Development is associated with a John Cifelli.

The deed transferring the Route 34 development project property from RCM Group to C & M Real Estate on 9 October 2009 identifies managing members of RCM Group as Carmine Spinella and Matthew Clemente. Carmine Spinella lives at 73 Conover Road in Colts Neck, the address of C & M Real Estate as provided on the deed. There is a Matthew F Clemente also in Colts Neck, but I can't say he is identical with the RCM Group manager. C and M could be Carmine and Matthew. Could it be that simple?

RCM Group bought Block 196 Lot 27 and Block 228 Lots 1 and 2, located on the north side of County Road in Cliffwood, from Salem Place Corporation in May 2004 at a cost of $1 million.

The President of Salem Place Corp is Joseph J Lombardo, who owns Rosangela Contracting Co Inc, 450 County Road. His company does major contract construction at the county, state, and federal level between the Amboys and Atlantic City. Lombardo has bought and sold a number of properties in the 400 block of County Road since 1999. His most successful seems to be 403 County Road, a commercial site worth about $2.7 million.

The value of the development property seems to have skyrocketed after the NJ DEP granted Salem Place Corp a Freshwater Wetlands Transition Area Waiver (TA Waiver) , not so coincidentally the same month that RCM bought the property. The TA Waiver was no doubt granted because the neighboring land was rated light industrial. Environmentalists would quickly tell you that heavy residential use increases the likelihood of lawn care contaminants, oil spillage, eColi, etc getting into nearby Whale Creek.

Salem Place Corp initially wanted to build warehouses on the property. As of 18 March 2003, Aberdeen Township had a Developers Agreement with Salem Place Corp to do $1.35 million worth of site development at the Cliffwood blocks and lots in question. This work was based on Application SP 01-103 prepared by Robert J Templin, PE, LS, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 dated 17 Feb 2001 and revised 14 Mar 2002. The agreement was signed by Joseph J Lombardo, President of Salem Place Corp; Norman B Kauff, Atty for the Township; and David G Sobel, Mayor of Aberdeen Township.

SP 01-103 was memorialized on 18 August 2001 by the Aberdeen Township Planning Board, moved by Mr Axelrod and seconded by Ms Gumbs, approved by all seven members and signed by Secretary Maxine Rescorl. The agreement stated that the developer planned to construct a building with 35,840 sq ft of warehouse and a 15,360 sq ft office, plus a second building with 17,167 sq ft of warehouse and 7,358 sq ft of office space. The property would have 184 parking spaces. A 100 foot buffer would be left between the property and neighboring residences. The agreement was subject to CAPRA approval and NJ DEP issuance of a stream encroachment permit. Storm drainage into Whale Creek was to be dealt with via a water retention basin.

Salem Place Corp bought Block 228 Lot 1 from Contract Carrier Corp and Block 228 Lot 2 and 196 Lot 27 from Joseph C Cassini, II, married and Ann M Cassini, widow, on 27 May 1999.


  1. Wow, that's quite a mouthful. Nice job on the research.

  2. I was on the Aberdeener and went searching so I am guessing this is the article referenced in comment #86?
    A very interesting read.

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Are you referring to the 86th comment under Lies, Damned Lies, posted on April 18 at 4:49 PM? I see no reference there to my article. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place?

  4. This story is a prime example of what happens when the public continues to vote the same party into office. With a one party control over an extended period of time the stage is set for township transactions to occur that are purley for the benift of the choosen few and not the public.
    The events surrounding this story would lead one to believe that the people involved did personally benifit and we the residents of Aberdeen are responsible because we allow the same people to manage our town every time their is an election.
    I hope the mass of voters realize that they must change their thinking and voting habits if they are concerned about events like this.