HADDONFIELD – Cooper Health Care has moved closer to building a women’s medical center.
The district’s Historic Preservation Commission voted Wednesday night for the proposed facility, which would occupy an existing building on Grove and Lake streets.
The project, which still requires the approval of the planning board, would be the second Ripa Cooperation Center for Women’s Health and Welfare. The first opened in Voorhees in 2007.
Cooper needed a certificate of adequacy from the commission because its facility is located just within the preservation area.
The history of the building does not go back, however, to the colonial times of the district. She recently held a law firm as a Grove Professional Center, after serving as a gas station worker for more than 50 years,
“The property, in general, is in a pretty poor state,” said Damien Del Duca, Cooper’s attorney. The structure of a flat needs to be “extensively remodeled,” he added.
“They are ready to invest significantly,” Del Duca said of Cooper, who bought the site for $ 500,000 in March 2019.
Cooper reviewed his design for the structure of a flat after a previous session with the committee, which serves as an advisor to the planning council.
Angelo Alberto, the project’s architect, said the building is currently a “non-contributing structure” to the preservation district and that Cooper’s changes would lead to a significant upgrade.
Committee member Toni Bonnette saw it differently.
“I’m uncomfortable with the building,” he said. “I just feel like it looks like an office building or a complex that should be on Route 70.”
The committee voted 3-2 to approve Cooper’s certificate, with Bonnette and Cynthia Byers in opposition.
The women’s show is named after television personality Kelly Ripa and her family, who have long been supporters of Cooper, according to the health care system.
The planning board will consider Cooper’s proposal on June 1.
Jim Walsh covers public safety, economic development and other topics in the Courier-Post, the Burlington County Times and The Daily Journal.
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