Coop restaurant and VFW building to be demolished

Vacant buildings will come down in the coming weeks

MATTHEW SHNKLE/The Sun: Voorhees Township passed a resolution allowing for the demolition of the former VFW Building along White Horse Road. Township officials say they expect the demolition to take place in the coming weeks.

An abandoned swing set structure sits in the grass behind the former Voorhees Memorial VFW building along White Horse Road.

Looking at the building from the front, parts of the roof’s overhang have already fallen off after years of neglect due to the long-vacant building having gone unused for nearly a decade. On the left side, a hole in the roof is starting to develop. The blue building features boarded doors and windows all the way around.

Just two blocks down the road, another building tells a similar story.

The Coop chicken restaurant sits forgotten, also with boarded doors and windows. Graffiti can be found on the outside walls. The building sits back on the property at 200 White Horse Road, and is increasingly covered by brush from the nearby trees to its southwest along Cooper River.

Following the passing of a resolution by the Voorhees Township Committee last week, the municipality approved the demolition of both buildings by Delphi Contracting for $58,299.

“They’re both on White Horse Road and they’ve both been eyesores for the better part of a decade now,” said Township Administrator Larry Spellman.

The former VFW building has been used since 2012, said Spellman, when Post 10116 combined with Post 7334 in Somerdale. But the building’s history includes its original construction in the 1920s, when it was used as the two-room Kirkwood School. It would become the Kirkwood Library in the ‘50s, before later serving as the home of VFW Post 10116.

Voorhees Township anticipates demolition of the two buildings to take place sometime in the next several weeks, after which the municipality will decide what to do with the properties.

MATTHEW SHINKLE/The Sun: Committee also authorized the demolition of the old Coop chicken restaurant, also along White Horse Road.

Spellman said Voorhees does not have official plans for the land moving forward, although the township has spoken with Camden County regarding upcoming work along Route 561 and the nearby bridge next to the Coop restaurant. Discussion included the possibility of utilizing the property, after the building is demolished, as a staging-area for equipment and supplies.

The township is not yet aware of a start date regarding any potential projects.

In other news:

  • The Voorhees committee appointed members to the Hen Advisory Board, a newly formed entity that will approve and oversee licenses for residents to own backyard chickens. The township has 30 licenses available for residents to apply for online
  • The township received two items of revenue, one being the state Alcohol Education, Rehabilitation and Enforcement Fund and the other the state Clean Communities Grant. The township received $2,250.55 and $59,300.51, respectively.