New Jersey Proposed Youth Soccer Complex

Brooklyn Muse

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The Mullica Hill section of Harrison Township in Glouster County (about 20 miles south of Camden) is the proposed area in NJ for a new “improvement plan”. This new $485 million plan consists of an athletic complex, a youth soccer facility, 60 artificial turf and grass fields, two hotels, bars, restaurants, and retail outlets.

The proposal is for the MOTUS Performance Centre, a new development of a year-round facility for competitive sport, entertainment, education, conferencing, and cultural activities. This soccer complex had originally been proposed to be developed about a mile east on Route 322. When these plans continued to stall, the location was moved over to the Mullica Hill section of the county.

Mayor Louis Manzo was shocked and he “nearly fell off (his) chair” when he was approached by the MOTUS developers in 2020 with a plan to buy the 385-acre parcel from the former developer, Madison Marquette.

Many residents of the area have questions about the new developments in this project. A local resident, Ruth Knoebel reported to NJ Advance Media, “We had no idea it had moved over to this side of town. It seemed mostly nobody knew about it. So, we’re trying to get people to attend meetings to share their feelings with the township committee.”

Mayor Louis Manzo told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday. “We’re the ones at the table fighting for you, and making sure whatever we end up with is the best version of this. We’re on your side. Sometimes people come out with pitchforks.”

Lonny Unger, a spokesman for Echo Hill, LLC, the project’s developer stated that EDP Soccer, an East Brunswick based youth-soccer league and tournament host, will be the lead tenant and plans to hold up to 30 events a year at the facility. Sports such as lacrosse, football, baseball, and various tournaments and events will be held at the new recreational facility.

The site and sale plan hearing will be held late this year, or early next year, according to Mayor Louis Manzo. Residents will be permitted to comment at that time on this specific project.

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