Kelly support facility property in Collier auctioned

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A New Jersey real estate developer and contractor is the high bidder for the nearly 18 acres of former government property at the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility on Nike Site Road in Collier.

Paul Cusa, who owns Atlantic Office Suites in Wall, N. J., won the right to purchase the two parcels with his bid of $580,000. The General Services Administration conducted a live auction Aug. 6 for the properties. Four bidders participated in the auction.

Collier Manager Sal Sirabella said the properties are zoned R-4 for mixed use and that the township would like to see a combination of uses there, including homes, offices and businesses. However, no plans for the two sites have been announced.

The properties, which include the commissary building and a former missile bunker, are next to a 72-acre site that the government donated to Collier for a park. Work is nearly complete on a $4 million community center that is expected to open in approximately two months.

Additionally, Collier plans to develop an emergency medical services station on a nearby 11-acre parcel.

The Charles E. Kelly Support Facility was an Army air defense facility that deployed Nike and Hercules missiles from 1960-1974. More than 500 military and support personnel worked at the site.

The base was marked for closure in 2005 under the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

A Pittsburgh native, Charles E. Kelly, received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Europe in 1943. He died in 1985 and is buried in Highwood Cemetery, Northside.

Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer:

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