By Mike DeNardo

CAMDEN, NJ. (CBS) — The site of a former prison on the Camden waterfront has new life now, as a park and playground…and possibly more.

With the cutting of a ceremonial ribbon, the new Cooper’s Poynt Waterfront Park officially opened just north of the Ben Franklin Bridge.  It was once the site of Riverfront State Prison, demolished in 2009.

The state Economic Development Authority has been unable to find a buyer for seven acres surrounding the park. The EDA’s Senior Vice President of Governance Communications and Strategic Initiatives Maureen Hassett says perhaps commercial development south of the Ben will spur residential construction on the north side.

“Sometimes people just need to see cranes in the air, buildings built and that next step of interest,” Hassett said. “This plan calls for mixed-use with a focus, I think, on residential. So what we’re seeing is the commercial interest, but maybe a little too soon for the residential component of it.”

The five-acre park includes a playground and a half-mile trail connected to the region’s trail network.

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