Copart is a $4 Billion Auto Auction company with 200 auto storage lots nationwide, who in very recent years has purchased properties in 5 different Gloucester County locations.
What started for me as a simple post about their upcoming Monroe Township (Williamstown) Zoning Board Meeting, turned into tracking down multiple expansion efforts in the county including Washington Twp, Glassboro, Elk, and a second 60-acre property in Williamstown.
The single project I first started researching was a 60 acre parcel in Williamstown with access to the Black Horse Pike, which is proposed to be utilized by Copart of Connecticut as an auto storage facility supporting their internet based vehicle auction business. An existing home which sits along the Black Horse Pike will be converted into an office.
This project is scheduled for an October 19th Monroe Township Zoning Board hearing.
The right portion of the property can be identified from the pike by it’s front signage identifying it as “International Process Plants – Williamstown Yard”
Additionally, in my research of this proposal I found that Copart has been on somewhat of a Gloucester County buying spree in very recent years which led me to purchase activity at FIVE different locations in the County.
You could argue that some Glassboro Delsea Drive area acquisitions are a sixth location, as they are across the street from the existing facility.
Beyond this 60 acre Williamstown project project (which appears to not have been sold yet), Copart has spent over $10 million for lots in a few Gloucester County towns.
- A second 60-acre Black Horse Pike property in Monroe, previously used for auto storage.
- Approximately 15-acres in Washington Twp, which were previously used as a junkyard.
- Added several lots adjacent to their two existing auto auction storage properties in Glassboro/Elk. In the Delsea Drive area they have acquired several properties on both sides of Delsea.
Copart is a national company with over 200 auction locations and revenue approaching $4 billion. In South Jersey they have two lots operating as auction auto storage in Glassboro/Elk.
Copart is not a junkyard. Cars are not stored for years and parted out. The Copart business model is to purchase vehicles from Insurance companies, dealers and others sources and then put the cars up for sale via an online internet action. (In New Jersey, these transactions may be restricted to only dealers and brokers)
This process means the cars do not stick around for long as they arrive, end up on auction sale very soon after, and then move out off the property to the buyer.
Copart says they have nearly 200,000 cars trucks and other vehicles for sale each day nationwide across the 200 locations!
Many of the cars come from insurance buyouts after an accident has “totaled” the vehicle. Others may be newer and very drivable trade-ins that for whatever reason an auto dealer has decided to sell to Copart, who in turn resells the cars.
For the three all-new Copart properties I mention here, each of them were previously used as vehicle storage in other capacities.
Earlier this year the Atco Dragway closed. It was previously targeted for acquisition by IAA Insurance Auto Auctions. That deal did not go through
That being said, just this past summer the Atco Dragway did sell to an undisclosed buyer. No other details on the Atco Dragway future are known publicly, or who the buyer is.
UPDATE: This story was updated an hour after initially being published to clarify that it was IAA who initially was looking to purchase the Atco Dragway
Copart Monroe Township – Zoning Board
The Monroe parcels for the October Zoning hearing are approximately 60 acres and are located close to the intersection of Coles Mill Road, but on the other side of the Black Horse Pike.
Along the Black Horse Pike frontage the property extends approximately 1,200 feet but there are two home properties situated in the middle of that frontage which are not part of this project. They are “notched” out from the large surrounding Copart properties.
So the Coparts property has two segments of roadway frontage.
The rightmost portion of the property has signage which identifies it as “International Process Plants”. There is also a cape cod home in this section which they will be using as an office.
The leftmost road frontage segment is wooded.
The back property line of the Copart property is more than a 1/3 of a mile away from the Black Horse Pike.
Vehicles have been stored at this lot for decades and can be seen in Google Earth historical satellite views. That being said most people were not aware of this based on the configuration of the property.
As mentioned, with Copart’s change of use the project required a zoning board review… which is set for October 19th.
Copart Monroe Township – Property Two
It appears that this is not the only Monroe Township property that Copart is interested in.
County records show that earlier this year Copart paid $5 million for another 60 acre combined parcel off of the Black Horse Pike… with this second one being about a mile north.
This property also has been previously used for auto storage, and is located almost directly across from the Summerfields Friendly Village.,
The 400 foot frontage of this property has a gravel front parking area with a rustic metal barrier fence in front. Cars have been stored at this property for many years but really just in the front portions closest to the Black Horse Pike.
This property extends back 3/4 of a mile off of the Black Horse Pike! While it does widen somewhat about halfway through, the acreage for this property is really all in the depth.
I don’t know the status of this property other than Copart is now the owner of it.
Copart – Washington Township
Over the summer Copart paid $2.3 million for a licensed junkyard property of approximately 17 acres in Washington Township, close to the “Five Points” intersection.
The main entrance to the property runs along Blackwood-Barnsboro Rd, but some of the connected lots extend east to have frontage also along Delsea Drive, and south to County House Road.
Let’s be very clear about this Washington Township Property.
The property operated as a junkyard. And in fact, up until recently it was a very unkept junkyard.
if you’ve driven Blackwood-Barnsboro Road heading towards Rowan College you’ve seen this overgrown messy property with the beat up fencing. You probably didn’t even realize there were at least two abandoned houses right along the roadway there, that you mostly could not see.
Well as of today the property is almost completely cleaned up. Copart has already made an improvement.
While I don’t know officially what the plans are for this property under Copart ownership. I can only assume it would be for additional auto auction storage.
Copart Expansion – Glassboro and Elk
As mentioned Copart has for several years operated 2 vehicle auction storage lots in South Jersey.
While they identified them both as being Glassboro, one actually sits in Elk Township.
For the Glassboro-East location the main entrance is on Grove Street in Glassboro, and it runs parallel with Delsea Drive but behind the road frontage business (Rita’s Water Ice and several used car dealers).
In this general area they have purchase 2 different sets of properties
For the existing Glassboro-East lot, while it was very close to Delsea Drive it has no direct access to the roadway.
So Copart purchased a mostly empty lot right on Delsea Drive where a billboard is located. Or should I say… was located, as very recently the new owners demolished the Billboard.
It would seem that this almost 2 acre square property was purchased to eventually provide the Glassboro-East storage yard a better access point directly on to Delsea Drive, but I have not been able to confirm that as of yet
Also, in this Delsea Drive are Copart has bought additional properties… but on the other side of Delsea Drive.
This school like building along Delsea Drive and the two properties behind it going back, were also purchased by Copart this year. These properties total about 8 acres.
I’ve always been fascinated with the front roadside building as it somewhat looks like a school building, but then it also has above the front entrance a raise drawing of a cornucopia with fruit falling out of it.
With help from someone at a Glassboro Facebook group, we determined that the building traces back about 100 years and was originally developed as the Repp-U-Tation Cider & Vinegar plant which created apple cider and vinegar for many years. Later it became National Fruit Products, and produced wine vinegar under the White House brand name.
So again.. I don’t know what the plans are for the property and building now that Coparts owns them, but I have a contact email for a regional person and will be reaching out to them.
And this is also interesting because it’s not even connected to the existing storage lot in Glassboro…it’s across the busy Delsea Drive!
The second Coparts location is called Glassboro-West but is actually in Elk Township.
Coparts Glassboro-West is accessed from Ellis Street, turning down Jacob Harris Lane. The property it somewhat close to Route 55.
The current operating vehicle storage property is about 39 acres. To expand that storage facility Copart has purchased two additional large lots along Jacob Harris lane. The additional acreage totals 12.45 acres but also has a utility easement through the properties.
This Elk Township project has had several iterations of approvals and a December 2022 resolution approval appears to be the last.
Links and Locations
Monroe Township Zoning Board of Adjustment
First-floor courtroom, on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at 6:30 p.m
Monroe Township Municipal Building
125 Virginia Avenue
Williamstown, New Jersey 08094