Charles Nathanson

Charles Nathanson

Charles “Buddy” C. Nathanson, 85, of Hopewell Township died May 23, 2016. 

Mr. Nathanson was the founder and president of the planning and development consulting firm Charles C. Nathanson and Associates. The firm received the American Planning Association “Outstanding Residential Development” award for its work on the “Freedom Complex” in 1991, a project that involved the planning, financing, and construction of specialized housing for the developmentally disabled in Mercer County. From 1993 through 1995, he also served as president of the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DevCo), a public-private partnership that, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, was largely responsible for the revitalization of the city. 

Before forming CCN&A in 1975, he was president of the Blau-Lasser-Nathanson Company in Newark, a firm specializing in planning, housing, mortgage, and development. Prior to that, he was planning and development director for the City of Trenton from 1966 to 1970. Before assuming that post, he was executive director of the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency. His work in organizing and professionalizing the city’s planning and development organization have resulted in developments that include the creation of PATH, the trans-Hudson rail line that connects New Jersey and New York; the creation of Liberty State Park (with the State of New Jersey on what was formerly moribund and unused rail yards); and the building of Liberty State Park on adjacent property donated by the city for that purpose. The park’s original illustrative site plan was drawn by his planning team in 1963 under the direction of the redevelopment agency and the city’s Planning Department. His testimony at a bipartisan U.S. Senate hearing on the status and future of what was then a dilapidated Ellis Island was chaired by Sen. Edmund Muskie and drew national attention to the importance of establishing the island as a national landmark.

He was a graduate of City College of New York and held a master’s degree from Columbia University. 

He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. 

He is survived by his wife, Helene; two daughters, Shari and Amy; his son, Mitchell; and six grandchildren. 

Services were held May 29 with arrangements by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, Trenton. Memorial contributions may be made to Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Rescue Foundation, c/o Pat Saxon, 19010 70th Ave. East, Bradenton, FL 34211.

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