News & Stories

The New York Times: A Bold Plan to Remake Camden’s Waterfront

by Jon Hurdle

Camden, N.J., with the Philadelphia skyline across the river. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

CAMDEN, N.J. – Plans for a major mixed-use waterfront development represent the latest step in efforts to rehabilitate this city that not long ago was rated as America’s most dangerous.

The development of offices, apartments and retail space, totaling 1.7 million square feet, would be built along the Delaware River starting in the fall of 2016, according to plans announced by Camden’s mayor, Dana L. Redd, and the developer Liberty Property Trust last week.

The project, estimated to cost about $1 billion, would be the biggest private sector investment in the city’s history, and the latest in a series of corporate developments and relocations that are beginning to create jobs and drive down the city’s notoriously high rates of crime and poverty.

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John Gattuso, a senior vice president at Liberty, said the company is in “very serious conversations” with parties who are interested in investing in the development but that no financial commitments have been made so far. Potential participants would apply for tax credits with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and, if the credits were approved, would then agree with Liberty to invest in the project, Mr. Gattuso said.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey announced last week that Liberty Property Trust is planning a $1 billion transformation of a 16-acre swath of the waterfront in Camden. The mixed-use development is scheduled to be complete by 2019. Credit Mel Evans/Associated Press

The development, scheduled for completion in 2019, will occupy 16 acres directly south of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to Philadelphia, in an area that is now a parking lot and adjoined by a minor-league baseball stadium and a public aquarium.

The plans include replacing Camden’s current low-rise profile from the Philadelphia side of the river with four office towers, 325 residential units, a 120-room hotel, 27,000 square feet of retail space and parking garages for 5,000 cars, city and company officials said.

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