Camden's Comeback

May 23, 2016 Noell Hernandez

Decades ago, Camden, New Jersey seemed to have a bright future. Located between the Delaware and Cooper rivers and near Philadelphia, the city was not always the poorest and most dangerous metropolitan area in New Jersey. In the 20th century, Camden was an immense industrial hub. Companies with operations in the area included Campbell’s Soup; American innovation icon RCA (which popularized radio in the 1920s and help develop television in the 1930s); Philco, a pioneer in battery, radio, and television production; and New York Shipbuilding, and they helped make Camden a major presence along the East Coast. But as the years went by, the economy changed. Companies started downsizing and leaving Camden for other, less costly locations in the 1970s, beginning the city’s decades-long decline.

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Fast forward to present day, Camden is now experiencing a rebirth, with some $2 billion in new development planned or under construction. Those projects include the following:

  • Liberty Property Trust’s 16-acre (6.5 ha) Camden Waterfront development master planned by Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Michael Van Valkenburgh Architects, along the Delaware River waterfront.
  • Subaru of America’s new $118 million corporate headquarters in Campbell Soup Company’s 77-acre (31 ha) mixed-use master-planned community, Knights Crossing, is under construction.
  • The expansion of the Cooper Health Sciences campus continues to include a ten-story patient facility with a dozen new operating-room suites and 60 private medical/surgical rooms, opened in 2008. Four years later, the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, a partnership of Rowan University and Cooper University Health Care, became the first new medical school in New Jersey in over 35 years. That was followed 12 months later by the new 103,000-square-foot (10,000 sq m), four-story MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, a partnership between Cooper University Health Care and Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  • Philadelphia-based AthenianRazak has two projects under development in Camden—the Philadelphia 76ers training center and corporate offices, and the Ruby Match Factory.
  • A few blocks north of the 76ers facility is the Ruby Match Factory, the speculative redevelopment of a historic loft warehouse into office space in one of the few remaining notable industrial buildings on the waterfront.

Read the full article on UrbanLand and see how Camden came from being labeled the "murder capital of America" to having a promising and prosperous future.

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