Camden, N.J. — Liberty Property Trust will lead development of “The Camden Waterfront,” a new approximately $1 billion development that will redefine the Camden Waterfront by creating as much as 1.7 million square feet of office space and include a hotel, retail and a residential component. The development would be the largest private sector investment in Camden’s history, creating thousands of construction jobs and bringing thousands of permanent jobs to the City.
Aerial View of the Camden Waterfront – copyright Volley for Robert A.M. Stern Architects
“The Camden Waterfront represents a unique opportunity to develop a project of this scale in the center of a major metropolitan area. This visionary project will reshape the central waterfront in a way that will be truly transformative for Camden,” said Bill Hankowsky, Chairman, President & CEO of Liberty Property Trust. “Through the Grow NJ program, the state of New Jersey has created an economic development program which, if approved, has the potential to be truly transformative to the city of Camden. It will create a sustainable, high performance environment that could not only ensure the future of the city but also enhance the competitiveness of the entire Philadelphia region.”
Liberty has signed an agreement with Steiner + Associates to purchase Camden Town Center LLC, with the intent to pursue the development of 16 acres of Camden waterfront. If approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the purchase of Camden Town Center LLC would confer upon Liberty the exclusive right to acquire and obtain approvals for development of the site. Subject to satisfactory completion of a due diligence process, which is expected to last approximately six months, Liberty would complete the purchase of the entity. Liberty could break ground as early as the third quarter of 2016 with occupancy expected in late 2018 and 2019.
Robert A.M. Stern, Founder and Senior Partner of Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, noted that "The migration of American cities away from centers of manufacturing has posed a challenge few communities have been successful in meeting. Now here in Camden we are presented with an opportunity to make this city vibrant and viable once again. We are very excited about this chance to collaborate with long-time client Liberty Property Trust, a developer that has shown the tenacity and creativity these opportunities require, to further transform Camden's waterfront as a public place with a rich mix of new uses that will re-connect the downtown to the riverfront and also capitalize on public investments that have already been realized."
Liberty envisions a mixed-use development that will attract major corporations, employment and significant inward investment. Liberty and Robert A.M. Stern Architects have created a master plan for the development. Liberty anticipates the office component of the development will consist of build-to-suit projects for corporations seeking to grow their businesses in this environment and attract their future workforce while taking advantage of the economic benefits offered through the Grow New Jersey program.