Robert A.M. Stern rendering
The renderings for the Camden Waterfront Master Plan have changed significantly since last year.
Liberty Property Trust has completed the assemblage of land and development rights for The Camden Waterfront and is beginning development of the transformational mixed-use urban neighborhood immediately with construction of One Water Street — a five story, 222,376 sq. ft. (20,659 sq m) office project that will serve as the corporate headquarters of American Water when complete in late 2018.
“Today marks the beginning of what will become an energetic high performance community, anchored by world-class office buildings and a spacious waterfront park easily accessed by walking, biking, driving and public transportation; one which will build upon and greatly contribute to the revitalization efforts already under way in Camden,” said John Gattuso, Liberty Property Trust regional director and senior vice president, urban region. “As we shift into the development of The Camden Waterfront, our focus shifts too, from that of a vision to that of a reality, and that is a very exciting thing.”
“I am thrilled that The Camden Waterfront project continues to move forward and this billion dollar project will soon break ground,” Mayor Dana L. Redd said. “This great project goes beyond just the brick and mortar development of the waterfront. Liberty Property Trust has been a great partner throughout this process by ensuring that Camden residents have an opportunity for employment and local sourcing. Camden's resurgence has been catapulted by projects such as this one, our focus on enhancing public safety and our efforts to improve educational outcomes for our youth.”
During the last 15 months of due diligence, Liberty sought and received approvals from and negotiated agreements with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Camden County, the Camden County Municipal Utility Authority, the city of Camden and the Delaware River Port Authority. Liberty also has reached agreement with Dranoff Properties in connection with the removal of an impeding view easement restriction.
Liberty is commencing development of the $1 billion project with its focus on three initial areas: infrastructure to support the overall development; an 806-car parking garage; and One Water Street, the new headquarters of American Water.
“American Water has been providing water service to Camden for years through New Jersey American Water in Cramer Hill and through our market based business which operates the water systems for the city. While we have been strongly engaged in the city, we are looking forward to being even more integrated in the community as we move our national corporate headquarters to the waterfront,” said Susan Story, American Water president and CEO .
One Water Street has been designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects, and will pursue LEED Platinum Core and Shell certification.
The Camden Waterfront, master planned by Robert A. M. Stern Architects, represents a unique opportunity to develop a project of this scale in the center of a major metropolitan area. Liberty envisions a mixed-use development that will attract corporations, employment and significant inward investment. In addition to the anticipated 1.45 million sq. ft. (134,709 sq m) of build-to-suit projects for corporations seeking to grow their businesses under the Grow New Jersey program, the development will include a proposed 180 room Hilton Garden Inn to be developed by Ensemble Real Estate Solutions and a 188-unit residential component, for which an agreement is pending with The Michaels Organization. Local business leaders George E. Norcross III, the executive chairman of Connor Strong & Buckelew, Mike Levitt and John O'Donnell of The Michaels Organization, and Sidney, Jeff and Ike Brown of NFI, are expected to be the primary investors in the hotel and residential developments. These leaders separately spearheaded an investment in Camden's future with the purchase of the Ferry Terminal Building.
In addition, substantial investment is planned, providing for the reconstruction and enhancement of the existing waterfront park, creating more than 2.5 additional acres of parkland, offering diverse opportunities for recreation, exploration, respite, and engagement with nature.
In another important step in the development process, Liberty has finalized its Community Investment Agreement with the city of Camden. Working closely with Redd's office, several key areas have been identified from which the city of Camden will benefit. Liberty has agreed to:
• create an active recruitment process for city residents seeking construction jobs
• staff 10-20 percent of the construction workforce with qualified Camden residents
• establish apprenticeships enabling participants to continue working in the construction field
• offer Camden Corps Plus trainees consideration for internships and permanent jobs
• prioritize and Maximize Camden Business Enterprises (CBEs) as goods and services providers
• offer Camden student residents paid internships
• provide a canvas for Camden's youth to design and execute several temporary murals to screen construction fencing
• support youth sports programs through sponsorship, mentorship and volunteering
• allot 20 percent of the resIdential rental units for affordable housing. CEG