Three prominent South Jersey organizations are teaming up to build a $245 million Camden headquarters that could bring nearly 900 jobs to the city, they announced Friday.The Marlton-based insurance brokerage Conner Strong & Buckelew, Cherry Hill-based third-party logistics company NFI and Marlton-based residential real estate firm The Michaels Organization said in a news release that they are seeking a Grow New Jersey award at the Tuesday meeting of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to construct the headquarters building.
The project would see an 18-story, 375,000-square-foot tower rise along the Camden Waterfront, featuring office space for the three companies as well as shared amenities including an outdoor piazza overlooking the Delaware River and Philadelphia skyline.
“When the Camden Waterfront was announced almost a year and a half ago, we lauded the vision and commitment to Camden,” George E. Norcross III, Conner Strong & Buckelew’s executive chairman, said in a prepared statement. “If our applications are approved by the EDA, we will each be investing tens of millions of dollars and aligning the futures of our companies with the future of Camden.”
According to a breakdown in the news release:
- Conner Strong & Buckelew is investing $86 million in the project, and would occupy 110,000 square feet at the tower, bringing a minimum 253 jobs to the city;
- NFI is investing $79 million in the project, and would occupy 102,000 square feet, bringing 341 or more jobs to the city; and
- The Michaels Organization is investing $79 million in the project, and would occupy 102,000 square feet, adding a minimum 275 jobs to the total.
The release said the “Camden Tower,” which does not yet have a formal name, is planned to be ready for occupancy in August 2019. Based on provided renderings, the building would be adjacent to the new headquarters for American Water Works Co. Inc., which broke ground earlier this month.
“If approved, we will be able to maintain NFI’s headquarters in Camden County and grow our employee base there, reinforcing our continued commitment to South Jersey and the communities NFI has been part of since its founding in 1932,” NFI CEO Sid Brown said in a statement. “The focus of our new building’s design will be on the employee experience. The building and surroundings will offer our employees the first-class office space and amenities they deserve, making NFI an even more appealing and exciting place to work.”
The three companies and their leaders, as well as their families, have invested heavily in Camden, the release said, including the purchase of the Ferry Terminal Building and a planned investment of up to $100 million in new apartments and a hotel on the waterfront.
“We are incredibly excited about the future of Camden and about the future of our organization being headquartered there,” Michaels Organization President John J. O’Donnell said in a statement. “This move will enable us to offer our growing workforce a world-class, state-of-the-art headquarters location in a city that is once again poised for greatness.”
The release also said Camden has seen more than $2.5 billion in development completed, begun or committed over the past five years. In addition to the American Water building, major projects include Subaru’s American headquarters, the Philadelphia 76ers’ headquarters and practice facility and Holtec International’s technology campus.
“I hope that our applications are approved, and I look forward to not just being a cheerleader for Camden, but being a corporate resident,” Norcross said.