The Economic Development Authority voted Tuesday to approve a 10-year, $117.8 million Grow New Jersey incentive award for carmaker Subaru of America to build its new corporate headquarters on Campbell Soup Co.-owned land in Camden’s Gateway District.
The move, which has been the subject of speculation for more than a year, will involve the relocation of 500 existing full-time employees to Camden from the company’s existing locations Pennsauken and Cherry Hill, where it has been headquartered since 1986. An additional 100 new jobs will also be created.
EDA President Tim Lizura said the company was also considering a site in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard.
“We are very proud to be part of the revitalization of Camden,” Tom Doll, Subaru of America president and chief operating officer, said.
Subaru will look to construct a new facility of at least 220,000 square feet that would include a 70,755-square-foot training and engineering center. Had the company chosen the Navy Yard, the training center would not have been part of the project, Lizura said.
Subaru has said the project could be completed as soon late 2016 or early 2017. According to the EDA, having Subaru in Camden would yield an estimated net benefit of nearly $168 million back to the state over a period of 35 years.
“Camden is on the rise and ready to once again become the economic hub of the Southern New Jersey region,” Camden Mayor Dana Redd said. “I am extremely excited that yet another world class company is great news not just for our city, but also for South Jersey. We could have lost a distinguished and prestigious company in Subaru to Pennsylvania if it wasn’t for the (Economic Opportunity Act). This could have equated to 600 plus jobs lost in South Jersey.”
Gordon MacInnes, president of liberal think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective, doesn’t share Redd’s excitement.
“Awarding profitable corporations billions of dollars mostly to shift jobs around New Jersey is not a job-creation strategy,” MacInnes said. “It’s a feel-good gimmick and Subaru is just the latest example.”
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