Across the Ben Franklin Bridge from Center City, Philadelphia, Camden is emerging as a major market for new development within the greater Philadelphia area. Numerous major public and private investments are underway in Camden comprising over $2 billion in new investment in the city. A key catalyst is the Eds and Meds, including one of the principal campuses of Rutgers University, with a wide variety of undergraduate programs, graduate programs including MBA and JD programs, as well as nursing and performing arts schools. Also, Rowan University expanded its Camden campus with new classrooms and academic building in the city.
Building upon the healthcare sector, which is the largest employment sector in the city, Rowan University and Rutgers teamed to create a partnership to educate the state’s next generation of health care workers. Collectively, they opened the $70 million, Joint Health Sciences Center in 2019 to add to Rutgers University’s $62 million Nursing and Science Building in 2017. Also, leveraging the already-expanding Cooper Health Sciences campus, the hospital opened the 103,000 SF MD Anderson Cancer Center attracting visitors from throughout the region. In addition, Camden became home to New Jersey’s first medical school in over 35 years, with the development of the 200,000 SF Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Virtua Hospital system also expanded its footprint in the city when it consolidated its services within its new 34,500 SF Health Care Center.
Major corporations have also expanded or relocated to Camden, including the 45-acre world headquarters of Campbell Soup, the 250,000 SF new Subaru corporate headquarters, and the $260 million world-class, Holtec manufacturing complex, the largest private investment. In addition, American Water Works opened its new headquarters on the waterfront. The waterfront is over a billion- dollar development to include the newly opened 180-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel, the 130,000 SF office building, 210-unit market-rate, residential development and other planned development.
Camden has one of the best transportation infrastructures in the state with the New Jersey Transit’s River Line, the PATCO, connecting Camden to Philadelphia and Camden County suburbs, and the Walter Rand Transportation Center, a bus and connecting multimodal terminal located in downtown Camden. This access has helped the city attract major entertainment venues such as the BB&T Pavilion for crowds of 25,000 for outdoor concerts and events; the Adventure Aquarium, the region’s only aquarium; and the 125,000 SF Philadelphia 76ers Training Facility.
Additionally, Camden has invested heavily in rehabbing old schools and building new ones, cleaning up parks and public spaces, and supporting residents’ active participation in the redevelopment of their communities. More importantly, the city has made great strides in public safety including installing a new county-run metro police department. Camden has become a drastically safer place to live and work which provide greater opportunities for equitable redevelopment.