- Liberty Property Trust has announced plans to boost Camden, NJ, employment by instituting a 10% to 20% local hiring requirement for its $1 billion waterfront development, the Courier-Post reported, as well as other measures to benefit the community.
- The company, which started construction on the project Tuesday, said it will proactively solicit local workers, as well as provide construction apprenticeship opportunities. As far as vendor services, Liberty said it would give priority to local businesses.
- Although the official groundbreaking won’t take place until 2017, work began this week on the 220,000-square-foot American Water headquarters component of the complex, as well as on an 806-car parking garage and various infrastructure features. This first phase of the project should be complete in 2018.
Liberty developers plan to build approximately 1.5 million square feet of commercial and retail space, as well as a 180-room hotel and a 188-unit apartment complex with 20% set aside as affordable. The development will also include a park that provides green connections between the different buildings.
Liberty first unveiled its plans for the 16-acre complex in September, touting it as a way to improve conditions in the poverty-stricken area. Other developers had tried to make a go of it on the industrial site, but the numbers didn't work until New Jersey passed an attractive tax incentive program in 2013.
The program offers tax credits — equal to the amount spent on construction for businesses that move to Camden — over a period of 10 years. To qualify for the incentive, businesses have to bring a specified number of new jobs to the city, among other requirements. Liberty said it will not apply for the tax credit itself but that the businesses that move into the development could do so.