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Construction begins on $1B Camden Waterfront project

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First up: American Water Works HQ

The renderings for the Camden Waterfront Master Plan have changed significantly since last year.
Renderings by Robert A.M. Stern

After 15 months of negotiations, Liberty Property Trust has announced that it is ready to immediately begin construction on its $1 billion Camden Waterfront project.

First up: Breaking ground on American Water Works Company’s new headquarters, a five-story, 222,376-square-foot office plus an 806-car garage. It’s scheduled to open in 2018 and will aim for LEED Platinum Core and Shell certification.

That’s just the beginning of the $1 billion master plan, which was designed by Robert A.M. Stern and first announced in September 2015. In addition to the HQ, the mixed-use development plans for a 180-room Hilton Garden Inn, 188 residential units, and 2.5 more acres of public space on the waterfront.

The new renderings released with the announcement reveal two very different looking towers than the original plans. In March, the New Jersey's Economic Development Authority approved the official master plan, but not without a number of revisions. The whole site was reduced by 22 percent.

In order to begin development, Liberty Property Trust spent the past year acquiring land and development rights; Dranoff Properties agreed to remove an impeding view easement restriction, for one.

Liberty also finalized its Community Investment Agreement with Camden. The developers have agreed to recruit Camden residents for construction jobs, offer local students internships, and incorporate temporary murals to the project.

In addition, 20 percent of the residential units will be affordable housing.

John Gattuso, Liberty Property Trust regional director, described the future waterfront as “an energetic high performance community.” It will be located just off the Ben Franklin Bridge, so accessible via bike, PATCO, and car.