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MARCH 2007

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Space Recapture

   Though Campbell is the master developer of the project, the company will work with the city, county and state to bring in developers to build on the designated parcel, all of which lies in an urban enterprise zone that has been in place since 1984. One of its several benefits is a PILOT tax abatement, which Zane says "provides for us to calculate a stabilized cash flow for the city at two percent of construction costs" and will total out as a benefit to Campbell of between $1 million and $1.5 million.
   Zane says there are approximately 24 parcels involved in the plan that are not owned by Campbell, but up to half of them are already owned by a public entity. One point of controversy already has been the fate of the Beaux- Arts Sears building, which is on state and national historic registers. But the property has been only partially occupied for some time. "Right now we're analyzing our various options," Zane said, with a determination to come in the next several months.
   As for its new building, Campbell expects to break ground, pending permits and other governmental approvals, in the summer of 2007 and complete construction in the fall of 2008. Once the new LEED- certified building is completed, Campbell's Camden facilities will include approximately 750,000 sq. ft. (69,675 sq. m.) of office and research and development space.
   The project, designed by renowned Philadelphia firm KlingStubbins, marks the first major development to Campbell's World Headquarters since the construction of the Dr. John T. Dorrance Culinary Center in 2003. In addition to offices and conference rooms, it will be home to a new cafe, the Campbell University training center, fitness center, store and credit union, all relocated from other buildings.
   Zane says the first phase of the new building project will be a $58.8- million investment, which the company hopes to complete by September 2008. At that point, phase two, pegged at $13.5 million, will kick in, and involve interior realignments and "recapture of space" as a consequence of moving the above features into the new space.
   "Everyone that worked on this project has to be proud of the result," said Zane. "As we implement this program, it can do nothing but create a much better environment for our employees, and [help] produce ratables that will enable the city to prosper from the decision we have made this week. I'm very proud of what we've put together."
   "This project is the latest step in Campbell's transformation," said Conant, noting the company's various business achievements. But the goal of community transformation appears to be just as pressing: "Campbell is pleased to continue contributing to Camden's revitalization," he said, "and we look forward to remaining in Camden – our birthplace – for many years to come."
   The food company's project is by no means all that's going up in Camden. In addition to various waterfront recreational and residential projects, the law school at Rutgers University has expanded. Meanwhile, as part of the $270- million investment in stem cell research authorized in New Jersey, $50 million will support a biomedical research center in Camden operated by Rutgers University, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Camden and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, South Jersey. Separately, the Coriell Institute was recently awarded $3.1 million by the National Human Genome Research Institute to establish a sample repository for human genetic research.

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