Philadelphia vs. Camden?
Philadelphia vs. Camden?
The battle for new business.
Following the passage of the New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act in 2013, a number of high-profile developments and corporate relocations in Camden have made front-page news. Attracted by public incentives, Subaru and the Philadelphia 76ers have announced moves to downtown Camden. Liberty Property Trust is also planning a nearly $1 billion multi-use development, with more than 1.7 million square feet of office, retail, and housing in two towers on the Camden waterfront.
As the regional business community gathered in recent months to assess the coming year, many questioned whether the explosive growth in Camden could hamper business attraction efforts or eclipse developments in Philadelphia. The consensus seems to be that, for the next few years, public incentives will make Camden an attractive alternative.
The 2013 New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act amended and consolidated economic incentive programs to encourage development for specified uses in designated areas of the state. The two most prominent programs offered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) are:
- The Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ), which provides incentives to employers for job creation and retention; and
- The Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Program, which provides incentives to developers for qualified projects.
Both programs take the form of tax credits, and will be accepting applications through June 30, 2019.
Grow NJ offers credits of $500 to $5,000 per job created for projects in eligible locations which meet capital investment and job creation/retention benchmarks. The ERG program provides incentives to developers for up to 30-40% of an eligible project’s total development cost. Both programs have intricate requirements for defining eligible costs and calculating economic impact and job growth. In addition, both programs offer additional bonuses or lowered eligibility thresholds for projects with specified uses and/or located in designated geographic areas.
How does this compare to incentives offered in Pennsylvania? Pennsylvania offers a mix of grants, low-cost loans, tax abatements, and tax credits, administered through many different agencies. Major projects tend to be awarded incentives on a more ad-hoc and project specific basis, making the pursuit of incentives a more intense process for developers. Traditionally available incentives such as the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) have experienced reduced growth over the last few years, while newly-enacted programs such as the Multi-Modal fund have made grants available for transportation-related projects.
New Jersey’s state incentives are largely streamlined under the NJEDA programs. Tax credits can be used over ten years and, unlike many Pennsylvania programs, are generally transferable. According to the NJEDA, statewide there are 160 active Grow NJ projects with awards totaling $3.1 billion, and 42 active ERG projects with awards totaling $819 million. Compared to available Pennsylvania incentives, New Jersey’s spending represents significant competition.
No one has suggested that Camden’s growth heralds a downturn in Philadelphia. Over the past decade, Philadelphia has experienced strong growth in the multi-family market, increased population in its downtown, and a higher retention of graduating students. The “meds and eds” sectors will continue to drive growth, and major projects are on the horizon in University City and Market East. However, until the Grow NJ and ERG programs close in 2019, generous incentives will make Camden a legitimate player in the ongoing effort to attract major businesses.
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Wolf Commercial Real Estate is a Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.
Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia and South Jersey commercial real estate broker that specializes in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey commercial real estate listings, provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new Philly and New Jersey office space or Philly and South Jersey retail space with the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey commercial properties that best meets their needs. As experts in Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our Philadelphia and South Jersey commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals. If you are looking for Philly or Camden office space or Philly or Camden retail space for sale or lease, Wolf Commercial Real Estate is the Philadelphia commercial real estate broker you need — a strategic partner who is fully invested in your long-term growth and success.
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