Leading Water Company to Build HQ in Camden, NJ

The new corporate headquarters will be part of the Camden Waterfront, a $1 billion, 20-acre master-planned development.

By Scott Baltic, Contributing Editor

One Water Street at The Camden Waterfront, Camden, N.J.
One Water Street at The Camden Waterfront, Camden, N.J.

Camden, N.J.—It will be a water company, on the waterfront, in a development named Waterfront. How’s that for staying consistent to a corporate mission?

American Water Works Co. Inc., the nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, will build its new corporate headquarters at the Camden Waterfront, a $1 billion, 20-acre master-planned development in Camden, N.J.

The location of the LEED Platinum, metal-and-glass building at One Water Street is between the Ben Franklin Bridge and Campbell’s Field to the north and Adventure Aquarium to the south. The 222,376-square-foot, five-story structure will consolidate about 600 American Water employees currently officed at five leased locations in southern New Jersey, a company spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive.

The Camden Waterfront is being developed by Liberty Property Trust, which previously began converting the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard into The Navy Yard, a $3 billion development about three miles west of Camden Waterfront, on the opposite side of the Delaware River.

Construction of One Water Street and an adjacent parking garage is slated to begin this fall, contingent on the completion of Liberty’s due diligence and acquisition of the Camden Waterfront site, according to a Liberty Property announcement. (A Liberty Property spokesperson confirmed that the Camden Waterfront site is currently mostly parking lots.) If all goes well, construction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018. The property will be the inaugural project at Camden Waterfront.

The building’s budget has not yet been finalized, the American Water spokesperson said, though eliminating the operating costs of multiple facilities, along with tax credits, significantly mitigates the cost of the project for customers. In June of last year, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority approved American Water’s tax credit application for its then-proposed relocation to Camden.

“This will be a workplace we can take pride in and one that will help us attract future talent to our company,” American Water President & CEO Susan Story said in a prepared statement.

Plans for the Camden Waterfront development were unveiled last September. As outlined at that time, they called for 1.7 million square feet of office space in two towers, 325 units of housing, a hotel, retail space and parking garages.

Robert A.M. Stern Architects is the architect for One Water Street, and Gensler will design the building’s interior.

Image courtesy of Synoesis for Robert A.M. Stern Architects