Same State, New HQ for Subaru

Subaru of America broke ground Wednesday on a new corporate headquarters in Camden, N.J.

SubaruRenderingMaintaining its long-term commitment to the Delaware Valley, Subaru of America broke ground Wednesday on a new $118 million corporate headquarters in Camden, N.J. The campus will be the first new corporate HQ in Knights Crossing, a master-planned urban town center community being developed by Brandywine Realty Trust.

At 250,000 square feet, plus a second building of 83,000 square feet, the new facility will be more than double the size of Subaru’s current headquarters building and will consolidate about 600 employees from four sites: two offices in Pennsauken, space at Executive Campus in Cherry Hill and a distribution and training center in Florence.

Subaru plans to complete the project, which is adjacent to Campbell Soup Company’s world headquarters, by the end of 2017. On completion, Knights Crossing will consist of 1.4 million square feet of office space, amenities and public greenways and will ultimately be served by two sources of public transportation.

Subaru of America has been headquartered in the Delaware Valley since 1968. Initially based in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., the company soon moved to Pennsauken, N.J., where it stayed for 20 years. It has been at its current location in Cherry Hill for nearly 30 years.

“We are delighted to contribute to the revitalization of Camden and look forward to Knights Crossing becoming a significant catalyst to the renaissance taking place in Camden,” Brandywine president and CEO Gerard H. Sweeney said in a prepared statement. “Subaru’s decision, coupled with the long-standing commitment by Campbell, provides an excellent platform for further economic development and job creation in the city of Camden.”

The project is receiving a $118 million Grow NJ award from the State of New Jersey. Especially with that generous subsidy, the project is a sore point for some. In late August, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s architecture critic slammed the project for being “a lonely island on the edge of Camden in an asphalt sea of parking spaces,” unlikely to actually help revitalize the struggling city; for being cut off from current public transit options; for importing suburban-style sprawl into an urban setting; and for delaying, if not outright eliminating, green features that are typical of other Subaru facilities.

The article also noted that Subaru will get the $118 million in tax credits over the next decade for moving barely four miles from its current location.