CAMDEN, NJ-Campbell Soup Co. plans to expand and reconfigure its long-time corporate headquarters campus. The project will cost an estimated $72 million and add a new 80,000-sf employee services building. The expansion will also be a centerpiece for a larger redevelopment project that will have Campbell partnering with the State of New Jersey.

“Camden has been Campbell’s home for more than 137 years,” says president and CEO Douglas Conant, who concedes that the company had considered other sites in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area for its expanded HQ. “We have deep roots here, not just in bricks and mortar, but through our community service, employee volunteerism and the Campbell Soup Foundation’s partnerships with community organizations.”

According to plans unveiled by company officials Wednesday, the new building will include office space, conference rooms, a training center, company store and credit union, a fitness center and café. These will all be relocated from existing buildings. When it’s completed in late 2008, pending permits and other government approvals, the new building will boost Campbell’s HQ campus to nearly 750,000 sf on 40 acres. The expansion is being designed by Philadelphia-based architects KlingStubbins as an environmentally friendly, LEED-certified building.

The State of New Jersey has also designated Campbell’s as the master redeveloper of a total of 110 acres surrounding and including the company’s own 40-acre site. What the company and the state have in mind is an office park, anchored by Campbell’s HQ, that will build out to upwards of an additional 500,000 sf of space. The project is dependent upon a re-zoning from the current “light/industrial office” designation to “office campus zone.”

The proposed office park will extend from this city’s Pine Street to Admiral Wilson Boulevard. To get things started, the company and the state have also committed to spending upwards of $26 million on the area’s infrastructure, including road, water and sewer improvements and upgrades.

“This deal demonstrates the importance and the benefits of public-private partnerships in helping our communities thrive,” Gov. Jon Corzine says in a statement. “Stimulating economic growth is vital to our ongoing efforts to revitalize Camden. This collaboration represents an important sign of renewal for the city.”

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