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STT757
November 9th, 2003, 02:24 PM
The state is investing big money in an eyesore



Sunday, November 09, 2003


BY STEVE CHAMBERS
Star-Ledger Staff

In a fifth-floor office overlooking the Camden waterfront last week, a group of men pored over plans to help resurrect New Jersey's poorest city.

One of them, Ohio developer Yaromir Steiner, had signed a deal with state officials just days before to take over and expand the State Aquarium, which has drawn disappointingly small crowds. His company, Steiner & Associates, also had been handed the rights to 30 acres of waterfront property, where it envisions a hotel, a cluster of restaurants and retail space.

There was excitement in the room, but Steiner talked realistically about the chances of success.

"We are not drinking champagne here," he said, his words wrapped in a thick Turkish accent. "We are eating pasta before the marathon."

No one questions the difficulty of reviving Camden, a one-time industrial powerhouse that now resides on the sad list of America's poorest cities. Some of its neighborhoods contain so many burned-out row houses that they resemble war zones.

Gov. James E. McGreevey is gambling a portion of his political future that the timing is finally right to reverse the fortunes of a city that has become synonymous with failure, urban decline and corruption. A bill the governor pushed and signed last year made $175 million of redevelopment seed money available for the city, beginning with the creation of a powerful Economic Recovery Board. Its chief operating officer, former Camden Mayor Randy Primas, has veto power over the mayor and the city council and controls the purse strings of the city budget.

Some are skeptical, worn down by past promises. But others with long experience of trying to turn the waterfront into an entertainment mecca feel differently.

"I've lived and worked here since 1975, and I would say this is the high point," said Thomas Corcoran, president of the Cooper's Ferry Development Association. "There are a lot of things coming together, seemingly all at once. There is a lot of excitement."

The projects include:


A $57 million expansion of the 11-year-old aquarium that will double its size and upgrade its exhibits. The aquarium, which would close next fall and reopen in May 2005, would join the city's minor-league baseball stadium and concert center as tourist anchors. The state is kicking in $25 million to get the deal done, hoping to boost annual attendance at the aquarium, now about 600,000, to 850,000.


The Victor, the luxuriously restored RCA Victor factory building, which began renting its first residential units on Labor Day at rates of up to $2,750 a month. With unobstructed views of Philadelphia, a rooftop gym and other amenities, it is already considered a success and will offer 341 units by the end of February.


A corporate headquarters for Cigna, the insurance giant that is expected to move its Philadelphia headquarters to a waterfront site. A major urban redeveloper, Matrix Development Group of Cranbury, has been tapped to build it.

A request for proposals for Lanning Square, a relatively stable residential neighborhood adjacent to the waterfront, has attracted 19 overtures from major developers -- this in a city that, in the 10-year period ending in 1996, issued just one building permit, and didn't issued more than 20 a year until 2001.

State Treasurer John McCormac, who chairs the recovery board, said he and Caren Franzini, CEO of the state Economic Development Authority, are getting a half-dozen calls a week from major corporations, developers and other interested in the city.

This redevelopment effort will be different, McCormac said, because the waterfront development will help stabilize Camden's finances and begin pulling the city up.

"We have learned from the experiences of 10 years ago," McCormac said. "This time we are linking the aquarium project directly to land development on the waterfront."


'THE GREATEST LOCATION'

Steiner Associates, which has developed several large-scale entertainment complexes, including a Kentucky aquarium across the river from Cincinnati, has plans for an IMAX theater as well as restaurants and a hotel on its 30 acres. The hotel would be the only one in the city.

Carl Dranoff, the Philadelphia developer of the Victor and 70 other urban residential buildings, has the right to build more than 1,000 residential units on a huge vacant property between the aquarium and Campbell's Field, in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Dranoff first intends to renovate another RCA building and is considering turning it into condominiums.

Dranoff, who makes a living speculating on the next hot neighborhood, predicts Camden's time has come. He said a tram that will traverse the river to Philadelphia -- construction by the Delaware River Port Authority starts this winter -- and a soon-to-be-operational light-rail link to Trenton will bring Camden even more residents.

"When I first drove over the bridge from Philadelphia in February 1999, I looked out at that blighted warehouse and saw what had to be one of the greatest locations of all time," he said. "It had an unencumbered view, character and history, and it was big enough to be a catalyst."

Part of the new state money focuses on two backbone industries based just blocks from the waterfront: higher education and health care. They will get $47.7 million. The one-time grants -- ranging from $13.3 million to $250,000 -- will help pay for expansions by Rutgers and Rowan universities, Camden County College, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Cooper Hospital and others.

Peter O'Connor, a longtime housing activist and critic of past efforts to redevelop Camden, said he likes most of those projects.

In the end, however, he is convinced upscale housing efforts will fail or be very limited in scope.

"The major deterrent in Camden is the presence of 80,000 poor people and all the social ills that accompany them," he said. "With no regional strategy for working on the concentration of poverty, it just won't work."

Steiner, who was born in Istanbul, said he believes that one reason an Ohio company is leading the charge is that its executives don't have the prejudices about Camden that others might. He looks at the waterfront and sees 30 acres practically in the heart of Philadelphia.

But he concedes that success means reversing old attitudes. If those prejudices persist, in other words, he won't have the customers for his shiny new aquarium or his hotel.

"I don't want to sound like a rosy dreamer," he said. "This will take hard work, and we are nowhere near there yet."


'LOOK AT 42ND STREET'

State officials, meanwhile, pledge their focus is on getting Camden back on its feet and independent of state control.

There were early tensions from community groups when the recovery board mapped out priorities for funding neighborhood projects. There also are fears about gentrification.

"What you'll have is a tale of two cities," said Frank Fulbrook, a neighborhood activist who helped bring back a tiny neighborhood called Cooper-Grant, next to Rutgers Law School on the edge of the waterfront. "In the inland neighborhoods, you'll still have sections with more than a dozen open-air drugs markets."

McCormac said the state must focus first on the most stable neighborhoods, places where private developers are willing to invest and results can be achieved most quickly.

Franzini of the EDA points to signs of success such as a massive federally funded housing development in tough East Camden, which has been able to sell market-rate housing.

"No city can come back all at once," Franzini said. "Look at 42nd Street in New York. That project took a long time, but it happened because there was a plan.

"Now there is a plan for Camden."

There is grumbling in City Hall about how it has not been asked for input.

"We had to marry the ugly girl to get the dowry," said City Clerk Luis Pastoriza, who has lived in Camden most of his life.

Still, Pastoriza said, there is no question the focus by state officials is an unprecedented and welcome change.

"The planets seem to have aligned," he said. "Camden has really seen tough times, but it's turning a corner. This is real."


http://nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1068359658242680.xml

TLOZ Link5
November 9th, 2003, 10:57 PM
'THE GREATEST LOCATION'

Steiner Associates, which has developed several large-scale entertainment complexes, including a Kentucky aquarium across the river from Cincinnati, has plans for an IMAX theater as well as restaurants and a hotel on its 30 acres. The hotel would be the only one in the city.

The aquarium they're referring to is in Newport, Kentucky, where my grandparents live and my dad grew up.

JCMAN320
November 11th, 2003, 08:18 AM
If they can have the same sucess in Camden as we have in Jersey City, it will truly be a urban development cinderella story.

dbhstockton
November 11th, 2003, 01:43 PM
I don't think the two are analogous. Jersey City's success is due to its proximity to the financial district, a singularity in the region. Philadelphia is important, but it doesn't have the desperate crunch for space that the New York region has -- not bad enough for mainstream office workers to cross the Delaware and colonize Camden.

Have you ever been to Camden? Just thinking about it sends a chill up my spine. It's a creepy place.

ZippyTheChimp
November 11th, 2003, 02:23 PM
For those who have never seen Camden, a few dozen photos from
Skyscraper Page:

http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?s=c7be34e0efa53b124f7e99c62d491563& threadid=19761

http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?s=c7be34e0efa53b124f7e99c62d491563& threadid=19805

fioco
November 11th, 2003, 07:52 PM
The photo tours on Skyscraper Page are worthwhile. Thanks, Zippy the Chimp. You won't get these from the Chamber of Commerce.


[Good journalist. Some great quotes here:]
"We are not drinking champagne here," he said, his words wrapped in a thick Turkish accent. "We are eating pasta before the marathon."

. . . this in a city that, in the 10-year period ending in 1996, issued just one building permit, and didn't issued more than 20 a year until 2001.

Peter O'Connor, a longtime housing activist and critic of past efforts to redevelop Camden, said he likes most of those projects.
"The major deterrent in Camden is the presence of 80,000 poor people and all the social ills that accompany them," he said. "With no regional strategy for working on the concentration of poverty, it just won't work."

"What you'll have is a tale of two cities," said Frank Fulbrook . . . "In the inland neighborhoods, you'll still have sections with more than a dozen open-air drugs markets."

There is grumbling in City Hall about how it has not been asked for input.
"We had to marry the ugly girl to get the dowry," said City Clerk Luis Pastoriza, who has lived in Camden most of his life.

I commend the developers for taking risks in their search for opportunities, but the salvation of Camden can not be laid at the feet of speculative real estate developers. The State of New Jersey is not blameless for a region in such longterm and shameless neglect. The poor who strive to live good lives amidst lawlessness are citizens of a state that has abandoned them with little conscience or concern.

It will take a couple of generations to renew Camden, unless the siren call of "two cities" is too difficult to resist and Camden, once again, is tossed on the pile of shameful neglect. Just what is a "Commonwealth" or a State, anyway?

Kris
December 17th, 2003, 08:10 AM
December 17, 2003

Development to Offer $1.2 Billion Boost to Camden

By JILL P. CAPUZZO

CAMDEN, N.J., Dec. 16 — Officials planned to announce Wednesday the largest single investment ever proposed for this poverty-ridden city, a $1.2 billion mixed-use project that would be built along the banks of the Delaware River.

Gov. James E. McGreevey is expected to join officials here to declare the city's intention to work with Cherokee Investment Partners on developing a square-mile stretch of land in the Cramer Hill neighborhood.

The project, expected to be built over the next 10 years, will include 5,000 homes, retail and commercial space and an 18-hole golf course.

Camden's state-appointed chief operating officer, Randy Primas, said he expected final approval in 60 to 90 days, with construction to begin in the next year. Mr. Primas, a mayor of Camden in the 1980's who returned recently as part of the state's $175 million recovery package for Camden, said that until now, "the people of Cramer Hill thought they were forgotten by the city."

Although Cramer Hill is not considered one of Camden's worst neighborhoods, it is marked by boarded-up homes and abandoned warehouses, like much of the rest of the city, the state's poorest.

Cherokee's chief executive, Thomas Darden, said Camden fitted into the company's scheme of selecting sites in need of remediation and community development. Since 1990, it has acquired more than 300 similar properties in North America and Europe.

The proposal includes about 1,000 units of affordable housing. Mr. Primas suggested that market-rate homes along nearly two miles of riverfront could go for $200,000.

The executive director of the Cramer Hill Community Development Corporation, Byron Woodson, said the project would displace 800 to 1,000 residents, most of whom would be offered replacement housing in other sections of the neighborhood.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

TLOZ Link5
December 17th, 2003, 09:47 AM
A map of the future light-rail link between Camden and Trenton, currently under construction. Courtesy of lightrail.com

http://www.lightrail.com/maps/camden.jpg

Kris
December 17th, 2003, 12:40 PM
Always good to have public transportation expanded in the region.

STT757
December 17th, 2003, 10:23 PM
The Delaware River Port Authority is also begining construction of a sky tram (similar to Rosevelt Island) to connect the Camden Waterfront (Battleship NJ, Aqarium, Blockbuster Center) with Penn's Landing in Philadelphia.

krulltime
December 18th, 2003, 12:46 AM
'Development to Offer $1.2 Billion Boost to Camden' ~ I still can't believe this is for real...somebody wake me up!

Camden its getting better day by day. :) Hopefully it will be like jersey city in the near future. Although then again...

TLOZ Link5
December 18th, 2003, 01:35 PM
Philly will have to do better also. But I'm very optimistic about that happening.

Gulcrapek
December 18th, 2003, 04:58 PM
The tram is cool... I wonder how it will turn out. I hope well.

krulltime
December 18th, 2003, 08:55 PM
Philly thinks that it can built a new and improved Pens Landing....but I will be dead until that heppens. Many people had already died since the 50's when it was first mention. I woudnt be surprice. :(

Kris
February 25th, 2004, 10:44 AM
Southern New Jersey Light Rail (http://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?s=fc8d19e2938a1e4d1f5c10e9d7c395fd& threadid=31873)

TLOZ Link5
February 25th, 2004, 01:59 PM
Single-track for much of its length, it seems. Very odd; how do they operate trains in opposite directions?

NYatKNIGHT
February 25th, 2004, 03:19 PM
My answer at SSP:

Light rail will often split its two tracks to cover more territory - like, northbound up one road, southbound down a parallel road - so its more like a loop. Sometimes it is necessary when the width of two side-by-side tracks are an issue, but usually it is for more widespread access.

TLOZ Link5
February 25th, 2004, 03:33 PM
Are the roads very far apart?

NYatKNIGHT
February 25th, 2004, 04:48 PM
No, usually they are just a block or two from each other. When they run side by side there will always be a crossover so the trains can switch tracks if they need to. But usually when you see a single track it is used in one direction.

STT757
February 25th, 2004, 04:57 PM
Light rail will often split its two tracks to cover more territory - like, northbound up one road, southbound down a parallel road - so its more like a loop.

That's not how this works, there are passing sidings with signals. There may be as many as 6 places where it is double tracked where trains are scheduled to meet and pass, this is how many commuter lines which are single tracked work.

NYatKNIGHT
February 25th, 2004, 05:43 PM
Okay, is that what they did in Camden? I stand corrected then. All of the new light rail projects I have worked on in the last 10 years use two one-way tracks with emergency crossovers - it is the preferred method. But my point was that just because you see one track doesn't necessarily mean it's using a single track system since light rail double tracks are often separated.

STT757
February 25th, 2004, 10:46 PM
It's a freight line which was upgraded a little to support light rail activities during the daytime, at night it's still a freight line.

Don't let the street runnings fool you, it's mostly run through rural areas which is why the huge controversy over the $1 Billion cost.

NYatKNIGHT
February 26th, 2004, 11:16 AM
It's not all freight line, mostly but not all. The 1.5 mile part in Camden is not shared and mostly double track from what I just read in one of my geeky Light Rail journals.

Out in the rural areas it makes more sense to share with the freight lines, plus 34 miles of double track is expensive. Most heavy rail uses single track, but LRT does only if it has to. Light rail stations inside the city are usually closer to each other and the trains make more frequent stops than heavy rail trains, so scheduling to pass on a single track line is a system nightmare. Plus light rail can manage tighter curves and steeper slopes; in these places double track is a necessity. This is how it usually works.

STT757
February 26th, 2004, 12:17 PM
http://community.webshots.com/photo/111463079/116720941UIOYDP

http://community.webshots.com/photo/78684214/116717988WNEfGV

Northern Terminus of River Line Light Rail, Amtrak/ New Jersey Transit/ SEPTA Trenton Station.

http://community.webshots.com/photo/118923230/120094128uUIrQu

STT757
February 26th, 2004, 08:38 PM
Light rail will often split its two tracks to cover more territory - like, northbound up one road, southbound down a parallel road - so its more like a loop.

I found a detailed map of the Newark Light Rail project under construction connecting Newark Penn Station and Broad Street Station, it does what you mentioned by splitting up and looping around a park and reconnect at Newark Broad Street station.

http://www.njtransit.com/images/an_newark_elizabeth_mos1_map.jpg

NYatKNIGHT
February 27th, 2004, 10:28 AM
Nice. The dashed blue line on that map on the left side is the tunnel section. That is what I took construction pictures of in this Newark (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=1300) thread.

Notice the LRT connects two train stations, giving commuters in NJ another option to transfer lines west of the Secaucus Transfer, and well west of Hoboken and the city. Below is the NJTransit Map where you can see all the trains that come through Newark and will now be connected by the Newark Light Rail.

http://www.njtransit.com/images/NJTrrmap_Nov03.jpg

The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail also is double track. The map below is schematic, but it shows where in the line there are double crossovers indicated by an "x" or just a single "/" at single crossovers.

http://www.nycsubway.org/nyc/hudson-bergen/hblrtrack.gif

Good to see that transit is picking up in the entire region.

STT757
February 27th, 2004, 10:54 AM
Nice photos of Newark, I used to work in Downtown Newark on Halsey street for the State. I rode the Newark Subway on the cold and wet days from Newark Penn to my building, the connection to Broad Street station will make it easier for people who work near Penn Station bu travel on the M&E lines to get to work easier. And vice versa for those who work near Broad Street station and travel on the NEC, also the Light rail will serve the Newark Museum and Newark Public Library which are both gems!

I walked past this building everyday on my lunch break (I even parked in that lot), there are some beautiful buildings in Downtown Newark that just need some investment.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/11/30/realestate/comprop.650.jpg

DJWK
March 9th, 2004, 12:41 AM
'Development to Offer $1.2 Billion Boost to Camden' ~ I still can't believe this is for real...somebody wake me up!

Camden its getting better day by day. :) Hopefully it will be like jersey city in the near future. Although then again...

Were you the one who about this time last year in a Jersey City post said you hoped Camden could have similar success? If so, you're the one who got me interested in Camden since then. This is great, I hope the people of Camden benefit from this renewed attention and can rebound from being the 2nd poorest city in the nation

Kris
March 13th, 2004, 05:36 AM
March 13, 2004

In Delaware River Towns of South Jersey, a Light Rail, With the Emphasis on Light

By LAURA MANSNERUS

TRENTON, March 12 - From rail yards in Camden and Trenton, cars will roll out on Sunday morning for the very first trip on what transportation experts say will be the light rail line with the worst financial performance in the nation.

The people along a string of shrinking towns on the Delaware River are expected to make about 5,900 one-way trips a day on New Jersey Transit's new River Line. Each trip will cost New Jersey taxpayers about $30 to cover operating costs and debt service. And the state has sunk $1 billion into the project.

Light rail - this generation's name for streetcars and trolleys - has been introduced or revived in about 20 American cities in the last 20 years, drawing attention with a winning combination of nostalgia and novelty. How well these lines have worked is a subject of fierce debate; few if any pay for themselves. But even the state transit officials in charge of it say the River Line is a cautionary tale.

At a time when the state treasury is bare and New Jersey Transit in particular is starving, the River Line, which will carry fewer than 1 percent of the agency's passengers, is expected to drain about $65 million a year from the transportation funds allotted for the entire state.

"There is a desire named streetcar among planners," said James Dunn, a political scientist at Rutgers who studies public transit. But if lightly traveled rail lines do little to serve transportation needs, that is almost beside the point for the politicians who want to build them, he said.

In the political sphere, "it's a benefits regime" that distributes jobs, contracts and influence, Professor Dunn said. "The costs are the benefits."

And the River Line illustrates those costs.

The line was a notion of the 1990's, when light rail was catching on across the country. New Jersey approved a 20-mile line along the Hudson, from Bayonne to Bergen County, and obtained federal funds that would eventually pay for most of it. South Jersey legislators responded with a plan for the 34-mile Camden-to-Trenton line, a proposal little noticed in the flush, free-spending years of Gov. Christie Whitman's administration, and that was approved, too. Most of the old rail line that would carry the light rail was in Burlington County, home of State Senator C. William Haines, the chairman of the Transportation Committee, who died in 1996.

One critical distinction of the South Jersey line was that the state made no application for federal aid. "The true scandal of all this is they knew it was bad to begin with and didn't want it evaluated objectively," said Prof. John Pucher of Rutgers, a transit expert who describes himself as a proponent of light rail.

The project has cost about three times more than the earliest estimates. Since 1996, the state has paid $476 million for the contract to design and build the system and $100 million for consultants. In borrowing to keep the project afloat, the state paid outside bond underwriters and lawyers, although those costs are minuscule in comparison to the $48 million a year to be paid in debt service.

Officials in Gov. James E. McGreevey's administration, having inherited the River Line, thought about abandoning the project and then about letting people ride free, reasoning that the fares - $1.10 per trip - would not cover the cost of collecting them.

George Warrington, the director of New Jersey Transit, says the light rail line will have no noticeable effect on traffic congestion.

Like many of the River Line's supporters, Mr. Warrington describes it as an economic development project for the river towns, most of which lost population in the 1990's, even while Burlington County grew by 7.2 percent. State Route 130, paralleling the River Line, remained an underused highway lined with auto-body shops and storage businesses.

But the Victorian flavor of villages like Bordentown and Riverside invited downtown renewal. "Private capital is gravitating back to downtowns across the state, and the anchor for much of that attraction is the train station," Mr. Warrington said.

Mark Remsa, Burlington County's director of economic development, said that about $480 million in new construction was planned within walking distance of the line or of shuttle buses to the stations from employment centers.

Mr. Remsa said it was almost impossible to tell whether the River Line would simply siphon development from not-too-distant points, or even from Route 130, just as it would siphon passengers from Camden-to-Trenton bus service. "But we have seen property values rising," he said, "particularly along the tracks, and a lot of people who say they're here because of the light rail."

Even opponents say that Camden and Trenton can only benefit from the line. But some potential riders will not ride the line to Trenton because it stops about a mile from the State House. In Camden, scheduling is a problem. The terminus is across the street from the Tweeter Center, a major concert hall, but the line runs late only on Saturdays; on other days, because the right-of-way is shared with freight traffic, the last train leaves at 9 p.m.

Criticism of the project reflects a wider, impassioned dispute over the efficacy of mass transit and of light rail in particular. Clifford Winston, an economist at the Brookings Institution, argues that public ownership of transit is governed by political - and therefore hugely expensive - spending decisions, and that planners routinely overestimate demand for new projects. "I do mind how much these things cost," Mr. Winston said, "but I mind more when no one uses them."

In this debate, the River Line is often singled out for derision. In a new study titled "Great Rail Disasters," published in Colorado by the Independence Institute, a libertarian research organization, the author, Randal O'Toole, said, "The South Jersey rail line is so bad that it is almost a New Jersey caricature of everything wrong with rail transit."

Many transit advocates respond that mass transit serves purposes beyond dollar-for-dollar efficiency and that new rail development invites other investments that transform their surroundings. Mr. Warrington cites the example of Metropark, the rail station that was widely labeled a boondoggle when it was built on farmland in Edison, N.J., and is now a sizable job center.The new Hudson-Bergen light-rail line has been much disparaged, too, but ridership and revenue are growing quickly as construction extends the line to transit hubs like the Hoboken bus and rail terminal.

The comparison of the Trenton-to-Camden line and other light-rail lines around the nation is even more stark. At the projected 2.1 million trips a year, ridership on the River Line would be far below the least successful new projects: Buffalo's 6-mile-long light rail (about 5.8 million trips a year) and San Jose's 29-mile line (about 7.8 million trips a year). Among the more successful lines, St. Louis has almost 15 million trips a year, Dallas 13.7 million, and San Diego more than 25 million.

The projected farebox receipts for the River Line - $1.4 million in the first year - fall far below any other new line's revenue. Given $18 million to $19 million in operating and maintenance costs, fares will cover about 7 percent of costs and require a subsidy of just over $8 per trip. When the $48 million debt service is added, the recovery is 2 percent and the subsidy $31 per trip.

The River Line has proven painful to many public-transit advocates, who do not want to discourage new investment or the delicate progress that rail lines are bringing to urban centers.

Professor Pucher at Rutgers, who does not even own a car, calls the River Line "probably the worst transit investment in the entire country."

"I'm really upset because it's just bankrupting New Jersey Transit," he said. "It's going to postpone desperately needed improvements in North Jersey. The trains are overflowing. We need another tunnel into Manhattan. We need double-decker trains."

Like many transportation experts, Mr. Pucher said areas like South Jersey, where development is scattered, are much better and more cheaply served by buses. But bus service is notoriously hard to sell, he added. "Even the Federal Transit Administration has said that the main problem with buses is they don't look like trains."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
March 14th, 2004, 08:24 PM
River Line Photo Gallery (http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?s=8c73d16a022c96172f678c8d693572ec& threadid=34620)

Kris
June 26th, 2004, 09:01 PM
June 27, 2004

Camden's Billion-Dollar Gamble

By JILL P. CAPUZZO

CAMDEN

DAY after day, Mary Cortes races around Cramer Hill in her late-model black Mustang, handing out bumper stickers that say "Don't Tread on Me" and signs with the word "Cherokee" crossed out by a large red slash.

On one such foray, Ms. Cortes found a willing recipient in Margaret Grossmick, who now has one of the signs hanging from the front porch of her tan, two-story house on Harrison Avenue - a last-ditch effort to save her home of 48 years from being torn down in the name of progress and prosperity.

"My husband and I have lived in Cramer Hill all our lives," said the 72-year-old Ms. Grossmick, reaching for an inhaler tucked beneath the elasticized neckline of her pink polyester blouse. "We struggled paying off our mortgage, then we got siding six or seven years ago. Then we bought the lots next door. We've got it nice here and now they're saying we have to go."

Ms. Grossmick and her husband are among the 1,200 families facing an uncertain future if a redevelopment plan with a price tag of almost $1.3 billion for this working-class neighborhood in northwest Camden - home to a predominantly Hispanic population with a sprinkling of blacks and whites - is passed by the City Council as expected on Wednesday.

For decades, this section of Camden - physically cut off from the rest of the city by railroad tracks and two rivers - has been largely ignored by government officials, a condition underscored by the rutted roads, shattered streetlights and a perpetual flooding problem.

But these days Cramer Hill, with its two-mile-long stretch along the Delaware and across the river from Philadelphia, is the latest object of desire among planners, who are shifting their focus from the waterfront downtown to this upriver neighborhood that abuts Pennsauken.

Around the country, urban planners have seized on the realization that waterfront land offers the greatest potential for economic revitalization. Through millions of dollars in public subsidies and tax incentives, cities have made great strides trying to duplicate the success of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore or the Riverwalk in San Antonio. There are few locations where this phenomenon more apparent than at the northern end of the state, where development along the Hudson River in Jersey City and what is known as the Gold Coast - embracing once-gritty towns like Secaucus, West New York, Guttenberg and North Bergen - has transformed the riverfront into a miles-long stretch of office towers, high-end town houses, condominiums and fashionable shops and restaurants.

Now Camden - the state's poorest city, so depleted in resources and spirit that headline writers long ago grew weary of grasping at adjectives to describe its deprivations - is poised to reach for its golden ring with the help of the state and private industry. The state stepped in two years ago with a $175 million bailout package, most of which has already gone toward improvements to Cooper Hospital and the state and county colleges. With just $35 million in aid left, Camden officials began looking toward private investors, like Cherokee Investment Partners of North Carolina, who last December were chosen for the $1.298 billion redevelopment of Cramer Hill.

With plans to build 6,000 new homes, 500,000 square feet of commercial space, a marina, and perhaps most unlikely of all - an 18-hole golf course on the long-abandoned Harrison Avenue landfill - over the next 10 years, the redevelopment plan would be one of the largest such projects the state has undertaken.

For the City of Camden, the potential is even more significant: if private companies - in this case, Cherokee - can be lured to invest in Camden, and in the process reinvent a neighborhood, why not spread the wealth to other sections of the city that are in far worse condition?

"The private sector said, 'We believe in this neighborhood and are prepared to invest a substantial amount of money,' " said Melvin R. Primas, a former mayor here who Governor McGreevey appointed to oversee the city's revitalization effort. "Camden has not been in this position for many years. We now have developers looking all over Camden."

For many of Camden's residents, 46 percent of whom live at or below the poverty line, the contemplation of such sweeping change is daunting. Where city and state officials see prosperity, many wary residents envision neighborhoods being gentrified to the point where they will be forced out and left with few places to move in the city or surrounding suburbs.

Indeed, Mr. Primas acknowledged that according to the city's master plan, every neighborhood here will be designated a redevelopment zone, giving it the right to acquire properties through eminent domain.

In Cramer Hill alone, up to 1,000 houses and 21 businesses are listed "to be acquired," while another 200 houses and 19 businesses "may be acquired" (plus an additional 64 homes to be razed to make way for a new elementary school). More than 500 of these homes are in two government-subsidized housing projects: Ablett Village, run by the Camden Housing Authority, and Centennial Village, a privately owned apartment complex that is largely subsidized by the federal government.

Over the past several months, much of the discussion at two planning board meetings - where the redevelopment plan passed unanimously despite the presence of about 800 angry residents - focused on the displacement of the public housing residents.

For now, the Cramer Hill plan calls for building 1,200 affordable homes - sprinkled among new homes that will sell for as much as $200,000 - to offset some of the public housing that is to be torn down, and city officials have promised residents that they will have the chance to move back into the neighborhood or elsewhere in the city.

Nevertheless, many questions have arisen over what constitutes "affordable" in a poverty-riddled city and where the poorest residents will be able to go.

Arijit De, executive director of the Camden Redevelopment Agency, insists that residents of Ablett Village will be given priority in the city's other public housing projects and will continue to pay the same rent; those living in Centennial Village will be given vouchers that can be used for similar rent-subsidized apartments.

"Nobody is going to be rendered homeless," Mr. De said. "We are asking you to believe that we are here looking out for your interests."

But Olga Pomar, a lawyer from South Jersey Legal Services who is representing the families in the two housing projects as well as many homeowners and businesses in the neighborhood, contends that the overall number of public housing units in the city has been reduced by about 30 percent in the past 10 years and that the competition for existing units is fierce.

Currently, there are 373 people on the waiting list for public housing similar to the units scheduled for demolition at Ablett Village, according to Ms. Pomar, who also pointed out that the number of landlords willing to accept vouchers for rent subsidies has also dropped.

"Even though they may not love Ablett and Centennial, they represent a very valuable resource for the city," Ms. Pomar said, "one that in this current funding climate we can't afford to lose."

Moreover, city planners agree that Camden, the recipient of four large public housing grants from the federal government over the last 10 years, is unlikely to receive any more; President Bush has repeatedly tried to slash funds for public housing.

Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution's Center on Urban and Metropolitan Housing called the endangered federal housing program the most effective one for providing new housing and revitalizing tough neighborhoods in the last 50 years, but said its future "would depend on the election, if we have a pro-housing government or not."

Regardless of the status of the federal program, city planners say they have no desire to build another housing project in Cramer Hill, but rather want to scatter the affordable housing throughout the area.

"We are not going to build a large low-income property in Cramer Hill," Mr. Primas said. "We don't want to build pockets of poverty. We have the lessons of many years to learn from, to do it right this time."

From his perspective, Mr. Katz warned that city planners trying to turn around deteriorating neighborhoods not lose sight of the residents. "Some public housing agencies have paid more attention to the redevelopment than the housing," he said. "They haven't paid attention to the needs of the families or provided enough support to families before and after they move."

While many in Camden are willing to trust city officials' promises to protect the interests of public housing residents, it is the homeowners - many of whom are not much better off than those living in public housing - whose status seems far less certain.

To try to attract private developers, city planners came up with an ambitious vision that included far more land than a contaminated landfill or vacant lots scattered throughout the neighborhood. "We've often focused on filling in the gaps, applying Band-Aids," Mr. De said. "That's been the history. Here there was the opportunity to assemble enough land to have a real impact, that a large-scale change in the environment was in fact conceivable."

Of the developers who responded to the city's request for proposals last year, Mr. De said, Cherokee was the only one to come back with a "holistic response" - a plan that would allow for the removal of about 700 private homes in areas desirable for redevelopment. Yet with some homes and businesses dating back more than a century, local residents feared not only the loss of their houses or workplaces but also the history and character of Cramer Hill.

The one-square-mile neighborhood got its start in the late 1800's, when a real estate developer, Alfred Cramer, came up with the idea of selling building lots to working people on monthly installment plans. By 1897, he had sold 5,000 lots in Cramer Hill and East Camden, and by World War II, much of the present housing stock was in place.

To some, Cramer Hill is best known as the site where Howard Unruh passed through a barber shop, a drugstore, and a local tailor shop on 32nd Street on a September morning in 1949, killing 13 people in 12 minutes.

Today, Cramer Hill is a quiet neighborhood, with one of the city's more stable residential populations and a healthy business district along River Road. Hispanics make up 65 percent of the area's 10,000 residents, and about a third of the people live below the poverty line, according to the 2000 Census.

A survey conducted by the Hillier Group, a private architectural firm, for the purposes of creating a redevelopment plan concluded that 28 percent of the area's 3,816 parcels of land was substandard or deteriorating, thereby fulfilling one of the state's criteria for a redevelopment designation. The drive-by survey found that 35 percent of the homes were in poor condition and 60 percent were in fair condition, according to the head of the Camden planning board, Charles Lyons Jr., though he acknowledged that the assessments were "subjective" and based solely on exterior examination.

Ms. Cortes, a teacher's aide who has been leading the fight to block the Cherokee development, said the findings were not a surprise. In an effort to avoid attention - both of the tax assessor and would-be thieves - Ms. Cortes said many of her neighbors did not worry what the outside of their houses look like. But behind the patchwork vinyl siding and occasional boarded up windows, residents have worked to build their own notion of heaven, Ms. Cortes said

"We are not a blighted area," said Ms. Cortes, who bought a four-bedroom split level house on Arthur Avenue 10 years ago for $27,000. "I have seen shacks that are falling apart turned into mansions."

Mike Hagan, a native of Cramer Hill, moved to San Francisco in the 1970's then returned in 1985 to be closer to his mother and bought what is referred to locally as "the Castle," a blue, three-story turreted house on 32nd Street near the Delaware.

"This used to be the dumps, the wrong side of the tracks," said Mr. Hagan, who bought the house - then in foreclosure - for $4,727 and like many in the neighborhood has lived mortgage-free for many years. "Now it's a real estate land grab in the guise of redevelopment."

Mr. Hagan, a part-time house painter and pianist, went on: "It's the American dream to have a house paid for. These are people who paid off their houses long ago and thought they were good to go for the rest of their lives."

To allay such concerns, Mr. Lyons said that homeowners who have maintained their properties and do not owe taxes will be paid the full appraised value for their homes and will be provided relocation assistance.

Recent census data lists the median price for a home in Cramer Hill at $42,900, but Mr. Lyons said homes in the area have been selling for $60,000 to $85,000 in the last 90 days. In addition, state guidelines provide homeowners with up to $15,000 in relocation aid, which Mr. Lyons said would be paid for by the developer.

"If you are in a two-bedroom home and you have paid off your mortgage, we will make sure you're in another two-bedroom home in or as near to Cramer Hill as you care to be," said Mr. Lyons, adding that the city will "attempt to equalize the cost, within reason."

Still, some have questioned why established neighborhoods had to be included in the redevelopment, rather than focusing on upgrading the public housing and cleaning up the 96-acre Harrison Avenue landfill.

For their part, city officials said there was no incentive for a private developer to simply clean up the landfill, an assessment supported by the head of Cherokee.

"We looked at individual sites and concluded that we needed to improve a larger area to make it worthwhile," said the chief executive of Cherokee, Tom Darden. "There are not much economics in a golf course. If you're trying to support the closure of a landfill with a golf course, it's not feasible."

Others are challenging the value of an 18-hole golf course is planned for one of the poorest cities in the United States - particularly when there is neither a movie theater nor a soccer field in all of Camden. They see the course as symbolic of the kind of gentrification they fear for the neighborhood, separating the haves - who will be living in homes worth as much as $200,000 or more - from the have-nots.

"Golf is a little rarefied for the population," said Howard Gillette, a professor at Rutgers University-Camden who is finishing a book on the history of Camden. "But it is not too rarefied to attract those middle- to upper-middle-class people they're trying to get."

For Cherokee, one of the nation's largest companies involved in the remediation of brownfields, building golf courses has offered one of the most affordable and expedient solutions for recycling contaminated land. In fact, the company is currently building two courses on 700 acres of landfill in the Meadowlands, and four weeks ago proposed another billion-dollar, mixed-use development for Pennsauken's waterfront.

While the City Council appears virtually certain to approve the Cramer Hill project, skeptics are concerned about where the money is going to come from, particularly the public financing. Included in the plan as "potential funding sources" are $100 million from the state's Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, $75 million from the state Department of Community Affairs, $50 million from the federal Department of Transportation, and $35 million from the Camden Recovery Board for neighborhood improvement. At this point, however, none of those agencies have committed themselves to this project.

Mr. Primas said parts of the plan, like a new $100 million bridge across the Cooper River and the affordable housing units, will be covered by public subsidy, while the market-rate housing and retail development will be the responsibility of private developers. Cherokee will pay for the landfill remediation, but can expect to recoup 75 percent of that cost through tax credits and environmental cleanup funds, Mr. Primas said.

"The redevelopment plan is a general plan," he noted. "It hasn't been costed out to the penny. "These are rough numbers, what we think it's going to cost. Once we get the plan approved, then we can begin the process of negotiations."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Ernest Burden III
July 7th, 2004, 09:55 AM
June 27, 2004
Camden's Billion-Dollar Gamble
By JILL P. CAPUZZO
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

I understand from a friend that this story was accompanied by a rendering. I did not see the article in the Times myself. Does anyone know if the rendering was posted anywhere on the web? It's not on the Times' site, which is good, but other publications may have run it (or them). There were two aerials produced, I don't know which one was run in the paper.

Thanks in advance
Ernest Burden III

Jasonik
July 7th, 2004, 07:33 PM
http://www.courierpostonline.com/camden2015/images/multimedialogo.jpg (http://www.courierpostonline.com/camden2015/multimedia.html)

http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/discoverphilly/phase2plan.JPG (http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/discoverphilly/camden.htm)

http://www.steiner.com/_graphics/steinerLogo.jpg (http://www.steiner.com/portfolio/camdenwaterfront/camdenoverview.cfm)

http://www.camconnect.org/
Brownfields contact info:
http://www.ycees.njit.edu/NHSRC/outreach/TOSC/camden.html

Ernest Burden III
July 8th, 2004, 06:18 AM
I don't know WHAT that is. It sure isn't the masterplan I am familiar with. Could I be in the wrong thread? We're supposed to be discussing the Cramer Hill re-developement?

I don't have the renderings on my site because they were the last of my watercolored work (I'm all digital now, baby!). I really was just curious which rendering was run on the paper and if they used all of it or a portion.

Now I'm confused, too.

Jasonik
July 8th, 2004, 08:08 AM
Sorry for all the 'extra' info, just thought it would be informative about the complete Camden vision. Aspects of the Cramer Hill re-development are laid out in the links above, including zoning and redistricting maps, etc.

I did not find your watercolor aerial though.

krulltime
July 8th, 2004, 10:52 PM
Jasonik I think that the 'extra info' was generous for people like me who are intereted beyond NYC. I am really interested in what is going on in camden and this link you found has great information.

Maybe NYC and the State could learn from this and built something like this development on the Brooklyn waterfront. Especially up on greenpoint.

I am so glad there is still alot of land to be develop on the waterfront of NYC. It is going to be amazing if it is spend the right way.

Ernest Burden III
July 9th, 2004, 09:54 AM
Cramer Hill, bringing golf to the inner-city. And yachting, let's not forget that.

The design won. There was a lot of interest in preserving the welfare of the current residents while bringing 'renewal'.

There were also five sketch renderings showing pedestrian experience views. Overall, the design is well thought out. It will be interesting to see how it does, long term, for the area. Can you improve a blighted area without displacing the 'native' population? Does a rising tide lift all boats, or do some boats just have holes in them to begin with?

Kris
December 29th, 2004, 01:44 AM
December 29, 2004

Camden's Streets Go From Mean to Meanest

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/12/29/nyregion/camden.184.2.650.jpg
Police officers in North Camden arresting a suspect in an armed robbery.

Slide Show: America's Most Dangerous City (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2004/12/28/nyregion/20041229_CAMD_SLIDESHOW_1.html)

CAMDEN, N.J., Dec. 23 - If anybody was surprised that Camden was recently ranked America's most dangerous city, it wasn't the people who live here.

In the past 12 months, there have been 53 homicides, including a 12-year-old shot to death on his porch for his radio, more than 800 aggravated assaults, including a toddler shot in the back of the head, at least 750 robberies and 150 acts of arson, more than 10,000 arrests and one glaring nonarrest - a serial rapist on the loose downtown.

All in a city of 79,000, nine square miles small.

For decades, Camden has been the classic model of urban despair, a place where entire city blocks are boarded up and glassy-eyed heroin addicts roam the streets and cold, empty factories stand testament to the decaying fortunes of American industry.

But for the last couple of years, the city, on the banks of the Delaware River opposite Philadelphia, was supposed to be getting better. The state of New Jersey recently began a $175 million bailout plan and a real estate developer is about to start a $1.3 billion redevelopment gamble that includes fancy homes and, of all things, a golf course.

And so Camden's latest explosion of violence, which defies most national trends, is, for all its tragic aspects, also miserably timed. The city's dream of renaissance is being interrupted by a brutal reality, and at the cusp of a supposed economic recovery, the most thriving trade remains crack cocaine.

"This city would collapse without it," said Lt. Frank Cook of the Camden police.

Drugs are thought to be responsible for a vast majority of the city's problems, and the drug trade is picking up, detectives say, with better quality narcotics hitting the streets, big-city street gangs moving in and a new breed of criminals stepping up who are sophisticated enough to provide health benefits for crack dealers.

In a place where poverty is so concentrated - Camden is, essentially, one big blighted neighborhood - the outcome seems inevitable: more drugs, more drug wars, more bodies.

That dark formula is what caught the attention of researchers at Morgan Quitno, a group in Lawrence, Kan., that tracks national crime data. They calculated that Camden had the highest rate of violent crime per capita in 2003 among cities of 75,000 or more. And this year looks no better, with homicides up 20 percent and counting.

"It's not all peaches and cream out here," said Irene Miller, a prostitute who has been working Camden's streets for years. Local officials are close to desperate.

"I feel like I'm in Falluja," said Edwin Figueroa, Camden's police chief. "I don't have enough soldiers. The enemy is out there. And we're fighting the same battle over and over and over again."

No doubt, there are countless lives caught up in this.

Here are five.

Yaya Kirkland used to be a chatterbox. Now she barely coos.

She looks up from her hospital bed, blank and drooling, a tangle of tubes and wires and hoses attached to her as if she is some sort of science project. Her shiny coffee-bean eyes are wide open. Her mother puts a finger next to her lashes. But Yaya doesn't blink. Not once.

Sometimes her nose fills up with mucus and she makes a snorting noise. Sometimes little tears run from the corners of her eyes.

"My baby's in pain," her mother says.

Yaya, whose full name is Yahnajeah, is a 3-year-old casualty of Camden's drug wars. She was bouncing around the back seat of a car on her way home with her mother when a stray bullet fired from the doorway of a housing project drilled through the car's door and into the back of her head.

This happened Oct. 28, at 9:35 p.m., in the Centerville section of town, a drug-infested stretch of rundown row houses and housing projects. Her mother, Nathenia Kirkland, had just picked up cheese fries and fried chicken for dinner.

She heard, crack, crack. Two shots. Saw two flashes.

When she whipped around to check on her daughter, Yaya was slumped over the back seat.

"God, please don't take my baby, please," Ms. Kirkland recalled screaming.

The police didn't think the girl would live. They opened a homicide investigation.

But Yaya held on. She survived six operations and many complications, though it is not clear if she will ever fully recover.

"She's conscious, but she's not conscious," said her great-aunt, Kathryn Blackshear. "She can see but she can't see."

Ms. Kirkland is on her own now, a 26-year-old single mother looking after a wounded child in a city where social service agencies say 80 percent of children are born to single mothers, more than double the national average. She wanted to quit work but could not because she needs to pay the bills. She works at a nursing home folding sheets and wiping noses, and comes home at night to an empty apartment.

"I used to hear my baby playing in her room, she said. "I used to hear Elmo."

She is lonely and angry and frustrated and scared.

"I'm always looking over my shoulder now," she said. "Sometimes, when I'm driving around, I feel like it's me who's about to get shot in the head."

People say they know who the gunman is. But no witnesses will talk. No arrests have been made. In Camden, it's a familiar story.

A Nun's Blessings

Sister Helen Cole is known in North Camden as Sister Charles Bronson.

The other day she was walking down York Street with an Our Lady of Guadelupe pendant swinging from her neck, past once-beautiful peaked-roof houses now encased in burglar bars, past men in hooded sweatshirts mouthing "white horse, white horse," past murals of dead boys with R.I.P. painted below their faces in huge snazzy graffiti letters, when she bumped into a neighbor.

"Hey, Terry," she said. "Just doing a tour of the holy ground."

"Sister," the woman replied, "all Camden is going to be holy ground soon."

When somebody is killed, Sister Helen goes to the spot with a bottle of holy water. She lights a candle. She says a prayer. The spot becomes holy ground. She has turned sidewalks, street corners, porches, alleyways, weed-choked fields and even a Toyota Celica into holy ground. Lately, she has been very busy.

She began this work in 1995 when the mother of a missing girl knocked on the convent's door for help. The girl had been raped and murdered. Sister Helen hasn't looked back since.

"I'm not a seeker, an ambulance chaser," she said. "But I enjoy taking away pain. I hold out my hands and tell people, 'Give me your pain, put it in my hands, let it go.' "

She calls it companioning.

Every year on Good Friday, Sister Helen, a Roman Catholic nun, leads a Stations of the Cross procession through North Camden. People act out scenes from Christ's crucifixion and then stand on the street corners and belt out the names of known drug dealers and pray for them.

"I'm not stupid," Sister Helen said. "I'm not going to go up to these guys and confront them. I value my life."

How does she even know their names?

"We coached them in Little League," she said

Her church, Holy Name, has been running sports programs and social services in North Camden for years. It is one of the roughest neighborhoods in the city, and many houses have an unusual architectural feature: the totally fortified front porch, with burglar bars walling off not just windows and doors but the whole front part of the house. The police call them birdcages, and on many days when the streets are thick with drug dealers, it is the law-abiding citizen sitting behind bars.

Sister Helen, 46, lives amid all this in a convent on State Street with four other nuns. They have a Christmas wreath bound to their porch with three chains.

"The addicts," she explained.

The other day, she dropped in at La Dominicana, a corner store, with the daughter of the man who used to run it.

"This is where the lookout stood," the girl said flatly as she opened the door.

"This is where the robber was," the girl added as she walked in. "And this is where my father got shot."

"More holy ground," Sister Helen said.

One Man's Vision

At the top of Camden City Hall is a saying chiseled into stone: "In a dream I saw a city invincible."

Walt Whitman, Camden's most famous resident, wrote those words in 1860. Randy Primas, Camden's revitalization czar, still believes in them.

Mr. Primas steps to his window on the 13th floor of City Hall and looks out across the rooftops. He doesn't see the killing fields of North Camden where Sister Helen lights her candles. He doesn't see the Camden that is. He sees high-rise condos rising up from the waterfront, and new office towers in front of the Philadelphia skyline, and business and people flocking to downtown instead of fleeing in a trail of taillights when the sun goes down. He sees the Camden that will be, something like the Camden that once was.

"You know, Camden used to make everything from a pen to a battleship," Mr. Primas said. "It was a smokestack town. It had hundreds of factories. People had jobs. It worked."

Mr. Primas, 55, was a popular mayor in the 1980's and is among Camden's select few over the past 20 years not to be indicted. Then he moved away to the suburbs and made a lot of money working for a bank.

Two years ago, he came back to perform miracles. So far, it's been slow going.

He was appointed by the state to be Camden's chief operating officer, in charge of the $175 million bailout plan, with veto power over the mayor and the City Council.

Already, he has had to take the City Council to court three times to force it to approve his plans.

His goal is jobs.

"We've got to give these young men on the corners something to do," he said.

He rattled off a list of businesses that had closed since the 1960's - New York Shipyards, the Haddon book bindery, the Campbell soup factory. He remembered summer days when the produce trucks would line up at the factory and the streets would run red - with tomato juice.

He gave statistics of today's Camden: 20 percent of the city is unemployed; per-capita income is $9,815; half of the residents did not finish high school; one out of 20 graduated from college; 46 percent of children live in poverty.

"That $175 million may sound like a lot of money for this place," Mr. Primas went on. "But it's going to take billions."

Drugs and Real Estate

Kenny Jenkins used to cut an impressive figure in his silk shirts and Versace suits, driving his $60,000 Lincoln Navigator with the $10,000 rims around the Louis Street wasteland where he grew up. According to federal prosecutors, he was one of the biggest dealers in town, raking in $300,000 a week.

Now he is locked up and facing 30 years to life.

Over the past few weeks, in a hushed courtroom in the Camden federal building, prosecutors have tried to methodically build a case against Mr. Jenkins, 36, painting him as the living, breathing, crack-dealing embodiment of Camden's ruin - but with a twist.

After amassing a mountain of cash, prosecutors said, Mr. Jenkins tried to go straight by buying rundown houses, fixing them up and selling them. The problem was, prosecutors said, he defrauded mortgage companies and home buyers every step of the way.

They have called a string of witnesses to detail Mr. Jenkins's rise to power, starting with accounts of his humble beginnings as a high school dropout selling crack at the corner of Louis and Chestnut Streets, one of the city's most notorious intersections, to his emergence as a major player in powdered cocaine.

"You will hear how the profits were staggering at times, and that the cash was spent often as quickly as it came in," said Marc-Philip Ferzan, one of the prosecutors, at the beginning of the trial. "Cristal Champagne at $500 a bottle, expensive cars, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Lincoln Navigators, S.U.V.'s, the finest designer clothes like Versace, Prada, Gucci, jewelry, Rolex watches, gold necklaces, diamond earrings, women."

As one police officer put it, Camden is "the richest poorest city in the country." And at any given moment, the war on drugs is playing out in multiple sites across the city's compact downtown - the federal court, the state court, the methadone clinic, the police station, the prosecutor's office, the county health bureau - all within walking distance of one another, almost like a mini-Olympics for the narcotics game.

But for all the drugs coursing through Camden's veins, there won't be any on display at the Jenkins trial. Despite three years of investigation, federal agents were not able to seize even a dime bag connected to him.

"This is a dope case with no dope," said his defense lawyer, Michael E. Riley. "They don't have any physical evidence to prove Kenny is anything but a legitimate businessman in the home repair business."

Mr. Jenkins, who was convicted of drug dealing in 1998, was not available for comment. The other day he sat in court in a crisp dress shirt, cupping his face, rubbing his shaved head, studying the faces of the witnesses, his old friends.

He was heard only when prosecutors played a tape recorded by an informant.

"There ain't nothing she can say about me," Mr. Jenkins said on the tape, referring to the possibility of his ex-girlfriend's testifying. "What? I sold drugs? They know that."

View From a Police Car

Capt. Harry Leon does not see America winning the war on drugs. His goal is a little smaller." I just try to keep the corner clean where my mama lives," he said.

As the sun sank behind Philadelphia's skyline, across the river but a world away, Captain Leon glided down Federal Street in his sleek black Crown Victoria, a complete mess rolling past his windows: houses half standing, half falling down, littered lots, broken down cars, teenage boys in groups with their middle-school lookouts riding bikes.

"We can suppress but we can't eradicate," said Captain Leon, who has been patrolling Camden for 15 years. A drug dealer once blew up his truck, and after that Captain Leon said his wife "strongly suggested" they move out of Camden. They did.

He said the Camden Police Department constantly shifted its tactics: officers on foot, officers on bikes, officers on horseback, going hard, going soft, going in between.

"But they figure it out," he said.

Today's drug dealers speak in code and use untraceable cellphones and brand their white bags of powder with special stamps to differentiate themselves, he said. The latest craze now is "wet," a marijuana joint rolled in embalming fluid.

Drug crimes and gun crimes are the two top priorities. Last summer Camden's law enforcement agencies, who are often at odds with each other, banded together to form a "shoot team" to investigate nonfatal shootings with the same rigor usually reserved for homicides. So far, they have increased the number of closed cases on aggravated assaults from 18 percent to 45 percent.

"The key is getting people to talk," said Sgt. Eddie Ramos, head of the shoot team. "We'll show up at a gun call and everybody will be standing around saying nothing happened and we'll turn the corner and find a body."

Where the bodies fall is often memorialized. It has become almost an urban cliché. But in Camden the sidewalk memorials are truly inescapable, one after another testifying to the swift current carrying the city's young men away.

During his patrol, Captain Leon stopped by a huge richly detailed mural of a 27-year-old man called "B." He had soft eyes and a little mustache. His face was in the clouds.

"We're going to tear this down," Captain Leon said.

Why?

" 'Cause it glorifies death."

But before he got back into the car, Captain Leon looked up once more at the mural.

"Beautiful though, ain't it?" he said.

Graphic: Mired in Urban Despair (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/12/28/nyregion/28camden_lg.gif)

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
November 21st, 2005, 07:39 AM
Camden, N.J., Ranked Most-Dangerous City

By GEOFF MULVIHILL
Associated Press Writer

November 21, 2005, 12:04 AM EST

CAMDEN, N.J. -- For the second year in a row, this destitute city has been named the nation's most dangerous, according to a company's annual ranking based on crime statistics.

Last year, the distinction seemed to hurt city boosters' feelings more than it harmed revitalization efforts. This time, city leaders are offended by the ranking, calling it unfair.

"We're doing so many nice things now. It's unfortunate that somebody always wants to bad-mouth Camden," Mayor Gwendolyn Faison said.

The city took the top spot last year from Detroit, which remained No. 2 in the most dangerous city rankings, to be released Monday by Morgan Quitno Press. The Lawrence, Kan.-based company publishes "City Crime Rankings," an annual reference book.

Camden, a former industrial city across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, is known for a history of corrupt politicians, drug-dealing and murders. It has been among the top 10 in the most dangerous city rankings in each of the eight years Morgan Quitno released them. By most measures, it is also among the nation's poorest.

The has state poured $175 million into the city to spur development projects and take over parts of its government, the city's aquarium doubled in size and a new library and technology center were built. Tourism continues to increase along the river, home to the aquarium, an amphitheater, a minor-league baseball park and a retired battleship.

But about 100 fewer prospective students than expected attended Rutgers University's downtown campus last year, something Provost Roger Dennis attributes to the crime ranking and a serial rapist who assaulted women near and on campus last fall.

Police are now using computers to try to track crime trends, and more officers are patrolling the city's neighborhoods.

Authorities say that has helped drive down the most serious crimes by 18 percent in the first 10 months of 2005 compared with the same period a year earlier.

Some residents say their neighborhoods feel a bit safer.

"I haven't heard that many gunshots," said Gracy Muniz, 22, a mother of three who lives in North Camden.

Critics note that Morgan Quitno's ranking is based on data from last year, when the city of 80,000 averaged a murder a week. Murders from January through October were down by 45 percent compared with the same period in 2004.

Scott Morgan, president of Morgan Quitno, said Friday that while the numbers may not be perfect, they are one of the only ways to compare crime in different cities.

*Copyright © 2005, The Associated Press

TLOZ Link5
November 21st, 2005, 11:09 AM
An overview of the safest and most dangerous overall, in addition to by population group, can be viewed here:

http://morganquitno.com/xcit06pop.htm#25

New York is considered the fourth-safest among cities with at least 500,000 people; among cities with over a million, it's the safest. Dallas is the fifth-most dangerous city with at least 500,000 people, and the most dangerous among cities with at least a million.

ZippyTheChimp
November 22nd, 2005, 09:16 AM
November 22, 2005

Is Most Dangerous City in U.S. Turning Around?

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=JEFFREY GETTLEMAN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=JEFFREY GETTLEMAN&inline=nyt-per)

CAMDEN, N.J., Nov. 21 - For the second year in a row, Camden has been ranked the most dangerous city in America, but this year Camden's leaders refused to take the news without hitting back.

On Monday, the day the rankings were announced, Camden's leaders held a rally, with ringing gospel songs, dances and speeches that criticized the crime rankings as meaningless and insulting. About 100 people turned out.

Then, to make their point, city leaders organized a trolley ride for journalists to see new construction sites and other signs of progress. But all along the way, block after run-down block, boys in puffy jackets lingered in doorways of abandoned homes, glaring at the trolley or looking out from under their hooded sweatshirts at smokestacks in the distance that appeared to be rising from the weeds.

Vincent P. Sarubbi, the Camden County prosecutor, is leading the drive to rescue Camden's image.

"We wanted to show the other side of the story," he said during the trolley ride.

Mr. Sarubbi explained that city leaders knew that Camden was about to get another drubbing. Every fall, Morgan Quitno, a publishing firm in Kansas, releases its survey of the safest and most dangerous cities in the country, based on per capita crime rates, and Camden, which has about 80,000 residents, was once again on track to be at the bottom. Mr. Sarubbi blames the survey for scaring off development.

So about a month ago, at Mr. Sarubbi's urging, public officials formed a task force. It did not have a name, although a program circulated at Monday's rally was labeled, "Camden says no to Quitno." There was also a sheet of talking points.

Police Chief Edwin Figueroa said the report was out of date because it was based on data from 2004, the last complete year on record and an especially bloody one for Camden, with 54 homicides, including that of a 12-year-old boy killed on his porch for his radio.

This year has been much better, with homicides down 35 percent to 31 so far this year, and major crime down 18 percent.

"We're making silent progress," the chief said. "There are good things happening here. It's just no one advertises it."

Camden officials also said that the survey does not include all cities in the country, because some do not collect crime data in the same ways.

But Scott Morgan, the president of Morgan Quitno, responded that even if all the cities in the country were included, Camden still would have been ranked the most dangerous. (Detroit was second and St. Louis was third, while Newton, Mass., was listed as the safest city in the country.)

"I don't think the messenger is the problem here," he said. "The numbers are what they are."

He also said that every year, after the survey comes out, he hears complaints from cities ranked among the most dangerous.

What was unusual this year, he said, was that Camden started complaining before the survey was released.

"Obviously, they realize they have a crime issue," he said.

Mr. Morgan explained that the rankings are straightforward tables based on six major crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and vehicle theft.

But maybe the numbers do not tell all. During the trolley tour, Mr. Sarubbi and other city leaders pointed out evidence of hope: a home for the elderly going up here, a cleaned up street corner there, a new hospital wing, a club for boys and girls and the first library built in 100 years. And all along the waterfront, they said, attractions were drawing record crowds.

Mr. Sarubbi said aggressive police tactics and long-awaited investment were turning the city around.

Camden used to be an industrial powerhouse, a city of workers who bolted together battleships during World War II and squeezed mountains of tomatoes for the town's Campbell soup factory. Old timers remember the streets running red with juice.

But in the 1970's, the city, located on the Delaware River opposite Philadelphia, began its long, slow slide. The jobs went overseas. The middle class left.

Now Camden is a town with plywood on the windows, garbage on the grass and plenty of fear.

Jackie Walls, a single mother, wants to move.

Where?

"Anywhere but here," she said.

Ms. Walls shrugged when asked about the report. Does it make Camden seem worse than it really is?

She answered with a story. Four years ago, she was at a check cashing shop on Mount Ephraim Avenue when she saw a man with a long silver handgun walk up to another man standing in a crowd. The man with the gun shot him in the head, just feet from Ms. Walls - she remembers seeing the flash of gunpowder - watched him fall, and then shot him four more times. The gunman then walked away. Nobody did anything.

"I think about it every time I cash a check," she said. "I keep seeing that gun."


Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

TLOZ Link5
January 3rd, 2006, 04:46 PM
http://www.nbc10.com/news/5796723/detail.html

Camden Murder Rate Down In 2005
City's Murder Rate Still Seven Times National Average

January 2, 2006

CAMDEN, N.J. -- The number of murders committed in Camden, N.J., was down sharply last year.

The city had 34 homicides in the city in 2005, including four in the last two weeks. That is 15 fewer murders than in 2004, and it's the lowest number since 2002.

Camden's murder rate was still about seven times the national rate of about 5.5 per 100,000 residents.

Over the past few years, authorities in Camden, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, have tried ambitious new crime-fighting efforts, including a reorganization of the city police department.

This year, the U.S. Marshal's Office has arrested more than 300 fugitives and a new task force has been established to solve nonfatal shootings.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

harriet1954
January 15th, 2006, 04:34 PM
I live roughly a half-hour from Camden, maybe a few minutes less.

At present, I feel that Camden is still a "hole", for lack of a better word. One of my co-workers lives in Cramer Hill and seems to be pretty much in denial about her eventual displacement. All I can do is wish her and her four young daughters all the luck in the world when they do have their house taken away.

Sometimes I do have to go to Camden. I served 17 weeks on Grand Jury last year, and every single case within the city limits of Camden was a cookie-cutter drug case. Last month I needed to get some paperwork at the Hall of Justice, and my boyfriend, who is a detox counselor, took me to a methadone clinic across the street (he was looking for someone he went to certification classes with who works there). Approaching this unmarked gray door, I felt all the apprehension of being in an unsafe neighborhood crawling up inside of me. Thank G-d I was with a man 6'4", 280! Once inside, of course, it was bright and cheerful, and so were the people. The bathroom was interesting, since I had to use it.

I grew up in a large metropolitan area, but Camden's different. You have to have 50 eyes and 50 ears.

I haven't taken the River Line as of yet, but I think this might be a good way for me to approach New York, getting off at Trenton and then taking the Northeast Corridor train (any thoughts?).

I've talked to quite a few old-timers who grew up in Camden, and they just shake their heads. It depresses them to just read the paper about it. It'll take a lot to fix Camden. A lot.

JCMAN320
May 28th, 2006, 03:04 AM
For poet of the people, tour aims to get people into Camden

5/28/2006, 12:00 a.m. ET
By GEOFF MULVIHILL
The Associated Press

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — It doesn't take much time in this city to have doubts about a line its most famous resident, 19th century poet Walt Whitman, wrote about it: "I dream'd in a dream I saw a city invincible."

In the decades after Whitman died here in 1892, the city just east of Philadelphia became a center of industry, home to RCA and Campbell Soup. Then it suffered decline that left Camden one of the poorest cities in the country, a place best known for government corruption and crime.

Now, local boosters are trying to get visitors to come see and explore Whitman's city — and not just the well patrolled sliver of it along the Delaware River that attracts some tourists.

The Walt Whitman & His Invincible City tour being offered this summer passes through neighborhoods of boarded-up houses and shuttered businesses, albeit on an air-conditioned bus. It's the first major effort by tourism officials to get visitors into parts of Camden away from the waterfront.

The tour, which celebrates the writer of "Leaves of Grass" and perhaps most famously an ode to Abraham Lincoln, "O Captain! My Captain!", is in contrast to a familiar scene on nights when the waterfront Tweeter Center has a concert. For concerts, police line the streets, directing traffic and ensuring concertgoers don't end up anywhere but the waterfront.

Since the early 1990s, not long after the last major factory there was shut down, the waterfront has become a draw for people in Philadelphia and the suburbs. The waterfront area features a minor-league baseball stadium, a concert amphitheater, an aquarium and a battleship open for tours.

But the prosperity of that stretch of the city has not spread out into the neighborhoods where most residents live.

In Whitman's time, too, the city was gritty. Philadelphians took a ferry across the Delaware River to get there and take advantage of more liberal liquor laws.

"We don't want to hide anything from anybody. This is a city that has had its struggles," said John Seitter of the South Jersey Tourism Corporation. "That's really the Camden that Whitman knew. It was a glorified beer garden."

The tours are guided by University of Pennsylvania graduate students in history who moonlight with Poor Richard's Walking Tours, which takes visitors on routes in nearby Philadelphia.

Only three tours, which cost $30 per person, were initially scheduled for this year, but organizers hope they become a regular attraction and even part of the itinerary for Philadelphia-bound buses filled with tourists.

The stops include Whitman's last home — now a carefully restored museum right across the street from the Camden County Jail — along with his tomb in a pastoral Victorian-era cemetery, the banks of the Delaware River and the Camden County Historical Society. There's also a visit with a Whitman impersonator who, during a preview tour in May, calmly read poems as police sirens from the inner city wailed in the distance.

Guides delve into issues such as Whitman's sexuality (he had relationships with men, though he was sometimes coy about it) and explain how Victorian-era Americans considered cemeteries good spots for picnics.

There's a refresher on Whitman's poems, which are often studied alongside those of his contemporaries in the transcendental movement, such as Emily Dickinson and Henry David Thoreau.

And the guides talk about the daily life of the scruffy Whitman, who was a gregarious artist, hosting Oscar Wilde and painter Thomas Eakins at the wooden home where he lived his from 1884 until his death eight years later.

Despite his famous visitors, Whitman's two-story wooden home a quarter-mile or so from the river was modest. Inside, it was hard to get around because his home was littered with piles of paper.

Tour guide Kyle Feeley said that admirers in Britain, where Whitman was celebrated as America's first great poet even before he achieved that distinction in his home country, were disheartened to see that he lived so modestly.

"He was so of the people," Feeley said. "If he actually lived the lifestyle that they wanted, he couldn't have written many of the poems he wrote."

___

On the Net:

http://www.visitsouthjersey.com/waltwhitmantour.asp.

OmegaNYC
May 30th, 2006, 01:14 AM
Wow, I've never realized Camden was so down on it's luck. It would be good to see that city get back on it's feet. But what I wonder the most, will people visit Camden, even if that city turns around??

stache
May 30th, 2006, 01:31 PM
I think to some extent yes, just because it's so close to Philly.

Dr Funky
June 29th, 2006, 04:59 PM
Camden:

http://www.urbandecay.ca/Files/Content/Philadelphia/Philadelphia/Pictures/camden/camden9.jpg

http://www.urbandecay.ca/Files/Content/Philadelphia/Philadelphia/Pictures/camden/camden12.jpg

http://www.urbandecay.ca/Files/Content/Philadelphia/Philadelphia/Pictures/camden/camden35.jpg

lofter1
June 29th, 2006, 07:04 PM
Dr Funky loves decay and decripitude (methinks) ;)

Dr Funky
June 29th, 2006, 07:09 PM
Dr Funky loves decay and decripitude (methinks) ;)

All I do is show what people try to keep hidden

Ninjahedge
June 29th, 2006, 08:29 PM
Camden:
All I do is show what people try to keep hidden
http://www.urbandecay.ca/Files/Content/Philadelphia/Philadelphia/Pictures/camden/camden35.jpg

Yep. I see they tried to hide the burnt house with that traffic cone.

How devious!

JCMAN320
June 29th, 2006, 10:20 PM
Looks what the South Bronx used to look like.

Dr Funky
June 29th, 2006, 10:51 PM
Yep. I see they tried to hide the burnt house with that traffic cone.

How devious!

Oh ha ha,

OK then explain this to me, why is it that in this country the biggest thing that people worry about is shit like what Brad and Angelina are going to name their kid, and cities are crumbling left and right?

pianoman11686
June 29th, 2006, 11:03 PM
Brad and Angelina are considered sexy. Sex sells; ugliness doesn't.

Perhaps a better question to be asking is why they're spending all their time and resources helping out people in Namibia, while there are plenty of people here that could use some assistance.

antinimby
June 30th, 2006, 12:01 AM
Namibia is exotic. Exotic sells.
Camden is domestic.
Domestic, as in domestic chores or domestic housewife, does not sell.

OmegaNYC
June 30th, 2006, 12:42 AM
Sad.That's all I have to say. It is sad that we all live in the richest nation on the face of this Earth, yet we have citizens who can't even afford to feed their family for a day. We can wage a war on Iraq, fighting a faceless enemy, while we can't even begin to crack down on poverty in our own country. I know Republicans and conservatives, and even liberal Democrats will say, people in cities need to be more "fiscally conservative". Yet, people who live in extreme poverty don't even have the monetary means to conserve their own funds. Now, this doesn't excuse Camden, or any other city for that matter, for it's explosive crime rate. That city needs to do something, and fast. That is just embarassing. Though I can understand what can bring a person to commit such acts. Geez, something need to change. :(

Ninjahedge
June 30th, 2006, 01:55 AM
Oh ha ha,

OK then explain this to me, why is it that in this country the biggest thing that people worry about is shit like what Brad and Angelina are going to name their kid, and cities are crumbling left and right?

Because it is a country where people want something better than their own lives.

Why were more people in ENGLAND concerned about princess Di, her life and her death, than the starving in Africa, etc etc.

It is human, and yelling about it is not going to change the fact.

I know you might feel frustrated. AAMOF, I am a guy that goes through the newsstands while in line at the supermarket and turns all the tabloid crap around so I do not see Spears tummy or Brangelena's baby pics, but comparing that to pictures of burnt out buildings and calling that as a demarcation of societal camouflage of internal hardship is BS.

You are playing too hard with too weak an argument. Yes you will get people to agree with you, but you will get more people ignoring you outright than wanting to help with whatever you are screaming about.


BTW, odd question, have you been involved in the reconstruction of any of these neighborhoods or do you just like yelling about them on bulletin boards?

Ninjahedge
June 30th, 2006, 01:58 AM
Sad.That's all I have to say. It is sad that we all live in the richest nation on the face of this Earth, yet we have citizens who can't even afford to feed their family for a day. We can wage a war on Iraq, fighting a faceless enemy, while we can't even begin to crack down on poverty in our own country. I know Republicans and conservatives, and even liberal Democrats will say, people in cities need to be more "fiscally conservative". Yet, people who live in extreme poverty don't even have the monetary means to conserve their own funds. Now, this doesn't excuse Camden, or any other city for that matter, for it's explosive crime rate. That city needs to do something, and fast. That is just embarassing. Though I can understand what can bring a person to commit such acts. Geez, something need to change. :(


The difficult thing is, how do you get these NEIGHBORHOODS to change? It has already been proven that just giving them money does not change their attitude. The human race is notorius for doing as little as possible for as much as it can get, and if it can get something for doing nothing, it will continue to do nothing.

How do we break the minimum wage barrier? How do we encourage education and job training? How do we get people to WANT to accept these things instead of doing nothing until their health/safety depend on a bailout from the surrounding areas?

OmegaNYC
June 30th, 2006, 03:00 AM
Good point Ninja, only cities that are in major problems such as Camden, can only fix themselves. But where do Camden even begin? These problems are so complex, that it can be just impossible to even begin to start. I think it's all in the thought process. I think that when someone is rasied and brought up in such poverty, one will begin to think that there is nothing else in life. I have had plenty of friends who grew up a hard life, they always tell me, "What's the point of going to school or college? That won't change anything". I feel that some people just don't feel there is a point in life. I'm not saying that all people feel that way. Though, living in a city that is hard and down on it's luck, you'll find plenty of people like that. I feel that a change in attitude is needed. Just become you're from the bottom, doesn't mean you can't rise to the top. It's hard, but not impossible.

Dr Funky
June 30th, 2006, 07:39 PM
Because it is a country where people want something better than their own lives.

Why were more people in ENGLAND concerned about princess Di, her life and her death, than the starving in Africa, etc etc.

It is human, and yelling about it is not going to change the fact.

I know you might feel frustrated. AAMOF, I am a guy that goes through the newsstands while in line at the supermarket and turns all the tabloid crap around so I do not see Spears tummy or Brangelena's baby pics, but comparing that to pictures of burnt out buildings and calling that as a demarcation of societal camouflage of internal hardship is BS.

You are playing too hard with too weak an argument. Yes you will get people to agree with you, but you will get more people ignoring you outright than wanting to help with whatever you are screaming about.


BTW, odd question, have you been involved in the reconstruction of any of these neighborhoods or do you just like yelling about them on bulletin boards?

I know that in my own city, I've tried to get to city hall meetings and listen in one how things are done, but they were closed and I kept getting meeting dates messed up....


PS, these pics are from www.urbandecay.ca

investordude
July 10th, 2006, 10:30 PM
I read this thread with a groan.

Altruism is dumb wrt to development, whether in Namibia or Camden. We're not talking about curing cancer or a breakthrough for mankind, we're talking about a real estate business proposal.

Landlors and developers want to make money - and thank God for that. Just look at every example in history where people have argued they should value something besides profits [I'd argue Newark's 1960s urban renewal blight is a good poster child - no need to look at even more disgusting international examples].

I think we should focus on how we can make business in these places a profitable venture that will pencil out without burdening other taxpayers unreasonably, rather than ponder on how we, alone, care for humanity while the rest of the world has the temerity to be entertained by something less morbid than urban decay.

macmini
December 30th, 2006, 04:56 PM
Camden's direction up in air

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

By ALAN GUENTHER
Courier-Post Staff

CAMDEN

The hopeful and the hopeless live side by side all over Camden.
Four years after the state government took control of America's poorest city, it's hard to tell which way the city is going.


Dana, a 28-year-old prostitute, will tell you that little progress has been made in her neighborhood.


"They're spending all this money. I ain't seen it. Ain't nothing happened around here," she said as she cradled her smoke-scarred crack pipe in the palm of her hand.


It was a warm afternoon, and Dana was dressed in a loose-fitting white top, dark pants and spiky heels. A police car drove past at about 25 mph with the windows up. Tiny blue plastic baggies littered the ground near her feet.


The house behind her -- like thousands of dilapidated homes in Camden -- had the sour smell of filth, neglect and the pungent odor of old cat urine.
In a long and rambling conversation, Dana talked about how her mother had abandoned her at an early age and how "I began tricking on the streets when I was 12 years old to get my high."
But if she wanted help, a different way of looking at life stood right across the street.


If you stop by The Sword of the Spirit Christian Church on any given night, you might hear the immaculately dressed Rev. Willie Anderson telling his parishioners there's no need to be ashamed of money, no reason they can't find a life of comfort and success.


Anderson has spent countless hours at his church. And as head of Camden Churches Organized for People, he represents 30 city churches serving 10,000 people from all over the South Jersey area.


He knows there are prostitutes operating right across from his church. He says, ruefully, "They have quality-of-life issues." But like Dana, Anderson is also disappointed by the amount of change in the city since the state took control of the local government in 2002.


"All of us here thought there would have been more accomplished than this by now," he said.


Great -- and, as it turns out, unrealistic -- predictions were made on July 1, 2002 when the state Legislature voted to make Camden the only city in America where the right to govern themselves has been taken away from local residents.


A state-appointed chief operating officer, with czar-like powers over every board and agency, was put in charge. Randy Primas, a former mayor, was given the $175,000-a-year job.


But turning around Camden has been like stopping a runaway freight train in its tracks. It has been harder, it is taking longer and it is taking more money and more effort than anyone anticipated.


In recent months, the effort to rebuild the city has gone off track. Primas left his job on Dec. 8 -- a full year before the end of his term -- as state and federal grand juries continue to investigate how some of the $175 million in state money committed to Camden's recovery has been spent so far.


Gov. Jon S. Corzine has selected an 18-member committee to conduct a national search to replace Primas for the next five years. On Dec. 14, the governor named retired Superior Court Judge Theodore Z. Davis to run the city, on an interim basis, for the next four months.
By all accounts, the agenda for action is crowded with unfinished business. The state takeover legislation set lofty goals, and the jury is still out about whether progress has been made in the following areas:
Schools.



The 17,000-student school system is mired in scandal as law enforcement officials investigate whether administrators falsified test scores and college transcripts to make it seem Camden's students were doing better than they were. In addition, the state promised to spend $427 million to build 16 new schools but, to date, not a single new school has been built.


Redevelopment. Procedural errors by city attorneys stalled two $1 billion-dollar redevelopment plans in courts. Stiff community opposition threatens other plans.


Housing. Nonprofit groups say they want to rehabilitate hundreds of dilapidated homes, but the city won't let them. Hundreds of homes are tied up in the redevelopment plans that are stuck in court.


Police. Ten years ago, a harshly critical state audit said the city's police force was ineffective and improperly deployed. Union contracts require the same number of police be on the streets at all hours of the day regardless of the level of crime. A decade after the audit, Arturo Venegas was appointed to lead the police force and began making changes.


Corruption. Three of the last six mayors have been jailed on corruption charges. In July, the drumbeat of corruption continued as longtime Councilman Ali Sloan El, who called himself "the people's champ," pleaded guilty in federal court to taking more than $36,000 in bribes.


But the start of the new year may bring some good news.


The 300 dilapidated apartments at Roosevelt Manor, near South 8th Street and Carl Miller Boulevard, may soon be torn down.


To Terrence Young, who owns a store across the street from Roosevelt Manor, the change has been a long time coming.


The authority spent $3 million three years ago to fix the roofs and heating systems in the apartments. But then, 14 months ago, the authority changed its mind.


The apartments were abandoned. Residents were relocated. And Young's once-thriving grocery store business faced hard times.
"It seems like they didn't have an idea of what they were doing," Young said as he walked beside the vacant, vandalized apartments.
More than 1,000 people were removed from Roosevelt Manor and relocated to other public housing throughout the city. Plans were made to tear down Roosevelt Manor and rebuild new housing in its place.


And then, for more than a year, nothing happened. The windows of the vacant apartments were boarded up. But as Young showed during a recent tour of the area, the boards from every window, from every apartment, have been kicked in. A fence put up to keep vandals out has been trampled. The apartments have been looted. From the sidewalk, holes are visible where fixtures have been ripped from the walls.


Housing authority Executive Director Maria Marquez says she is aware of the problem and vows the buildings will be torn down before the end of January.


The original bids for construction and demolition came in too high, she said. Now, finally, the authority is ready to act.


"We tried to contain it," she said of the vandalism.


But she did not have enough staff to watch the buildings around the clock. Police patrol the area and have made arrests, but she acknowledges the vacant apartments are an eyesore she will soon fix.
Young hopes change comes quickly.


"We're just hanging on," he said.


If the apartments are really torn down and new homes are built to take their place, things may finally improve, he said, both for him and for the city.


Reach Alan Guenther at (856) 317-7871 or aguenther@courierpostonline.com

ablarc
December 31st, 2006, 10:13 AM
^ In the grips of the Universe.

Much too big for anyone to do anything about... :p

Punzie
May 15th, 2007, 04:24 AM
If Sears building stays, Campbell's says it might go

Camden's quandary could come up for a vote tonight. The firm wants to expand.

By Dwight Ott and Troy Graham, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writers

http://media.philly.com/images/20070515_inq_jsears15-a.JPG
APRIL SAUL / Inquirer Staff Photographer
The old Sears building , off Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Camden.
The city's Historic Preservation Commission has recommended
that it not be demolished, and the Planning Board may vote tonight.


Camden has a proud history as a center of commerce and industry, but in recent decades the city has known little good economic news.So it's not without some painful irony that the city now is faced with the choice of preserving the past or, potentially, securing the future.

Camden leaders must decide whether to tear down the old Sears, Roebuck & Co. building - a national historic landmark - to make way for an expanded Campbell Soup Co. headquarters.

If they save the Sears building, they risk losing Camden's last Fortune 500 company at a time when the soup giant is willing to invest millions in the moribund city.

"If the demolition of the Sears building does not take place, we will be forced to evaluate all our options - one of which is, yes, to move," Anthony J. Sanzio, Campell's director of corporate communications, said last week.

In place of the Sears building, a fixture on the Admiral Wilson Boulevard since 1927, Campbell's proposes a $72 million building that would expand its corporate headquarters and a sprawling office park that might attract jobs to Camden.

"It puts the city in a dilemma. It's a choice between history and progress," said Mayor Gwendolyn Faison. "I believe any historical monument should continue to have impact. . . . Most historical sites are museums for tourists, something of value, not ugly and vacant and not producing."
But, so far, Camden has sided with the past. The city's Historic Preservation Commission, which has a nonbinding advisory role in the process, voted unanimously earlier this month to oppose demolition of the Sears building.

Tonight, the issue lands before the city Planning Board. It's unclear whether the board will vote on the matter. Even if the board agrees to raze the building, the plan still would have several more hurdles to clear.

Complicating matters, businessman Ilan Zaken told the Historic Preservation Commission that he would like to purchase the Sears building and make it the headquarters for two of his clothing retail businesses, one of which is Dr. Denim.

He said he has 20 retail locations in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Atlanta.
"I'm looking for a warehouse and offices," said Zaken, under questioning from his attorney. "I'm aware of all of the issues with the Sears building."
Faison said she was willing to consider Zaken's offer, but she had concerns.

"Is Dr. Denim really serious?" she asked. "If he's serious, why is it just coming up now?"

At the Planning Board meeting, to be held in City Council chambers in City Hall, Campbell's officials are expected to argue, again, that the Sears building is standing in the way of its proposed 80,000-square-foot office building.

Or, as Campbell's attorney, Ed Sheehan, told the historic commission, "if that building stands, those buildings will not rise."

Historic commission member Paul Schopp, a historian for an environmental planning firm, expressed displeasure at Campbell's "all or nothing" approach to the problem.

"You're saying play our way or we'll pick up and go home. Compromise and negotiations form the basis of our society," said Shopp. "Demolition should always be viewed as the last resort."

Sanzio, Campbell's spokesman, said after the commission's vote that the company was hoping for better luck before the Planning Board.

"We remain optimistic," he said. "The $72 million expansion is a great benefit far outweighing the Sears building."

Campbell Soup, which was founded in Camden and has remained there for nearly 140 years, still plays a major role in the city's economy. The company pays $1.3 million annually in lieu of taxes, donates more than $1 million to local charities, and provides 1,700 jobs, though critics complain few are held by Camden residents.

But, like most manufacturers who once made Camden a boomtown, Campbell's closed its Camden factory, more than a decade ago.

The expanded headquarters would deepen Campbell's roots and reduce fears that the company might leave the city.

In February, with Gov. Corzine in attendance, Campbell's officials announced that the new complex would be built on 110 acres that included the Sears structure and the old Canal Liquor store parking lot.
They said at the time that construction on the new site would begin this month and be completed in November 2008.

But last week the forces of opposition seemed to be rising to protect the building that was once the retail center of Camden - a place where shoppers from the city and surrounding suburbs bought everything from washing machines and lawn mowers to clothing and holiday toys.

The Sears building, renowned for its Greek Revival-style architecture, was on the cutting edge of retail in its day - built outside of the crowded downtown, with plenty of parking for the new, automotive world.

Similar Sears sentimentalism greeted former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman when she tried to tear down the Sears building in 1999 as part of a makeover of the Admiral Wilson Boulevard for the Republican National Convention. A number of other commercial properties were acquired and demolished to provide an unobstructed view of the Cooper River, but the Sears Building remained.

Supporters such as former building owner Mark J. Willis and civic activist Frank Fulbrook make the same argument they made then - that the building is of historic value to Camden and is still capable of bringing jobs to the city.

Sears closed the store in 1971, when it opened a new one in Moorestown.
Historian Howard Gillette, author of a book about the city called Camden After the Fall, said it would be a sign of "how capitalism ran over history" if the Sears building were demolished.

Contact staff writer Dwight Ott at 856-779-3844 or dott@phillynews.com (http://www.philly.com/inquirer/business/mailto:dott@phillynews.com).

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/business/20070515_If_Sears_building_stays__Campbells_says_i t_might_go.html

Punzie
May 15th, 2007, 04:31 AM
For those who have never seen Camden, a few dozen photos from
Skyscraper Page:

http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=19761

http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=19805

Zippy- Since these links are obsolete, is another way access to the photos of the Sears Building? The Inquirer's photo didn't do the building justice.

ZippyTheChimp
May 15th, 2007, 03:00 PM
That was 3 1/2 years ago; I don't remember if the building was included.

What am I, the concierge?

Search.

Punzie
May 17th, 2007, 08:58 PM
Zippy, I thought you knew my posting style well by now.:D Of course I did a site-wide search -- and having come up with nothing, I wanted to know if somebody still had the 3.5-year-old pics.

My general web searches yielded a few good (Camden) Sears Bldg. pics that I bookmarked. Maybe I'll post them.. depends on whether anybody really cares about the place.

OmegaNYC
May 21st, 2007, 12:20 PM
^^^ ahhh... I kinda care...

pianoman11686
June 5th, 2007, 10:12 AM
In Camden, Campbell Co. Says It May Go if Sears Building Stays

By KAREEM FAHIM
Published: June 5, 2007

CAMDEN, N.J. — For decades after it was built in 1927, shoppers drove to the Sears, Roebuck & Company store on Admiral Wilson Boulevard just beyond the center of town. A colonnaded temple to both commerce and the automobile, the store, in the classical revival style, had a lot with parking spaces for about 600 cars.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/06/05/nyregion/camden190.jpg
The former Sears, Roebuck
building in Camden is a designated
historic site, but the door has
been ripped off and the interior
is rotting. The Campbell Soup
Company says it interferes with
its redevelopment plans.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/06/05/nyregion/campbell190.jpg
The Campbell Soup Company
wants to demolish a 1927
building that housed a Sears,
Roebuck & Company store in
Camden, N.J., and use the
site to upgrade its headquarters,
pictured here, and create
an office park.

But in 1971, as the middle class fled the city, the store closed, and reopened at a mall in nearby Moorestown. In the years afterward, most of the drivers who stopped by this despondent stretch of freeway were visiting seedy strip joints. And the old Sears building went on to become a car dealership, then an office. Today it is vacant, vandalized and in need of repair.

Now, amid an effort to revive a city mired in a crippling cycle of crime and unemployment, the Campbell Soup Company, Camden’s longtime and most prominent corporate resident, has proposed expanding its presence and transforming the area where the empty store sits into an office park.

The soup company is prepared to spend $72 million to improve its headquarters, and has also promised to help lure developers to an adjacent office park with the help of $26 million in state funds. But the company’s pledge comes with one nagging caveat: The Sears building, which is listed on state and national historic registries, must come down. If not, Campbell Soup, which has been an enormous presence in the city since 1869, may abandon Camden and go elsewhere.

Thousands of the city’s residents worked at the factory on the Delaware River, producing the famous condensed soup invented by John T. Dorrance, until the plant closed in 1990. The company still employs 1,200 workers at its corporate headquarters here, and its soup cans, which captured Andy Warhol’s fascination with the American marketplace, are visible everywhere in this city — on wall murals, hanging in courthouses and, most prominently, on the front of a downtown baseball stadium.

Leveraging that reputation, the soup company says it could lure investors to the office park. But the Sears building, with its wide footprint, would thwart the effort, blocking the views of all the proposed development, including a view of the Campbell headquarters, the company said.

“If you’re leaving Philadelphia, you would like that office park to be visible for potential occupants,” said Anthony J. Sanzio, a Campbell Soup spokesman. “This structure is completely inconsistent with what one would expect in a 21st-century office park.”

In mid-May, the city’s planning board narrowly approved the soup company’s application to raze the yellow brick building. Local leaders, ranging from the mayor to the heads of community groups, said it was important for Camden — one of the nation’s poorest cities, according to recent census figures and studies — to look forward, especially when the past and the present look the way the old Sears building does.

As if to emphasize that point, in the past few days the front door of the building has been ripped down, exposing the building’s moldy innards.

Those opposed to the demolition are a small but committed group that includes a former owner of the building, preservationists, a local activist, a Camden historian and the head of the local N.A.A.C.P. branch. They have asked questions about a city’s connection to its past, and about the influence of corporations on development.

“I’m not submitting to blackmail from anyone,” said Frank Fulbrook, an activist here who has a filed a lawsuit against the soup company as well as the heads of the local planning board and the redevelopment agency, saying the planning board violated procedures when it approved Campbell’s demolition plans.

“I want Campbell’s to stay, but I’m not going to beg them,” said Mr. Fulbrook, who owns a few properties in Camden.

For the city, the importance of the company — the only Fortune 500 corporation operating here — is hardly disputed. In fact, it is spelled out in the development agreement for the proposed 110-acre office park, which notes that the soup company is one of the largest taxpayers in Camden and contributes millions to local charities.

In its odd but not-so-subtle vernacular, the agreement spells out the stakes: It says that if the soup company “were to relocate its headquarters out of the city, it is probable that these numerous public benefits derived by citizens of the city, county and the State of New Jersey would be severely reduced if not eliminated.”

The importance of the faded Sears building, surrounded by abandoned buildings, overgrown lots and roads riddled with potholes, is less clear. But Paul W. Schopp, a consultant hired by the building’s previous owner — who in 2000 wrote the successful application for its designation as a historic site — sees it differently.

Mr. Schopp said that Charles W. Leavitt, a New York landscape architect and planner, conceived the whole area in the 1920s around what was then called Bridge Boulevard, as what he hoped would be Camden’s civic center. And Mr. Leavitt insisted that the architects design the Sears building accordingly.

“He designated it in the classical revival style, as an interpretation of the City Beautiful movement,” Mr. Schopp said. “They acquiesced.”

The architects, Nimmons, Carr and Wright, had designed other Sears stores, including landmark buildings in Chicago and Boston that have been preserved. Their Camden store, a few miles from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge linking Camden to Philadelphia, was a destination for drivers at a time when America’s love affair with the automobile was blossoming. In the 1930s and ’40s, families from southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania flocked to the nation’s first drive-in theater, on nearby Crescent Boulevard, and to the Whoopee Coaster, a Depression-era amusement for automobiles and passengers on undulating wooden tracks.

“There was a drive-in boxing arena, and White Tower, a drive-in restaurant,” Mr. Schopp said. “At one time, the Admiral Wilson Boulevard was a source of car culture, perhaps more so than Los Angeles.”

The supporters of Campbell’s plans have focused not only on the importance of keeping the food giant in the city, but also on picking battles wisely as the city makes hard choices.

“Look, if it was a beautiful building downtown, that would be one thing,” said Caren S. Franzini, the chief executive of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. “It creates new tax ratables in the city. It enhances a neighborhood in terms of new development. It provides opportunities for new jobs for Camden residents. Those are all fantastic things.”

In addition, Thomas P. Corcoran, the president of the Cooper’s Ferry Development Association, which focuses on the city’s waterfront, said that the soup company’s demands, despite what detractors say, were not unreasonable. “I think if I were Campbell’s, I would insist on the same thing,” he said of the building’s demolition. “They’ve got to present a vision of the future.”

The shaping of that future is still bitterly contested in Camden. Some opponents of the demolition have also complained about the proposed office park, saying it will create an enclave of nonresident workers rather than employing locals.

They have urged the city to take a closer look at other options, like the bid by the businessman Ilan Zaken, who is trying to create an outlet of his Dr. Denim clothes store in the old Sears building. “It would employ more than 100 people, most of them Camden residents,” Mr. Zaken said, adding that he hoped the office park would be built.

There have been other recent attempts to demolish the building, including an unsuccessful effort in 2000 by Gov. Christie Whitman, who sought to clean up Admiral Wilson Boulevard, which had become an eyesore.

For now, Mr. Fulbrook’s lawsuit and several other obstacles could get in the way of the Campbell plan. The state’s Historic Sites Council will make a recommendation to the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection for a final decision. And the Camden City Council may still have to vote on parts of the plan.

Howard Gillette Jr., a historian and a professor at Rutgers-Camden, who opposes the demolition, said: “That building is one of the few links to the old city. Camden was once the height of the region, and it’s been severed from the region. You need lines of continuity.”

But underscoring the problem, he added, “The presence of Campbell Soup is one of those lines.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/05/nyregion/05soup.html?ref=nyregion&pagewanted=all)

JCMAN320
September 16th, 2007, 04:33 PM
State maintains control over Camden

by Associated Press Sunday September 16, 2007, 1:38 PM

Gov. Jon Corzine today extended a state takeover of Camden, saying the troubled city had made progress but more work needs to be done.

"In the past five years, we have taken important steps toward a brighter future for the City of Camden and its people," Corzine said in a statement. "But it is clear that we have plenty more to do."

The governor signed legislation extending certain provisions of the Municipal Rehabilitation and Economic Recovery Act, the law passed in 2002 authorizing the Camden takeover. The extension will be in effect for five years.

As part of the 2002 legislation, the state took over many of the powers of the local government and school board; the legislation passed today will retain the governor's veto power over school board decisions.

The legislation also extends funding for economic-recovery programs. Since 2002, the state has been paying for major infrastructure upgrades and subsidizing major expansions of Camden's hospitals.

JCexpert558
September 16th, 2007, 08:49 PM
I wonder why there is not any new Buildings or anything lately. Does it even have a Airport

JCMAN320
September 17th, 2007, 09:32 AM
No JC it doesn't. It is across from Philly so it uses Philly airports. The city is just distressed and hasn't found any new economic base.

JCMAN320
March 20th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Report: Camden improving with state aid, but more work remains

by South Jersey News Online
Tuesday March 11, 2008, 9:23 PM

By GEOFF MULVIHILL
Associated Press Writer

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- From the new law school building going up on Rutgers University's campus here to duplexes under construction amid boarded up homes, there are signs that the city is changing five years after an infusion of state money began.

On Tuesday, a report hailed progress on the state's efforts to transform a city that has long been among the nation's poorest and most violent. But officials say there is still much to be done.

One key area for improvement: Finding a way to keep middle-class residents from moving to the suburbs. For decades, as residents have gotten a toehold on financial security, the first thing many of them have done is think about getting out.

http://blog.nj.com/southjersey_impact/2008/03/medium_corzinegoonsmile.jpg
(AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine smiles as he walks from the new Waterfront Technology Center after speaking to a gathering in Camden, N.J., Tuesday March 11, 2008, about the successes in the revitalization of Camden under the state's stewardship."They're beaten down," said Theodore Z. Davis, the city's state-appointed chief operating officer. "They're so wound up in escaping."

Five years ago, the state government took the unusual step of trying to rescue Camden from its despair by committing $175 million to city development. More than one-fourth of that money was designated to help pay for expansions of the Camden's existing health and educational institutions.

State money also has helped pay to expand the Adventure Aquarium, run job training programs, upgrade a crumbling century-old sewer system and to give residents loans to fix up their homes that are forgiven if they stay put for five years.

The money came with a catch: The governor gets veto power of actions by the city council and school board.

Officials say the transformation they're trying to spur in Camden will take many years, even decades. But they are optimistic.

"We are nowhere near the end of the road," Gov. Jon S. Corzine said. "We are on the pathway."

On Tuesday, representatives of the educational and medical institutions released a report that finds they have done well over the first five years of the transformation effort with the $47 million allocated to their institutions.

So far, they have spent more than $32 million of the state money on expansion projects, matching it with $314 million from other sources.

"Very few times have I seen investments where each dollar gets a $10 return," said Corzine, who was in Camden Tuesday.

The institutions, which include Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Rutgers University and Camden County College, say they now employ 1,250 Camden residents -- an increase of 31 percent in five years.

Part of the hope of the overhaul of the city was that the public spending would attract private investment.

Davis, a retired judge appointed to oversee the city government and redevelopment, says he gets calls regularly from private developers. But so far, not many have followed through.

A few major projects have been announced to great fanfare, but have not panned out.
One called for redeveloping the Cramer Hill neighborhood with thousands of new homes, retailers and even the city's first golf course. Residents of the area said they were not properly included and fought back. Last year, the developer, Raleigh, N.C.-based Cherokee Investment Partners, said it was abandoning its efforts.

Last year, the Campbell Soup Co., the only Fortune 500 company with a headquarters in the city of under 80,000 near Philadelphia, announced plans to expand its headquarters and build an office park nearby.

Those plans were stalled by a lawsuit. Last month, Campbell announced it would remain in Camden and move ahead with its expansion, though the company scaled back plans for the office park.

In North Camden on Tuesday afternoon, 72-year-old Jessie Shaw said she expected more people to move into the city.

"People will come back," said Shaw, who is retired from a job assembling fluorescent lights. "They'll want low mortgages and come back."

But not everyone wants to stay.

Four years ago, Anissa Bush fell on hard times, separated from her husband and moved with her three daughters from suburban Pennsauken to her mother's home in Camden. She's since got a new job and reconciled with her husband, and says her family is financially secure. Now they are looking to buy a house -- in Pennsauken.

City Council president Angel Fuentes said Tuesday that it's up to officials like him to persuade people who earn enough to live elsewhere that the city has a future.

"We're saying, 'Stay. Camden is getting better,'" Fuentes said. "'We need you.'"

------

On the Net:

Camden Economic Recovery Board: http://www.camdenerb.com

block944
October 7th, 2008, 11:01 PM
I took a trip down to the camden waterfront to the aquarium and i was pleasently suprised and excited to see the "Victor lofts". I researched whats going on in the area.. sadly with the usual corruption, the projects for the Victor Radio condos has stalled... worse yet the first business to open at victor lofts are closing. If anyone can fill me in on whats going on in Camden.... as the view into philly was amazing


http://chewru.com/lariveria-closes-doors/

La Riveria Closes Doors; Camden Economy Axes a Favorite (http://chewru.com/lariveria-closes-doors/)

Posted by Chewru Guru (http://chewru.com/author/chewru-guru/)
June 17, 2008

I was upset to be notified today that one of our highest-ranked Italian & Pizza restaurants had closed its doors (http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008806110380) as of just a few days ago. This is really a shame and big loss for the Camden waterfront area that is trying so hard to rebuild itself. Thank you to all the kind people at La Riveria Tuscany Bistro (http://chewru.com/la-riviera-tuscany-bistro-camden-nj/) who treated us so nicely and consistently made delicious food. They really did have some superb stuff. Hopefully we’ll see them bounce back on their feet and reopen shop somewhere in the future.

CAMDEN — In what could be a sign that the planned future for the redevelopment of Camden’s waterfront may be occurring too slowly to succeed, another dining establishment in The Victor loft apartment building closed Tuesday.


The fourth restaurant to go out of business at The Victor in approximately three years, La Riviera Tuscany Bistro opened to fanfare early last year. City boosters applauded one of the initial full-scale eateries to hang a shingle in the residential building that’s hailed as the first living facility able to attract upper-middle class professionals to Camden.
As one of the few places to eat within a several-block radius, it drew a regular lunch crowd made up largely of Victor tenants, Rutgers University students, police officers, paramedics, and others who worked in the area.
But last week a hand-written sign appeared in La Riviera’s door announcing the bistro was closed for the day.
On Tuesday, that sign was replaced with a commercial-grade “closed” sign.
“It’s a really sad thing for the neighborhood,” said Victor tenant Denise Spaulding.
“They had the freshest bruschetta around. And they did a great job of catering parties.”
While La Riviera owner Sal Pietrangeli did not return calls seeking comment, other merchants there speculated on the the closures.
“There aren’t enough people down here to make any money,” said Joe Papa, owner of Miss G’s convenience store, which shares an entryway with La Riviera. “When the university students leave for the summer, business falls out of bed.”
It’s a complaint heard often among pioneering business owners at The Victor, who worry privately about their own ability to keep their doors open in a city where promise and potential don’t always add up to profit.
“We need more people down here,” said Sam Sarin, who owns The Victor’s Pub, a spacious resto-bar that faces Camden’s entertainment district.
Papa insists the luxury lofts’ owner, Philadelphia developer Carl Dranoff, is partially to blame for the lack of foot traffic.
“There are all of these development projects that haven’t come to fruition,” Papa said, referring to Dranoff’s plans to build or convert three major residential developments in the neighborhood.
The first project — The Radio Lofts, used as a strong incentive for investors like Papa and Sarin — is already several years behind schedule.
Dranoff didn’t return calls to his office seeking comment, but Tom Corcoran, president of the Cooper’s Ferry Development Association, explained that The Radio Lofts’ progress was stalled by state environmental inspectors and should get under way later this month.
He added Dranoff’s proposed 1200-unit mixed use “village” designed for the lots adjacent to The Victor should begin construction in 2010.
Yet, Corcoran too, empathizes with the merchants’ plight.
“We don’t yet have a critical mass of people living close to The Victor to sustain a good dinner crowd, (But) there’s no magic wand.”
Remaining owners are cautiously hopeful that ongoing construction of a neighboring bank and two offices, plus other developments in the works like a Hilton Garden Inn, will provide them with a fresh supply of patrons.
Papa, meanwhile is already feeling the pain.
He estimates his revenues have fallen 30
in the week since La Riviera stopped serving.
“Sal’s was a destination. People bought food from him then came to me to buy soda, to buy cigarettes, to buy chips. Business picked up for a while,” he said.
“Now we’re back to where we were, which is basket case.”

cp72
November 7th, 2010, 03:07 PM
Brad and Angelina are considered sexy. Sex sells; ugliness doesn't.

Perhaps a better question to be asking is why they're spending all their time and resources helping out people in Namibia, while there are plenty of people here that could use some assistance.

You are a shallow person.

cp72
November 7th, 2010, 03:16 PM
I know that in my own city, I've tried to get to city hall meetings and listen in one how things are done, but they were closed and I kept getting meeting dates messed up....


PS, these pics are from www.urbandecay.ca

Hi DrFunky! I remember your posts Niagara Falls, New York. The Cities of Camden and Niagara Falls both need more awareness and cleaning up, plus honest government officials rather than corrupt ones i.e. VINCENZO V. ANELLO.

Both cities, but more so in Camden, need investment in order to spur an economic recovery.

Merry
November 13th, 2010, 09:15 PM
In Camden, New Troubles on Top of Old

By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/11/14/nyregion/14jp-CAMDEN-2/14jp-CAMDEN-2-articleLarge.jpg

slide show (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/11/14/nyregion/14camden.html)

CAMDEN, N.J. — This city closed its dilapidated central library in the 1980s and never provided the money for restoration or demolition. So the landmark building rots on its weed-choked lot, with most of the roof caved in and a large tree growing up through its middle. “It could be a metaphor for the city,” said Jerome Szpila, the city library director.
If so, perhaps the tree is about to fall over. Last week, Camden’s mayor, Dana L. Redd, submitted to the state a plan to lay off hundreds of employees — possibly more than one-third of the city’s work force, including police officers and firefighters.

Camden has long been a national symbol of urban blight and mismanagement, and for seven years was effectively run by a chief operating officer appointed by the governor, prompting cries of disenfranchisement. But when the state ended the arrangement this year, any sense of jubilation among residents was overpowered by bad timing.

The state’s reign, which fell far short of its promises to improve this city, ended amid a deep economic slump, and was quickly followed by sharp cuts in state aid to municipalities. Navigating these stormy seas fell to a new and untested leader, Ms. Redd, who was elected a year ago, when the mayor was little more than a figurehead.

Camden drew national attention recently, when officials said this city of 79,000 people might become the largest in the country without a public library — a threat that was put on hold, though one of three branches closed. But the distress goes far beyond libraries. Ms. Redd, 42, a former councilwoman and state senator, cut the city’s budget by nearly one-quarter, furloughed workers one day a week and warned that every department would send out pink slips in December.

Ms. Redd has called city employees to what promises to be an emotional forum on Monday at City Hall. City officials refused to say how many layoffs were in the plan Ms. Redd sent to the state, in part because they were still trying to reduce the number by squeezing wage and benefit concessions from unions. Last month, the mayor suggested that she might cut as many as 500 of the 1,100 jobs in the city’s work force, including nearly half of its Police and Fire Departments, but officials now say the figure proposed to the state is lower.

Even so, fiscal watchdogs and labor leaders say that layoffs would certainly be in the hundreds. “We have met with the unions about seven times, and we’re willing to meet with them as much as it takes,” said Marc Riondino, the city attorney. “If there’s concessions, we can back off the number.”

Camden residents are particularly fearful that in a city with one of the nation’s highest crime rates, reducing the number of police officers would clear the field for gangs and drug dealers. “I already tell my kids to come inside to stay safe, and it’s just going to get worse,” said Mariel Sosa, who lives in North Camden.

Helene Pierson, executive director of Heart of Camden, a housing group, said, “I had hopes that Mayor Redd could come into office and really tackle some change, but now it’s a huge challenge just to preserve basic services.”

Mr. Riondino said the Police Department would be reorganized and some functions would be cut, but he insisted that the number of officers patrolling the streets would not decline.

Other city governments in New Jersey are shrinking, but no other community is cutting as deeply as Camden, and none started with greater needs.

New Jersey is among the wealthiest states, but Camden is, by some measures, the nation’s poorest city with more than 50,000 people. It has the lowest median family income, about $27,000, and the highest rate of families living in poverty: 36 percent. The landscape is pockmarked by thousands of empty lots where abandoned houses have been torn down, and by thousands of boarded-up structures awaiting demolition. Nineteenth-century sewers break regularly and need replacing, but the task is far beyond the city’s means.

In January, with only a few months’ warning, the state relinquished control of Camden two years ahead of schedule, just as Ms. Redd, who declined requests for an interview, was taking office.

Camden depends more heavily on state aid than any other city in New Jersey, drawing more than two-thirds of last year’s budget from Trenton. In June, as the state struggled to balance its own budget gap, Gov. Chris Christie and the Legislature cut back on municipal aid across the board, particularly money earmarked for the poorest cities.

In response, Camden adopted a $138.8 million budget, down $39 million from last year’s, and the mayor warned that even that figure might be too optimistic. Many city workers are fearful — and many spoke about it on the condition their names not be used, lest that put them higher on the layoff list.

“How am I going to get another job in this economy?” asked a firefighter who believes he will be dismissed. “I can’t even move somewhere else because I can’t sell my house.”
Connie Jackson worked for the city for 17 years before leaving to run a construction company. “These people are scared to death,” she said, pointing to City Hall. “There are people who might lose their homes just with the furloughs.”

Richard Harris, a political science professor at Rutgers University’s Camden campus, called it “a fiscal calamity,” predicting that city functions including public safety and sewer repair would be undermined.

But City Hall watchers also acknowledge that money is not the only problem in a place where, in the three years before the state takeover, two mayors were convicted of criminal charges.

“There is a history of corruption, waste, mismanagement, incompetence and more corruption,” said Colandus Francis, who heads the Camden City Taxpayers Association. While the downsizing will be wrenching and some services will suffer, he said, the city could manage on its reduced budget if it were run well. “People got used to the idea that no matter what, the state was going to bail us out. Well, that’s over.”

The takeover is now widely seen as a missed opportunity. The state invested $175 million in Camden, but most of the money went to a few big projects — like expanding a hospital and an aquarium, and building a law school — that were backed by leaders of the Democratic political machine that runs South Jersey. Much less went into neighborhood improvements like removing abandoned houses that shelter drug users and rats.
City expenses rose under state control, but the tax base did not, and contrary to state assurances, the police force shrank.

“It’s not that the things they did with the money were bad, and they did create some good jobs, though not enough,” said Stephen Singer, former executive director of CamConnect, a nonprofit group that collects data to track the state of the city. “But they hardly did anything about these massive needs that you have to deal with to create a foundation for everything else — the crime, the schools. Fixing the sewers alone would have cost much more than the state spent on the entire effort.”

So far, community leaders and people who study local politics are unsure what to make of Ms. Redd. They call her smart and tireless, but they are wary because her political career has been sponsored by the machine led by George Norcross, South Jersey’s most powerful Democrat.

“She was part of the system that put state control in place, messed it up and then took it away,” said Howard Gillette, a Rutgers-Camden professor of urban history. “But she took on an impossible job. We’ll see how she does.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/nyregion/14camden.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion

JCMAN320
November 28th, 2010, 10:51 PM
Officials break ground on Camden medical school, state's first in 30 years

Published: Thursday, October 28, 2010, 6:21 AM Updated: Thursday, October 28, 2010, 6:25 AM
Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

http://media.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/photo/8998871-large.jpg
Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger
Seen through a tent is the lot which will be the site of the new Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, New Jersey's first new medical school in 30 years.

CAMDEN — New Jersey’s first new medical school in 30 years began to rise on a muddy lot in downtown Camden Wednesday.

Hundreds of people packed a large tent on the site as a group of politicians, education officials and local leaders helped break ground on the new Cooper Medical School of Rowan University after decades of political fights and closed-door funding negotiations.

The new public medical school — due to enroll its first 50 students in 2012 — will be the first four-year allopathic medical school ever in South Jersey.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey has always billed itself as New Jersey’s only health sciences university. The 5,600-student institution runs allopathic medical schools in Newark, Piscataway and New Brunswick, an osteopathic medical school in Stratford in Camden County, a dental school and other health programs.

The new Cooper Medical School will be run by Rowan, the 11,000-student public university based in Glassboro, and Camden’s Cooper Hospital. The school will eventually enroll hundreds of future physicians who will be taught by Cooper’s doctors.

"What’s going to happen here is going to enhance the quality of health care not only in New Jersey, but across this region," said Gov. Chris Christie, who kicked off the ceremony.

The groundbreaking was more than three decades in the making. Generations of South Jersey politicians and hospital executives have been calling for a full-fledged medical school in the southern part of the state to help stop the loss of patients and research funding to Philadelphia institutions.

In 2009, Gov. Jon Corzine announced a deal that would allow Cooper Hospital and Rowan University to partner to build the long-awaited medical school in Camden.

The agreement drew immediate criticism from Essex County lawmakers who alleged Corzine made a deal with George Norcross — the South Jersey political powerbroker and head of Cooper Hospital’s board — for political reasons in the months leading up to the gubernatorial election.

Essex County was considered a loser in the deal because Newark-based UMDNJ will be forced to close its Camden program for third- and fourth-year medical students once Rowan’s new medical school opens. The $28 million in state funding UMDNJ receives annually for its Camden program will transfer to Rowan to help fund the new school.

http://media.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/photo/8998867-large.jpg
Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger
Governor Chris Christie (left) smiles and offers a handshake to Senate President Stephen Sweeney as the two sit on the stage waiting to speak at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

UMDNJ officials declined to comment on the new Camden medical school Wednesday.

All of the speakers at the groundbreaking paid tribute to Norcross, who skipped the event because he was home sick with a virus. Norcross pressured lawmakers for years to get the state to approve a medical school in Camden, as his father had before him, the speakers said.

"It’s George’s passion that got us to this point," said Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester).

In addition to the $28 million in annual state funding, Cooper Medical School will receive a maximum of $18 million from Cooper Hospital and $20 million from Rowan to help fund its start-up, said Rowan spokesman Joe Cardona. Once students are enrolled, tuition revenue will help fund the school’s operating costs.

Rowan will borrow money to buy the land and construct the new $100-million medical school building using $139.5 million in bonds issued through the Camden County Improvement Authority.

Rowan President Donald Farish said he met Tuesday with representatives of Moody’s, the Wall Street bond rating agency. The financial analysts quizzed the president on whether the university was confident the new medical school will continue to receive its state funding given New Jersey’s budget troubles. Farish told the bond raters he believes Christie will financially back the school as it gets established.

"Rowan University has put itself on the hook, quite frankly, for a $140 million debt," Farish said.

http://media.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/photo/8998853-large.jpg
Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger
Overview of the lot at the corner of South Broadway and Benson Streets in Camden, the site of the new Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, New Jersey's first new medical school in 30 years.

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University is one of nearly two dozen new medical schools due to open around the country as medical educators try to help curb a growing shortage of doctors. Philadelphia’s Drexel University recently opened a satellite campus at St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick.

Camden officials hope the infusion of money and students at the new medical program will help revitalize the troubled Lanning Square neighborhood that will house the school. The 200,000-square-foot, six-story facility will be located at South Broadway and Benson Street on property that once included a methadone clinic.

"Today’s groundbreaking says very boldly that Camden is moving forward," said Camden Mayor Dana Redd.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/10/officials_break_ground_on_camd.html#incart_hbx

mariab
November 30th, 2010, 10:18 PM
What, heartened by the fact they dropped to # 2 in the Most Violent Cities in America list?


Camden gets state OK to lay off 180 cops, 203 others



STAFF REPORT • November 30, 2010

CAMDEN — Camden City Council will meet Thursday to take action on a resolution approving the city's plan to lay off 383 employees from every department.

The New Jersey State Civil Service Commission approved the plan today; it is slated to take effect Jan. 18 based on the anticipation of $54 million in state aid.

From the fire department, 67 positions are to be cut. A total of 213 uniformed and non-uniformed police employees will be laid off. Notice of the layoffs will be in the hands of city employees by Friday.

Financially strapped Camden was awarded $69 million last week. Camden initially requested $54 million in transitional aid, which is the amount anticipated in its introduced budget for fiscal year 2012. But the city eventually increased that number to $75.8 million.

The city needed more money due to increased costs for pensions and uncollected taxes, Redd said in an Oct. 28 letter to a DCA official. She also cited a $4.2 million cash deficit from the prior fiscal year.

Mayor Dana Redd requested an additional $8.3 million for "reduction in layoffs." Under an optimal funding scenario, $75.8 million would have helped drastically reduce the numbers of laid-off police, fire and other unionized employees.


http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20101130/STATE/101130054/Camden+gets+state+OK+to+lay+off+180+cops++203+othe rs

alex@newark
December 1st, 2010, 03:13 PM
Camden and newark are the ones that need these cops more than anywhere else and they giving them layoffs what a shame

mariab
December 2nd, 2010, 05:10 PM
Plus I just found out that it's half the Camden police force.

stache
December 2nd, 2010, 06:12 PM
So much for Camden.

JCMAN320
December 2nd, 2010, 06:15 PM
Camden is royally screwed. Any possibility of the dissolving or being broken up?

mariab
December 2nd, 2010, 08:37 PM
They may have to, & it may not be up to them to vote on it. Aside from the aquarium, I can't remember the last time they showed any signs of moving forward.

JCMAN320
December 2nd, 2010, 08:50 PM
They may have to, & it may not be up to them to vote on it. Aside from the aquarium, I can't remember the last time they showed any signs of moving forward.

It's just mind boggling to me that Camden isn't in a better place. I know that Philly isn't the economic powerhouse or engine that NYC is but Camden is in the exact same position geographically as JC is to Manhattan. JC has capaitalzed countless times on its prime location; yet Camden can't benefit being across from Philly with a subway line going into it with the exception of a few trinkets on the waterfront. I mean I'm not expecting anything on the order of what JC has done but maybe like Hoboken or Bayonne within the immedate area of the waterfront. It's just a sad state of affairs.

mariab
December 2nd, 2010, 09:14 PM
^It is sad. I think there are people there holding the city back, like there was in Asbury Park. They started moving forward after a corruption sweep (probably the same dumbells who wanted to move the Stone Pony to the Casino). Still have to find that article. Bayonne's like the plucky, quiet little brother who you really don't have to worry about. You're right about JC, plus they're incredibly lucky being that close to NY.

Newarkguy
December 7th, 2010, 08:37 PM
^It is sad. I think there are people there holding the city back, like there was in Asbury Park. They started moving forward after a corruption sweep (probably the same dumbells who wanted to move the Stone Pony to the Casino). Still have to find that article. Bayonne's like the plucky, quiet little brother who you really don't have to worry about. You're right about JC, plus they're incredibly lucky being that close to NY. Sadly for camden, its populated by people that cannot survive in a free society. They dont have the intelligence to lift themselves up. They are comfortable with the status quo, live off the taxpayers and will resist to the point of RIOTS to prevent "outsiders" from planting seeds of prosperity that eventually choke the thorns and weeds (them, mostly blacks) out. Further Philadelphia's skyscraper cluster is 1 mile inland from the banks of the Delaware river. No spillover effect will happen untill center city Philly fills up with towers the way Manhattan has. this wont happen in our lifetimes, because while Center city is similar to Manhattan in the sense that its bordered by 2 rivers, there is no river preventing center city downtown Philadelphia from growing northward along Broad street. The city has territory Newark, Camden,Trenton and even Prosperous Jersey City can only dream of.

Newarkguy
December 7th, 2010, 08:45 PM
[/LIST]
Camden is royally screwed. Any possibility of the dissolving or being broken up? Nice question! I only see 3 possible outcomes...
1. Camden is dessolved. Camden ceases to exist. Its territory is split up and ceeded to the surrounding suburbs. But who will want the remnant lands? Pennsauken will refuse to annex thousands of north camdenites who will instantly put it and Cherry hill on the violent towns list. White flight will explode as soon as Pennsauken turns from a wealthy suburb to a poorer city with a violent Camden section...and Cherry hill falls next! Woodlynne,Haddonfield and Collingswood too, will be destroyed. This is because the population density in camden is such that these 1 family home suburbs will be overwhelmed by the ex.Camdemnites. No suburb will annex ghetto areas.
2. This option is for NJ and PA to come to terms for Philadelphia to Annex Camden. The State border is changed for Philly to take in Camden. This is NOT going to happen for 3 reasons.....1.States cannot alter their borders without American US Congressional approval. 2. Philly may not want Camden. Even if these obstacles were overcome, Camden will ALWAYS throw it in Philly's face that they are being ignored by Philly because ot the Delaware river. They will be a seccessionist threat that if allowed may trigger a break away wave that will reduce Philly to what Newark is....24sq. mile center city surrounded by new suburbs!!.3.NJ pride. New Jersey will never allow any of its territory taken. No matter how crappy and violent Camden becomes.

This leaves one option......regional consolidation of Camden county. The new city-county of Camden will be rich overall and with a white supermajority. The new majority will work for the benefit of ALL camden. The ghetto lobby will fight this option. Also Jealousy from Newark and Jersey city(which would feel competitively threatened by new Greater Camden....would seek omnibus bills to Expand their cities. It would be great if these events also ended up with a Greater Newark, a Greater Jersey City.This is pie in the sky thinking. NO I see no solution to Camden.

stache
December 7th, 2010, 08:46 PM
Yes. The Philly towers can go towards Spring Garden, then fill in that entire street.

JCMAN320
December 9th, 2010, 01:48 AM
South Jersey Port Corp. to pay Camden half of $8M it owes city
Published: Wednesday, December 08, 2010, 8:59 AM Updated: Wednesday, December 08, 2010, 8:59 AM
The Associated Press

http://media.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/photo/9105616-large.jpg
Google street view
A street view of the South Jersey Port Company building on South Broadway in Camden.

CAMDEN — The South Jersey Port Corp. has agreed to pay Camden half of the $8 million it owes the cash-strapped city.

The port agency is a quasi-state agency and the biggest land owner in the city where it operates two large port terminals. Like many landmarks in Camden, it makes payments in lieu of taxes instead of paying regular property taxes.

The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill reports it's not clear why the agency didn't make full payments to Camden or other government agencies in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

But the agency agreed on Tuesday to pay Camden $4 million. Negotiations are under way for the 2011 payment.

Camden's state aid has been slashed and the city is planning to lay off up to one-quarter of its workers.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/12/south_jersey_port_corp_to_pay.html

JCMAN320
December 9th, 2010, 09:14 AM
Nashville police recruit Camden officers about to be laid off
Published: Thursday, December 09, 2010, 9:00 AM Updated: Thursday, December 09, 2010, 9:00 AM
The Associated Press

CAMDEN — Deep layoffs are making police officers in New Jersey's most impoverished city a hot commodity.

A recruiter from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department met with about 20 Camden, officers Wednesday in an effort to lure them to new jobs in the South.

The recruiter, Detective Leonard Keeler, told The Philadelphia Inquirer he expects other departments will try to hire Camden officers.

Camden is planning to lay off up to 180 officers from its 370-member force on Jan. 18. Retirements and concessions from officers' unions could reduce the number of layoffs.

The layoffs are a result of a budget crunch. But the police force in Nashville is expanding. Keeler is pitching job security and a lower cost of living.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/12/nashville_police_recruit_camde.html

mariab
January 18th, 2011, 07:08 PM
Deep layoffs take effect in struggling NJ city


CAMDEN — Some police officers are turning in their badges in one of the nation's most impoverished and crime-ridden cities.http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-e4m3Yko6bFYVc.gif?labels=NewsAndReference http://trgca.opt.fimserve.com/fp.gif?pixelid=287-036699&diresu=154d36290d62dd5b4f63c20e

Deep layoffs began Tuesday in Camden.







Up to one-fourth of the city government's workforce is expected to lose their jobs.

About half the police force and one-third the firefighters were expected to lose their positions.

Police officers began turning in their badges Monday as it became clear that no last-minute deal was going to save many jobs.

Firefighters are planning to march to City Hall.

Mayor Dana Redd is planning a noon news conference to talk about the layoffs in a city facing a huge budget deficit and declining
state aid.


http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20110118/STATE/110118018/UPDATE++Deep+police+officer++firefighter+layoffs+t ake+effect+in+struggling+Camden

JCMAN320
January 19th, 2011, 11:04 PM
Camden police union rejects concession deal that could bring back 100 laid-off officers

Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 8:20 PM Updated: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 8:21 PM
By The Associated Press

http://media.nj.com/star-ledger/photo/9097134-large.jpg
Star-Ledger Staff
A Camden Police Department officer patrols along Broadway in Camden on Thursday, 2 December 2010. The state has approved a plan to lay off over 300 public workers in Camden, including about half of the police department. (Noah Addis/For The Star-Ledger)

CAMDEN — Two efforts to reverse some of the stunning police layoffs in one of America's most dangerous cities failed today.

A judge ruled that he won't force Camden to bring back 167 police officers who were laid off earlier in the week. Later, a union for most of the officers rejected a deal containing concessions, which would have put the majority of them back to work.

The layoffs reduced the size of the police force by nearly half in one of the nation's most impoverished and crime-ridden cities. Some civilian employees such as dispatchers also were laid off, along with about one-third of the city's firefighters.

Altogether, more than 15 percent of Camden's municipal workers, including 68 firefighters and about 100 civilians, were laid off as the city tries to fill a huge budget gap brought on by rising costs, decreased tax revenues and diminished aid from the state.

In an evening vote, the city chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police rejected a deal that would have reinstated officers in exchange for giving them unpaid furlough days.

F.O.P. Local 1 President John Williamson said the vote was 300-1 against the measure.

Mayor Dana Redd and Williamson both said about 100 officers could have been brought back under the deal. Williamson said the agreement called for three days a month of unpaid furloughs for patrol officers for six months, then one furlough day in each of the following 12 months.

Williamson said the mayor's words during a news conference Tuesday were a factor in the vote. She said the average rank-and-file officer has a salary and benefits worth $140,000 a year — a number the union disputes. Williamson said the salary of an officer is about $77,000 and the benefits are not as generous as the mayor said.

Police union officials say Camden officers don't make as much as those in most nearby suburban towns, even though the work is more dangerous.

"People were angry. People were upset. Some of the comments that the mayor has made about the police department, about officers, about the union itself, the people don't like it," Williamson said. "They watch the news, too."

Redd said in a statement today that she was disappointed with the union. "This offer not only would have saved approximately 100 police jobs, it would have demonstrated their commitment to the residents of Camden," she said.

Earlier in the day, unions for both rank-and-file officers and their superiors argued in court that the state Civil Service Commission did not take the right steps when it approved the layoffs. They also claimed the city laid off more officers than it originally planned.

The city disputes those claims. It does not dispute, however, that some officers didn't get notice of their layoffs 45 days in advance.

Superior Court Judge Francis Orlando ruled that the proper place for the complaints is with the Civil Service Commission or an appeals court — not his court.

Cheryl Cooper, a lawyer for the unions, said she would likely go to a higher court with the case.

Redd has said she has a total of $5.5 million from a rent payment from the South Jersey Port Authority and in extra aid from the state that could be used to bring back some laid-off workers. But she said she wanted four police and fire unions to agree to $2 million each in concessions first.

Meanwhile, Al Ashley, president of the Camden Fire Officers union, said it didn't take long to begin to feel the strain of the depleted force.

He said that Tuesday morning, as laid-off firefighters were preparing to return their gear, there was a minor fire in a high-rise apartment building.

All 26 firefighters on duty in the city responded, he said. According to guidelines, two additional companies — or eight troops — should have been there, too.

Before the layoffs, Ashley said, about 44 firefighters would have been on duty.

At about the same time, there were two more calls from fire alarms. Neither amounted to much, he said, but it was up to volunteer companies from neighboring towns to respond. He said that's likely to become the norm now.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/camden_police_union_rejects_co.html

66nexus
January 20th, 2011, 10:16 PM
I will never say that union members should take one up the rear for their host municipality, but in this recession, and what's at stake...come on now.

stache
January 21st, 2011, 01:36 AM
Especially since it was not an hourly wage or benefit reduction.

Newarkguy
January 23rd, 2011, 03:32 PM
Camden police union rejects concession deal that could bring back 100 laid-off officers

Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 8:20 PM Updated: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 8:21 PM
By The Associated Press

http://media.nj.com/star-ledger/photo/9097134-large.jpg
Star-Ledger Staff
A Camden Police Department officer patrols along Broadway in Camden on Thursday, 2 December 2010. The state has approved a plan to lay off over 300 public workers in Camden, including about half of the police department. (Noah Addis/For The Star-Ledger)

CAMDEN — Two efforts to reverse some of the stunning police layoffs in one of America's most dangerous cities failed today.

A judge ruled that he won't force Camden to bring back 167 police officers who were laid off earlier in the week. Later, a union for most of the officers rejected a deal containing concessions, which would have put the majority of them back to work.

The layoffs reduced the size of the police force by nearly half in one of the nation's most impoverished and crime-ridden cities. Some civilian employees such as dispatchers also were laid off, along with about one-third of the city's firefighters.

Altogether, more than 15 percent of Camden's municipal workers, including 68 firefighters and about 100 civilians, were laid off as the city tries to fill a huge budget gap brought on by rising costs, decreased tax revenues and diminished aid from the state.

In an evening vote, the city chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police rejected a deal that would have reinstated officers in exchange for giving them unpaid furlough days.

F.O.P. Local 1 President John Williamson said the vote was 300-1 against the measure.

Mayor Dana Redd and Williamson both said about 100 officers could have been brought back under the deal. Williamson said the agreement called for three days a month of unpaid furloughs for patrol officers for six months, then one furlough day in each of the following 12 months.

Williamson said the mayor's words during a news conference Tuesday were a factor in the vote. She said the average rank-and-file officer has a salary and benefits worth $140,000 a year — a number the union disputes. Williamson said the salary of an officer is about $77,000 and the benefits are not as generous as the mayor said.

Police union officials say Camden officers don't make as much as those in most nearby suburban towns, even though the work is more dangerous.

"People were angry. People were upset. Some of the comments that the mayor has made about the police department, about officers, about the union itself, the people don't like it," Williamson said. "They watch the news, too."

Redd said in a statement today that she was disappointed with the union. "This offer not only would have saved approximately 100 police jobs, it would have demonstrated their commitment to the residents of Camden," she said.

Earlier in the day, unions for both rank-and-file officers and their superiors argued in court that the state Civil Service Commission did not take the right steps when it approved the layoffs. They also claimed the city laid off more officers than it originally planned.

The city disputes those claims. It does not dispute, however, that some officers didn't get notice of their layoffs 45 days in advance.

Superior Court Judge Francis Orlando ruled that the proper place for the complaints is with the Civil Service Commission or an appeals court — not his court.

Cheryl Cooper, a lawyer for the unions, said she would likely go to a higher court with the case.

Redd has said she has a total of $5.5 million from a rent payment from the South Jersey Port Authority and in extra aid from the state that could be used to bring back some laid-off workers. But she said she wanted four police and fire unions to agree to $2 million each in concessions first.

Meanwhile, Al Ashley, president of the Camden Fire Officers union, said it didn't take long to begin to feel the strain of the depleted force.

He said that Tuesday morning, as laid-off firefighters were preparing to return their gear, there was a minor fire in a high-rise apartment building.

All 26 firefighters on duty in the city responded, he said. According to guidelines, two additional companies — or eight troops — should have been there, too.

Before the layoffs, Ashley said, about 44 firefighters would have been on duty.

At about the same time, there wfere two more calls from fire alarms. Neither amounted to much, he said, but it was up to volunteer companies from neighboring towns to respond. He said that's likely to become the norm now.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/camden_police_union_rejects_co.htmlNo surprise there. Unions only care about their power and moneyraising!Any deals are seen as weakneses and losing ½ of camdem cops as members means nothing to them when these unions are all affiliated among millions of members. The sad part is that this legal mafia has paid politicians to rule that union membership MUST be a condition for employment. If I were a cop I would file a lawsuit to recoup ALL dues I paid! A lot of good the union did for these ex cops!!!

66nexus
January 23rd, 2011, 03:37 PM
Well they'll definitely be working for those dollars now.

66nexus
January 23rd, 2011, 03:38 PM
Especially since it was not an hourly wage or benefit reduction.

That's why I can appreciate the concept of a union, but I am no fan of its application. Not of all of them, but many unions become too self-oriented, and while it may be important to protect the union body, it seems they forget about the importance of the service they provide.

stache
January 23rd, 2011, 04:58 PM
I had a very dear friend (recently departed) that was strike breaker. He told me that the pendulum swings back and forth, and when things get really bad, people go back to supporting unions. We're not there yet.

block944
January 30th, 2011, 04:55 PM
Wow the abyss:

Into the abyss: With high crime, fewer cops and little money, Camden is sinking even deeper into trouble

Published: Sunday, January 30, 2011, 5:55 AM

http://media.nj.com/design/baseline/img/user_default.png (http://connect.nj.com/user/kmanahan/index.html) By Kevin Manahan/The Star-Ledger (http://connect.nj.com/user/kmanahan/index.html)
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http://media.nj.com/perspective/photo/camdenledejpg-106d5df0edd089c6.jpgJerry McCrea/The Star-LedgerEvidence is gathered and documented by a crime scene investigator as Camden police work the scene of a shooting and homicide Jan.20 in the neighborhood of Sacred Heart Church.
It’s 2 p.m. on a Thursday in Camden, and the McDonald’s at the corner of Haddon Avenue and Federal Street, in the heart of downtown, is packed. Customers consult an overhead menu and make selections, and when orders are filled, the manager holds aloft the sacks of burgers and fries, barks out the contents and waits for them to be claimed.
Suddenly, the rhythm is broken.
An angry man charges to the counter and claims that an employee peeked in on him while he was in a restroom stall.
“That’s invasion of privacy, man!” he screams.
Employees check restrooms because the facilities often serve as offices for drug dealers and prostitutes, he is told. But he dismisses the explanation with a string of profanities and a tug on his crotch.
He is ordered to leave the restaurant, but refuses. The manager motions to the police headquarters across the street and threatens to summon the cops. The man laughs as he heads for the door.
“Go ahead, call the cops,” he says. “Haven’t you heard? There ain’t no police left in this freakin’ city.”
Camden, the state’s poorest and most violent city, earlier this month laid off nearly half its police force. And even so, the city council voted this past week to raise taxes by 23 percent to cover the bills.
No one knows what will happen next because this kind of civic collapse is new and historic. But the city’s 78,788 residents wonder if their lives are teetering, as resident William Sylvester says, on the edge of “all-out hellfire.”
MORE CAMDEN IN PERSPECTIVE:
• Life in Camden amid the blight and the bullets (http://blog.nj.com/perspective/2011/01/life_in_camden_amid_the_blight.html)
• Tough times in Camden (http://blog.nj.com/perspective/2011/01/tough_times_in_camden.html)
• He's doing God's work (http://blog.nj.com/perspective/2011/01/hes_doing_gods_work.html)

Just as the angry customer bolted the McDonald’s, a 911 call came: Two miles away, at Ferry Street and Broadway, in the shadow of Sacred Heart Church, Anjanea Williams, 20, had been felled by a bullet meant for a drug dealer.
Police say three men, their faces covered, approached a group of men standing outside a sandwich shop. One opened fire. Williams, walking to the deli with a friend, was the only person hit. As the innocent victim, known as “Nay Nay” to friends, crumpled onto the sidewalk with a slug in her abdomen, her blood mixed with the snow and ice left behind by the last storm.
The shooting was the fourth in the area in two weeks, one cop said.
About a hour later, as an investigator bagged 11 shell casings, a resident pointed to four more shells near her stoop. Those were from a previous shooting, she was told.
“Somebody bleeding on the sidewalk with a bullet in them? Just an average day in Camden,” resident Ron Woods said. “It’s crazy out here with all these wannabe gangsters firing on everyone. Will it get worse? How can it? People are already being killed.”
Williams, rushed to nearby Cooper Hospital, died eight hours later.
Taurean Houston, 28, of Camden now faces a murder charge. Houston had been out of jail on $175,000 bail since June after exchanging gunfire with Vernon Page, also 28 and a resident of Camden, in another drug-territory dispute, according to court records.
Trouble around the state
Camden is sinking faster and further than any place else, but New Jersey’s impoverished cities are facing a perfect storm that creates frightening possibilities.
Newark recently shrank its police force by 167 officers, a move that was promptly followed by a rash of car jackings. Trenton postponed the layoffs of 111 cops, but it might be only temporary. And cities such as Irvington, East Orange and Elizabeth are facing shortfalls that are forcing tax hikes and spending cuts, which are bound to reinforce the downward spiral.
Why is this happening now? Take your pick:
• Gov. Chris Christie cut state aid to all towns, but he hit poor cities particularly hard with an outright elimination of special streams of state aid earmarked during the Corzine years for cities.
• Police unions, in Camden and elsewhere, are refusing to make concessions on salaries and benefits that could limit the damage.
• The Democratic-led Legislature has delayed enacting key pieces of the governor’s “tool kit” to help contain costs, especially pension and health care expenses.
• The recession caused a spike in foreclosures and a drop in housing values, reducing revenue from local property taxes. And rising poverty has increased demands on the city.
The backdrop of this is that New Jersey is heavily reliant on the property tax, and because poor cities have so little property to tax, they are constantly falling short. That’s a structural problem, and no one has even proposed a realistic way to address it.
“There is no urban strategy to deal with this,” says William Dressel, director of the state’s League of Municipalities. “Camden is basically the worst-case scenario of what is happening to communities across the state.”
Troubles begin with drugs
Camden’s streets are controlled by drug dealers, who operate in broad daylight. On a Friday, after a string of midmorning transactions, one drug dealer sat on the steps of a North Camden convenience store, counting his stack of bills. On a nearby corner, a crossing guard and a two-man drug operation jockeyed for space.
The blocks between the dealers are patrolled by pimps and prostitutes. Here, in the gutter, used condoms outnumber discarded coffee cups.
Even in the safest homes, residents are imprisoned by their own iron bars, which stretch across windows and doors, and from porch railing to roof. Terrified parents — such as Rose Delgado — hustle their kids to school, praying the rosary as they trot.
“You couldn’t stop the crime here with the Marines,” said Monsignor Michael Doyle, pastor of Sacred Heart Church since 1974. “Because you can’t stop the drugs.”
Into this cauldron stepped Mayor Dana Redd, a Camden native and former legislator who commanded enough respect in Trenton to regain local control of the city last year after seven years of state oversight by a chief operating officer appointed by the governor.
The rookie mayor tried hard to force cops to make concessions on salaries and benefits, saying the give-backs would allow the city to retain 100 cops. So far, no luck.
The median salary for a Camden cop is $79,656, well below the state median of $90,672.
Redd, however, has chosen a more startling number in making her case: a cop’s cost to the city. Rank-and-file salary, bonuses and benefits cost the city $140,000 per man, she says, and the total tab for higher-ranking officers is closer to $200,000.
John Williamson, the union president, insists the mayor exaggerates. She also couldn’t guarantee no layoffs in 2012, and that’s why Camden police voted 300-1 against a proposal of $2 million worth of furloughs and health care contributions.
Behind the scenes, the governor and mayors of New Jersey’s major cities will huddle soon to discuss the possible disbanding of city police forces and the creation of countywide agencies — with cheaper cops receiving more realistic benefits. It’s a way to ditch suffocating contracts. Such a plan for Camden has received support from state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and others.
Unbending, Camden unions warn of relentless gunfire and residents trapped in raging fires: “It’s already the wild, wild West here,” Williamson said. “We’re not trying to scare anyone. We’re just telling the truth.”
Sixty-seven firefighters and approximately 115 city workers also lost their jobs in this month’s layoffs. Eighty-year-old Agnes Howell didn’t care about the details of the contract disputes, only that there are fewer cops. “I’m scared to death,” she says.
Christie: No more money
So far, desperate urban mayors are getting a shrug from Christie, who pulls out his empty pockets and portrays public unions as robber barons. It makes for great YouTube moments, but it leaves terrified city dwellers caught in the crossfire — literally.
As he sat on the shiny basketball court at the Prudential Center on Tuesday to welcome the NCAA Tournament to Newark in March, Christie was asked about Camden’s plight.
He called the police contract “completely outrageous,” and made it clear he wouldn’t find more money for the police and fire unions, despite the death toll.
“If people feel they’re caught in the middle here — I understand why they feel that way — but tough decisions have to be made,” he said. “The decision that’s been made over and over again is, ‘Listen, just pay whatever their demands are ... because for goodness’ sakes, we can’t anger the police unions or fire unions or teachers unions.’
“I’m sorry. I take a different approach, and I think the people of the state are tired of being the highest-taxed people in America.”
Short-handed investigations
On Friday, as the Williams family made funeral arrangements, Williamson, the union president, was giving a tour of the city’s roughest neighborhoods. Before heading into North Camden, he removed his gun from the center console of his SUV and placed it in his lap. Dealers recognized the vehicle and flashed gang hand symbols in defiance.
“If I didn’t have you in the car ... ” Williamson said, but he didn’t finish the thought.
Even if he could round up every criminal, there is less of a chance they would be convicted now. Camden’s detectives, who did the legwork for the county prosecutor’s office, are being shoved into patrol cars. That means fewer officers to collect evidence and interview witnesses, and that will mean a drop in conviction rates. Dangerous criminals will remain on the streets. Crime could bleed into other communities.
“Camden’s problems put more on our plate,” said Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk, whose agency already faces a $3.2 million deficit.
Faulk recalled a former New York City crime-scene investigator hired by Camden. On one of his first calls, he had to collect evidence while a dead body was still on the scene. Under New York’s protocol, the body had always been removed before he was called.
“I can’t work around dead bodies,” he said.
“Then you can’t work here,” he was told.
He quit.
Doyle, the monsignor, hopes Redd has a plan to keep the dead bodies from piling up on the streets. He believes she receives divine help.
When Redd was a child, her parents died in an apparent murder-suicide. Not long after, Mother Theresa visited Sacred Heart Church, and Doyle selected Redd, then a third-grader, to present her with a lei. In return, Mother Theresa bestowed a blessing. The framed lei of dried flowers, remarkably preserved, still hangs in the church’s sacristy.
“We hope the blessing has lasted as long,” Doyle says. “I guess we’re going to find out.”
Kevin Manahan is a member of The Star-Ledger Editorial Board. Share your thoughts at njvoices.com.
CITIES ON THE BRINK
Camden might be the national poster child for the destructive situation cash-strapped cities find themselves in, but other New Jersey cities could be headed toward calamity.
East Orange
Officials worry about backsliding. In 2003, East Orange was second to Camden in New Jersey crime, and now, after a 75 percent reduction in crime since then, the city plans to lay off up to 38 police officers. The city hopes for a federal grant that could save some cops. Eighty-two city workers are scheduled for layoffs this week.
Irvington
Violent crime has dipped, but for how long? The city, with 180 cops, is in the midst of negotiations and has submitted a plan with the state that calls for 31 cops to be laid off. Last year, 20 cops were let go, then rehired with overtime savings. Mired in debt, Irvington is likely to require some state supervision, Mayor Wayne Smith said.
Trenton
The city lost $42 million in state aid last year. Mayor Tony Mack says he has whittled the budget deficit to $18.5 million and will close it through union concessions, a tax hike and property sales — without laying off police. But if that doesn’t work, the city could run out of money. Mack recently predicted layoffs coming in July and next January.
-- Kevin Manahan
MOST VIOLENT U.S. CITIES*
*Population 75,000 or more
1. St. Louis
2. Camden
3. Detroit
4. Flint, Mich.
5. Oakland, Calif.
CAMDEN'S CRIME STATS
Violent crime: 1,880 incidents
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter: 34
Forcible rape: 60
Robbery: 766
Aggravated assault: 1,020
Property crime: 3,935
Burglary: 1,035
Larceny-theft: 2,251
Motor vehicle theft: 649
Arson: 137
Sources: CQ Press, FBI report on 2009 crime known to law enforcement'

http://blog.nj.com/perspective/2011/01/into_the_abyss_with_high_crime.html

JCMAN320
February 1st, 2011, 01:00 AM
Move the Battleship NJ to either JC or Bayonne where it should of gone originally and leave the place for dead. The city is lost!!!

Ed007Toronto
February 1st, 2011, 11:04 AM
^ This from the richest country in the world. Pathetic.

Newarkguy
February 1st, 2011, 12:23 PM
^ This from the richest country in the world. Pathetic.
How is it America's fault? Its simple. The people who built these cities have moved /chased out. Replaced by mentally deficient criminal ghetto animals who prey on the few who remain and hope things turn around.Their ghetto pimp Democrat politicians cater to the lowest residents for votes,ignoring the remnant middle and business class that have no representation(no Replublicans forever)and tax them to death.In the past,delinquent citizens were shamed into turning their lives and contributing to society. Todays Camden residents by far have NO shame and stick their finger at the world. Ceede it to PA. and annex Camden to Philly!!!

66nexus
February 1st, 2011, 12:51 PM
Move the Battleship NJ to either JC or Bayonne where it should of gone originally and leave the place for dead. The city is lost!!!

Agreed. Some said it couldn't compete w/ NY's ship, but that's a carrier, I think JC/Bayonne would've definitely worked (Or even AC/Cape May if it was to stay in South Jersey.)


^ This from the richest country in the world. Pathetic.

Care to elaborate?

mariab
April 2nd, 2011, 08:40 PM
Nation's most dangerous small city rehires police

http://l.yimg.com/a/p/us/news/editorial/d/0c/d0c3eb8ca18907492a4b337b5cec5193.jpeg (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/reuters/brand/SIG=pd7i95/*http://www.reuters.com)

– Fri Apr 1, 7:33 pm ET


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Camden, New Jersey, the nation's most crime-ridden small city, on Friday welcomed back 55 police officers and 31 firefighters laid off in January because of lack of funding.
Mayor Dana Redd was able to rehire the 86 public safety workers after receiving $2.5 million in state and federal funds.
"I fully expect that all boots will hit the ground and that their presence will be known and felt throughout our neighborhoods and business districts," Mayor Redd said in the statement.
In the months since the officers received their pink slips, Camden has experienced a slight increase in crime but it could not be directly tied to the layoffs, mayoral spokesman Robert Corrales told Reuters. There was no change in reported damages caused by fires, he said.
The state and federal funds came in the wake of the city's failed effort to win concessions from union leaders and the defeat of the mayor's budget, which would have restored even more public safety personnel, officials said.
"Our commitment to Camden and the public safety of our residents should send a clear message to the criminals looking to deteriorate our quality of life. we will not give up and we will fight for our great city," Redd said in the statement.
Redd thanked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for securing the funds.
"With these additional state and federal funds, the city will now have 20 percent more police officers patrolling the streets and nearly the same number of firefighters responding to emergencies since the layoffs," Redd said in the statement.
Camden was ranked as the most dangerous small city in the United States in 2010, according to CQ. The ranking took into account murder, rape, robbery, burglary and motor vehicle theft data.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Greg McCune)


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110401/us_nm/us_camden_police

Don31
April 6th, 2011, 07:03 PM
Nation's most dangerous small city rehires police

http://l.yimg.com/a/p/us/news/editorial/d/0c/d0c3eb8ca18907492a4b337b5cec5193.jpeg (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/reuters/brand/SIG=pd7i95/*http://www.reuters.com)

– Fri Apr 1, 7:33 pm ET


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Camden, New Jersey, the nation's most crime-ridden small city, on Friday welcomed back 55 police officers and 31 firefighters laid off in January because of lack of funding.
Mayor Dana Redd was able to rehire the 86 public safety workers after receiving $2.5 million in state and federal funds.
"I fully expect that all boots will hit the ground and that their presence will be known and felt throughout our neighborhoods and business districts," Mayor Redd said in the statement.
In the months since the officers received their pink slips, Camden has experienced a slight increase in crime but it could not be directly tied to the layoffs, mayoral spokesman Robert Corrales told Reuters. There was no change in reported damages caused by fires, he said.
The state and federal funds came in the wake of the city's failed effort to win concessions from union leaders and the defeat of the mayor's budget, which would have restored even more public safety personnel, officials said.
"Our commitment to Camden and the public safety of our residents should send a clear message to the criminals looking to deteriorate our quality of life. we will not give up and we will fight for our great city," Redd said in the statement.
Redd thanked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for securing the funds.
"With these additional state and federal funds, the city will now have 20 percent more police officers patrolling the streets and nearly the same number of firefighters responding to emergencies since the layoffs," Redd said in the statement.
Camden was ranked as the most dangerous small city in the United States in 2010, according to CQ. The ranking took into account murder, rape, robbery, burglary and motor vehicle theft data.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Greg McCune)


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110401/us_nm/us_camden_police

Well this is some good news for a change.

Nexis4Jersey
May 10th, 2011, 09:35 AM
Some pictures of Camden i took on Saturday...

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2335/5698358256_054519705a_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/5698358256/)
DSC04692 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/5698358256/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2173/5697783875_3997305b03_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/5697783875/)
DSC04694 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/5697783875/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5144/5697783171_59c4e419da_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/5697783171/)
DSC04689 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/5697783171/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3249/5697782737_77ae7563ab_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/5697782737/)
DSC04686 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/5697782737/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3464/5698357194_002cdfd402_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/5698357194/)
DSC04685 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/5698357194/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

So many missed opportunities , hopefully the Future is better for Camden it looked like the Northern part of the City was trying to change with a Society Hill type development.

Nexis4Jersey
March 19th, 2013, 10:17 PM
Camden, considered a 'food desert,' to get first large grocery store in 30 years

http://media.nj.com/camden_impact/photo/12446400-large.jpgShoppers at the ShopRite in Washington Township look over the selection of poultry and meats. (Staff photo by Lori M. Nichols/South Jersey Times)
CAMDEN (http://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2013/03/camden_to_get_first_large_groc.html) — Officials Tuesday announced plans that will bring a ShopRite grocery store to the city — now considered a "food desert (http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2011/10/amid_south_jersey_farms_food_d.html)" — which, once completed will be the first major, full-service supermarket within the Camden City corridor in more than 30 years, according to Mayor Dana Redd.
To be located at the intersection of South 17th Street and Admiral Wilson Boulevard, the ShopRite will anchor a 20-acre retail shopping center — dubbed Admiral Wilson Plaza — which will also include several restaurants and other businesses, city and state officials said.
The grocery store will be operated by Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, Inc., owned by the Ravitz family, who oversee five other ShopRites in Burlington and Camden counties. The Goldenberg Group, based in Blue Bell, Pa., has been named the developer of the project, which a statement from Sen. Donald Norcross said would create 400 construction jobs, 320 new full- and part-time grocery jobs, and approximately $1.5 million in tax revenue for the city.
“Bringing two reputable entities such as the Goldenberg Group and the Ravitz family to open a ShopRite in our city is long overdue,” said Redd in a statement. “I am so proud and happy to share this wonderful news today with our residents because this is the type of development project they have been asking for — one that will create jobs and opportunities for them.
“I truly thank the Goldenberg Group and the Ravitz brothers for their commitment and vision to making this dream a reality.”
Plans for the new ShopRite, set to open in 2015, include an in-house registered dietitian, who will be available to help customers shop for healthy choices or specific diets.

http://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2013/03/camden_to_get_first_large_groc.html

West Hudson
March 20th, 2013, 12:41 AM
What is that structure being demolished in your second photo? And what is supposed to replace it? Its good to see redevelopment slowly starting to take hold around Camden. Now if the Philly economy would just pick up a little more, this could propel further residential development near the waterfront area...

Nexis4Jersey
March 20th, 2013, 01:35 AM
What is that structure being demolished in your second photo? And what is supposed to replace it? Its good to see redevelopment slowly starting to take hold around Camden. Now if the Philly economy would just pick up a little more, this could propel further residential development near the waterfront area...

I don't remember , however there demolishing just about every abandoned none historical structure in Camden...there are alot of plans for Redevelopment along the Waterfront , Downtown , Northern area and Southern Area. I think in 10 years Camden will be where Newark is now , and South Jersey in general.

Nexis4Jersey
March 20th, 2013, 01:46 AM
Some of the other pictures i Took....i might go back in May and take more...

Downtown-Camden

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6210/6109273609_e6e78670b0_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109273609/)
Camden - Downtown (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109273609/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6185/6109274521_f36e438080_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109274521/)
Camden - Downtown (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109274521/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6077/6109275375_99553e1a16_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109275375/)
Camden - Downtown (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109275375/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6206/6109824514_37b93ca0d4_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109824514/)
Camden - Downtown (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109824514/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6187/6109276565_75655b4fa8_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109276565/)
Camden - Downtown (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109276565/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6078/6109825804_f5fde88b74_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109825804/)
Camden - Downtown (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109825804/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6188/6109826236_19eec1424a_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109826236/)
Camden - Downtown (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109826236/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

Rutgers - Camden

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6068/6109278289_78607a6f3a_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109278289/)
Camden - Rutgers Campus (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109278289/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6090/6109283247_01572d94fd_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109283247/)
Camden - Rutgers Campus (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109283247/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6181/6109831762_e977d52003_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109831762/)
Camden - Rutgers Campus (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109831762/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6184/6109832182_a71c39eaba_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109832182/)
Camden - Rutgers Campus (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109832182/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6084/6109832650_9244c02279_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109832650/)
Camden - Rutgers Campus (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109832650/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6068/6109284797_bf56a4e900_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109284797/)
Camden - Rutgers Campus (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109284797/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6080/6109285099_fff944f3c3_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109285099/)
Camden - Rutgers Campus (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109285099/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6081/6109290935_6a30548509_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109290935/)
Camden - Rutgers Campus (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109290935/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6195/6109291777_c134302651_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109291777/)
Camden - Rutgers Campus (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109291777/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6069/6109840170_e02fc3b9b8_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109840170/)
Camden - Rutgers Campus (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6109840170/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6074/6107938996_83e46378a4_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6107938996/)
DSC06616 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6107938996/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6066/6107391691_caf4c203d6_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6107391691/)
DSC06617 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6107391691/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6196/6107391845_73aaf9c440_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6107391845/)
DSC06618 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6107391845/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6065/6107391895_161b473138_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6107391895/)
DSC06619 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6107391895/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6070/6107391999_abaeec18fd_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6107391999/)
DSC06620 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6107391999/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6198/6107939744_89300cb4db_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6107939744/)
DSC06622 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6107939744/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIidAhok0Ic

66nexus
March 20th, 2013, 04:52 AM
Good pics. It's good to see a nicer side of Camden once in awhile.

Nexis4Jersey
March 20th, 2013, 11:03 AM
Camden Primed for Pedestrian-Friendly TOD


In a one-two punch for the City of Camden, New Jersey, an upcoming transit-oriented development project is slated to develop land near a train station and include complete streets upgrades that will add to the safety and prosperity of the area.
The Haddon Avenue Transit Village, a $100 million mixed-use development, will be built on 15 acres of underutilized land between the Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and the Ferry Avenue PATCO (http://www.ridepatco.org/) rail station, which transports riders to Center City, Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. The project will include retail, office space, several hundred housing units, and a full-service grocery store. It is being spearheaded by Grapevine Development (http://www.grapevinedevelopment.net/) in partnership with the City of Camden (http://www.ci.camden.nj.us/), Camden County (http://www.camdencounty.com/), Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center (http://www.lourdesnet.org/), the Delaware River Port Authority (http://www.drpa.org/) (DRPA), and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership (http://www.coopersferry.com/).

http://blog.tstc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/HATV_Map.jpg

Construction on phase I of the project is expected to begin in 12 to 18 months and will include 115 housing units and 40,000 square feet of office space. Housing units will be market rate, but Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, the project’s primary tenant, is considering offering incentives for employees that live where they work. While phase II has yet to be scheduled, it should bring an added 400 housing units, additional office and retail development, and a transit plaza that connects the PATCO station to Haddon Avenue.

http://blog.tstc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/HaddonAveBA.jpg

http://blog.tstc.org/2012/04/13/camden-primed-for-pedestrian-friendly-tod/

z22
March 21st, 2013, 12:33 AM
From the pictures, it does not sound like Camden is as bad as what we have heard. But, where are all the people?

Nexis4Jersey
March 21st, 2013, 04:31 PM
From the pictures, it does not sound like Camden is as bad as what we have heard. But, where are all the people?

Well , there are parts that are nice but then there are the bad parts and unlike Newark or even Paterson that bad parts bleed over and are just about everywhere. One block is good , the next block is bombed out , however Downtown Slowly Improving. Once the Economy picks up there are a few redevelopment proposals for Downtown Involing the Hospital Expanding and turning into a small Med school , Rutgers is planning expansions and there are the various Riverfront redevelopments. For TOD there are planned developments like above at the Ferry lane PATCO station and 36th Street Riverline station. Theres also plans to anchor the future Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit lines into Camden at the Downtown Transit Center. Regional Rail will meet in nearby Pennsauken which also has a few redevelopments. The Pennsuaken Transit center opens this spring.

towerpower123
October 29th, 2013, 08:28 PM
This article paints one nasty picture of Camden! Figures for a typically suburban oriented news site... It then explains the 6 people who could make a difference, with tiny non-profits... I think Bridget Phiffer is making the biggest changes, by rehabbing 230 homes in Camden.
http://www.nj.com/inside-jersey/index.ssf/2013/10/six_people_making_a_big_difference_in_troubled_cam den.html

At the same time, Trenton is jealous of Camden's waterfront.
http://www.trentonian.com/general-news/20131024/camden-waterfront-thrives-while-trentons-plans-gather-dust

A World Trade Center office may likely be built in Camden. 2,300,000 Square Feet of Office Space!!!
http://blog.nj.com/njv_guest_blog/2013/10/former_gov_florio_time_to_pres.html

The mayor is touting her successes in Camden.
http://articles.philly.com/2013-10-21/news/43222450_1_mayor-redd-state-takeover-one-term-mayor

stache
October 30th, 2013, 04:00 AM
She has a very hard job.

Nexis4Jersey
May 12th, 2014, 05:39 PM
https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7384/13985220209_02a40a8d43_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/niPUJn)664 (https://flic.kr/p/niPUJn) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5275/13985507987_cd473ee681_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/niRoh4)108 (https://flic.kr/p/niRoh4) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7388/13985512458_61118e6894_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/niRpB9)109 (https://flic.kr/p/niRpB9) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5151/13985506967_e65ea4416b_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/niRnYt)111 (https://flic.kr/p/niRnYt) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7409/13985506577_9aa0815024_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/niRnRK)112 (https://flic.kr/p/niRnRK) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

JCMAN320
June 10th, 2014, 05:44 PM
Flyers offices and practice facility are already in Voorhees, NJ and now 76ers join them in NJ!

=======

Philadelphia 76ers CEO: Camden practice facility will be 'biggest and best' in U.S.

By Jason Laday/South Jersey Times
on June 10, 2014 at 4:24 PM, updated June 10, 2014 at 4:32 PM

http://imgick.nj.com/home/njo-media/width620/img/camden_impact/photo/15173150-mmmain.jpg
Officials from Camden and the Philadelphia 76res announced a new practice facility and office building for the team at the city's waterfront, following the Economic Developement Authority's approval of $82 million in tax breaks over the next 10 years for the organization, on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. From left to right: EDA President and COO Tim Lizura, Camden Council President Frank Moran, Mayor Dana Redd and 76ers CEO Scott O'Neil. (Staff photo by Jason Laday/South Jersey Times)

CAMDEN — The Philadelphia 76ers organization will move its practice space and front office operations to the Camden riverfront, following a vote by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) Tuesday to approve $82 million in tax breaks to the team over the next 10 years.

A requirement of receiving the full tax credit, to be paid out in annual installments of $8.2 million and used against state corporate business taxes, is the creation of at least 250 jobs at the site, not including construction jobs.

However, 200 of those jobs represent current team employees, including players and coaches, all of whom will be transferred from the Sixers' current front office, according to team CEO Scott O'Neil. The team will hire 50 new employees — mostly in sales and marketing — during its transition into its new offices in Camden, which will be located near the Susquehanna Bank Center at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

"We need a 24/7 operation that's ours," said O'Neil, adding that state tax breaks, as well as the "size and scope" of the soon-to-be 120,000-square-foot facility, was what finally lured the team across the Delaware River.

"This will be the biggest and best training facility in the country," he said.

According to NJ EDA President and COO Tim Lizura, the state and the City of Camden will benefit from approximately $76.6 million in "direct and indirect taxes" over the next 35 years. He said that figure comes from a formula taking into account "ancillary economic effects" of the relocation, including possible retail and restaurant space that may open around the area.

Camden Mayor Dana Redd, joined by Council President Frank Moran, lauded the announcement as a win for the city. They stated the relocation of the team to Camden would create a "spill-over effect," for small businesses in the area.

Addressing the large tax break given to the team as part of the agreement, the mayor said the city and state must make such deals in order to attract businesses to open up shop in Camden.

"Camden needs to be able to afford these deals, because we need to be able to compete in this region," said Redd. "This is only the beginning — just the tip of the iceberg."

Speaking before the move was finalized, Gov. Chris Christie during a press conference in Camden on Thursday said the deal would be "a good thing for New Jersey."

"Not only from the tax revenues, but also for the image of Camden," said Christie. "I hope it gets approved."

EDA officials said the new facility will be located at the southeast corner of MLK Boulevard and Delaware Avenue, which is currently a parking lot owned by the Parking Authority of the City of Camden (PACC). The team will invest $82 million in the construction project.

Officials said they hope to break ground in October, and have the team ready to move in come June 2016.

The 76ers currently practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. The team maintains temporary offices at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

According to Lizura, the team had toured several potential locations, including the Navy Yard.

---

Contact staff writer Jason Laday at 856-686-3628 or jladay@southjerseymedia.com.

http://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2014/06/philadelphia_76ers_ceo_camden_practice_facility_wi ll_be_biggest_and_best_in_us.html#incart_river_def ault

KMD1227
September 24th, 2015, 08:47 PM
http://www.njbiz.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20150924/NJBIZ01/150929867/iconic-700m-project-coming-to-camden-waterfront&template=mobileart

msands7
September 24th, 2015, 08:51 PM
Those towers are beautiful

Nexis4Jersey
September 25th, 2015, 11:34 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH2TglwXADk

KMD1227
September 25th, 2015, 02:10 PM
Did Camden WTC brake ground yet??

towerpower123
September 30th, 2015, 08:53 PM
I doubt it! This article laments the complete lack of progress while talking about the new waterfront development proposal.
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20150925_Hope_for_Camden__Or_just_another_pipe_dre am_.html

msands7
January 28th, 2016, 06:40 PM
The Sixers new practice facility is well under-way.

http://www.mattsandelands.com/#!Sixers-New-Practice-Facility-in-Camden-NJ/c1sbz/56a7b6500cf2cede5a51908a

Nexis4Jersey
April 21st, 2016, 08:54 PM
Taken Yesterday - 4/20/16

Downtown Camden

Sixers Training Facility

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1554/26468511522_12408623d1_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/GjW3jW)
Future home of the Philly Sixers Training Facility in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/GjW3jW) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1499/25955862304_fd5793b46f_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FxCzzj)
Future home of the Philly Sixers Training Facility in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/FxCzzj) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1524/25957927913_941cf3fddd_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FxPaBg)
Future home of the Philly Sixers Training Facility in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/FxPaBg) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1630/25955860454_12b4d60aac_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FxCz2q)
Future home of the Philly Sixers Training Facility in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/FxCz2q) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

Future lofts

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1634/26468521252_a78521e223_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/GjW6dG)
Looking East along Cooper Street in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/GjW6dG) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1505/26468508112_755f78951d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/GjW2j9)
A Noon Hour walk around Downtown Camden,New Jersey - Cooper Street (https://flic.kr/p/GjW2j9) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

Rutgers Dorms and Retail completed a few years ago

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1653/25957924363_c5f5945a45_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FxP9y4)
A Noon Hour walk around Downtown Camden,New Jersey - Cooper Street (https://flic.kr/p/FxP9y4) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

Renovation of an older building

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1686/26494769881_93ec2f4791_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/GnfC2g)
A Noon Hour walk around Downtown Camden,New Jersey - Cooper Street (https://flic.kr/p/GnfC2g) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

Rainwater collection & Gardening at City Hall

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1617/26287953420_95047075a7_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/G3YCGd)
A Noon Hour walk around Downtown Camden,New Jersey - Camden City Hall & Roosevelt Plaza Park (https://flic.kr/p/G3YCGd) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1592/26468521002_ae4a0a00b4_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/GjW69o)
A Noon Hour walk around Downtown Camden,New Jersey - Camden City Hall & Roosevelt Plaza Park (https://flic.kr/p/GjW69o) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

??? Project?

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1625/25955858304_9223cda346_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FxCyom)
A Noon Hour walk around Downtown Camden,New Jersey - Downtown Redevelopment (https://flic.kr/p/FxCyom) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

Subaru HQ site

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1460/26494782481_0ce745e9a3_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/GnfFLv)
Future Suburu HQ in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/GnfFLv) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

New Cooper University Hospital building

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1719/26287966300_d718f2641b_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/G3YGwh)
Cooper University Hospital in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/G3YGwh) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

North of Downtown

Cooper Point

New Senior Housing on State Street

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1718/25955858114_83ae5f19ae_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FxCyk5)
Senior Housing in Cooper Point - Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/FxCyk5) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

Salvation Army Center

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1554/26287953110_6bc63e2744_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/G3YCAS)
The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/G3YCAS) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

Cramer Hill

Daylighting at Von Nieda Park

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1476/26560851195_125ed283d2_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Gt6iGg)
Daylighting at Von Nieda Park in Cramer Hill - Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/Gt6iGg) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1509/26560851155_9e78515c37_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Gt6iFz)
Daylighting at Von Nieda Park in Cramer Hill - Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/Gt6iFz) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

South of Downtown

Newtown & Pine Street Community Garden

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1609/26560850895_2cdf465f15_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Gt6iB6)
Newtown & Pine Community Garden in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/Gt6iB6) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1638/26494783381_39357108e3_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/GnfG32)
Newtown & Pine Community Garden in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/GnfG32) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

The Neighborhood Center

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1465/25955871524_58d0666266_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FxCCjh)
The Neighborhood Center in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/FxCCjh) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1450/26560865195_ed7be91afc_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Gt6nRD)
Community Garden at The Neighborhood Center in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/Gt6nRD) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

Porous Concrete Sidewalk

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1638/26494783291_f9879b3ab2_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/GnfG1t)
porous concrete sidewalk on Kaighn Street in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/GnfG1t) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

South of Downtown

Royden Street

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1510/26468520472_ee90dff4cc_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/GjW5Zf)
Royden Street in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/GjW5Zf) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1611/26468520242_a8081269f0_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/GjW5Vh)
Royden Street in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/GjW5Vh) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1521/26560864535_dc15dabbc0_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Gt6nEg)
Royden Street in Camden,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/Gt6nEg) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

Steven Elliott
April 22nd, 2016, 01:41 PM
Great to see some development in Camden, especially considering some of the SJ suburbs have struggled to get decent projects underway.