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How Urban Transit Hub benefited Campbell's

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It's amazing what soup can do, as Campbell's ads once declared. It's also amazing what incentives can do when you have the right ingredients for a development project.

In 2011, Campbell got a $41.2 million tax credit under Urban Transit Hub to renovate its headquarters, an award that fell to $34.2 million after the company announced plans to eliminate 130 jobs in Camden, where it has been based since 1869.

It's one of only two Urban Transit Hub awards the city ever got.

Richard Landers, Campbell's vice president of tax and real estate, said in an email that the company participated in and supported the Urban Transit Hub, but "the new legislation clearly improves upon it."

Campbell's close eye on how the new incentives will play out in Camden has little to do with soup and everything to do with redevelopment. Besides investing more than $130 million into its headquarters, Landers said, the company serves as the master redeveloper of the planned Gateway Office Park, a 50-acre site surrounding the Campbell campus.

Landers said Campbell is looking to work with a developer in an effort to attract businesses to the proposed office park, and the "new economic development reforms will prove valuable" to the process.

Having a large company like Campbell involved from a development standpoint is a big asset, Anthony Perno said.

"We've not had a powerhouse like that before assisting in this process," Perno said of Campbell.

E-mail to:  andrewg@njbiz.com
On Twitter:  @andrgeorge

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