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Camden Warehouse Development on Admiral Wilson

Camden Warehouse Development on Admiral Wilson
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A 279,600 square foot warehouse is currently under development in Camden NJ along Admiral Wilson Boulevard. The full complex will eventually include a second warehouse building of 132,000 square feet, and the full complex will be called the Matrix Business Center – Admiral Wilson.

The property is along the slight curve of Admiral Wilson Boulevard (Rt 30) between 17th and 19th streets.  A water retention basin will sit along the highway side of the property. 

Admiral Wilson Boulevard at 17th street. The property on the right is being developed as a warehouse. The building on the left is the Bush Refrigeration building (provided as location reference). Image: Google Street Maps

As a landmark reference from Admiral Wilson, the Bush Refrigeration building is across the street (17th) at the corner, and further back is the dilapidated former Keystone Leather Company Complex.  Additionally, on the 19th Street side of the property, across the street is Millennium Skate World.

While I do not have the site plans which were provided to the Camden City Planning Board, marketing materials prepared by the developer show that the entrance to 17th Street off of Admiral Wilson Boulevard will be adjusted so that traffic (trucks) traveling West on Admiral Wilson will have an easier to navigate and more gradual turn off of the busy highway onto the local 17th Street roadway.

Matrix Development is developing a 279,600 sf warehouse in Camden NJ. Philadelphia is seen in the background. Developers hope the proximity to Philadelphia will draw tenant(s) to the new building

Matrix Business Center – Admiral Wilson

For the new warehouse, the developer states they do not have a tenant signed on as of yet but they feel that the location being less than a 1.5 miles from the Ben Franklin Bridge should be very attractive for a “last mile e-commerce delivery center” supporting Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

The location provides fast access to the densely populated Center City area of Philadelphia, as well as South Jersey communities such as Pennsauken, Cherry Hill and more.

The underdevelopment warehouse in Camden is just 1.4 miles to the Ben Franklin Bridge, with easy access to all of the area’s main highways.

“Last Mile E-Commerce Delivery Center” refers to warehouses where smaller box trucks pick up merchandise before heading out for local deliveries to homes and businesses.  Purely as an example, the Amazon van delivering to your home likely picked up your merchandise at an Amazon operated warehouse which is identified as a Last-Mile distribution center.

Admittedly with the Western portion of Camden County having been mostly fully developed for decades, it is a rare opportunity to have an all-new construction warehouse of over 250,000 sq ft developed… amongst the densely populated communities, and proximity to Philadelphia.

Matrix Development is developing a new warehouse along Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Camden.

This Camden parcel of land was previously targeted for a new shopping center with a ShopRite grocery store as its anchor tenant.   Plans for the supermarket were touted in 2013, but a Philadelphia Inquirer article in 2016 stated that the supermarket plans had fallen through.

Not too long afterwards, Matrix Development out of Middlesex County New Jersey proposed the idea of developing the extended property as warehouse space.

In 2020, Matrix was approved for a single “e-commerce” warehouse but then somewhat quickly they came back to the Camden City Planning Board for approval to develop two warehouse buildings, including the much larger space that is currently under development. (Courier-Post)

Camden Warehouse under development on Admiral Wilson (Image: Matrix Development)

The new plan includes two warehouse buildings and the larger of the two at 279,600 sf, is under construction now. It was approved for a maximum of 86 loading docks (although there is some flexibility for the future tenant to have fewer), 50 trailer parking spaces and 162 car parking spaces.

Those car parking spaces could be utilized for warehouse staff parking, as well as delivery vehicle employees and the overnight parking of the delivery trucks.

A marketing document at the developer’s website (which is focused only on the initial larger building) calls the complex “Matrix Business Center  – Admiral Wilson”.

Camden Warehouse under development on Admiral Wilson (Image: Matrix Development)

They described the building as a state-of-the-art warehouse, being distinguished by:

  • 40 foot clear height
  • 50 foot column spacing
  • ESFR sprinklers
  • Generous dock doors (41 in current configuration, but supporting up to 86)
  • Plentiful car and trailer parking
  • High Roadway Visibility

The document also touts tax benefits of its location, not being subject to costly taxes such as the Philadelphia Business and Receipts Tax (BIRT), Business Use and Occupancy Tax and City Wage Taxes.

The marketing document further goes on to describe the advantages of the location such as its close proximity to Philadelphia and South Jersey docks, the Philadelphia Airport, and the region’s major highways such as Routes 295, 95, 676, as well as Route 42/AC Expressway and the Turnpike.

Matrix Development is developing a 279,600 sf warehouse in Camden NJ. Image is looking back towards the Airport Circle

The second approved warehouse when developed will be 132,000 square feet, with 36 loading docks, 22 trailer parking spaces and 98 car parking spaces.

Articles associated with the initial 2020 plan state that the developer is not looking for any tax breaks from Camden City.

A Philadelphia Business Journal article in 2020 quotes the Matrix CEO as saying:

“I don’t know the last time a speculative development was done without tax credits in Camden. As a company, we are privately owned and we’re using private equity. That doesn’t happen too often in Camden. This is a total sign of confidence we can build it and bring someone there.”

Joseph Taylor, CEO of Matrix in December 2020 to the Philadelphia Business Journal

With the Camden City tax rate set at 3.361 (2022), Matrix could pay multiple tens of thousands in property taxes each month for the warehouse projects once completed.

Additionally the property that is being developed has been under utilized for decades, and the development of the new warehouses could lead to additional development in the area.

The remnants of the Keystone Leather Building in Camden NJ. With large projects under way in the area, maybe this dilapated property will see redevelopment.

Matrix Business Center – Admiral Wilson
332 S 17th Street and Admiral Wilson Blvd.
Camden NJ

Matrix Development