This structure is a grand vestige of Camden’s great industrial past. Given the important role the Victor Talking Machine Company, its successor the Radio Corporation of America and few other select industrial giants played in the rise of Camden, the likelihood of the structure’s eligibility to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, perhaps even to National Historic Landmark Status, seems irrefutable although no formal determination has been rendered at the time of this list.
Situated on an entire city block bounded by Delaware Avenue and Market, Cooper and Front Streets, it is not far from the Delaware River in the once densely developed downtown industrial zone. The Nipper Building’s current neighborhood has been thinned considerably—surface parking lots are more numerous than remaining industrial buildings. The original Campbell Soup Company plant and headquarters were located directly across the street. Campbell’s complex was razed in 1990 for new Martin Marietta building. The recently completed New Jersey State Aquarium, Sony Entertainment Center and riverfront development are several blocks to south and west of the structure.
Developer announced plans to convert the factory to residential units, but hazardous materials remediation and developer’s financing remains an issue.
-Carl Dranoff has agreed to buy the building with the plans of turning them into 500 luxury apartments ($50 million, contingent on private financing)
-2000 press was released a bit too early on the apartment developments, right now (8/23) there is a land deed restriction upon the site due to chemical hazards, issued by GE when it left the site in 91. CFDA is in the process of working with Lockheed Martin on the cleanup, searching for funding
-hope to finish a remedial work plan by fall and to start the cleanup next spring
-3rd quarter of 2001 would like to hand over deed to Dranoff for apartment style lofts
The Philadelphia based developer, Dranoff Properties completed a one year, $ 58 million restoration in 2003. The property has been converted into 341 unit luxury water-front loft apartments ready for occupancy in 2003.
Ed Fox, NJ State Office of Planning
P.O. Box 378
Collingswood, NJ 08108-0378
Bob Thompson, Hist pres specialist city of Camden,
Historic Review Comm. Room 409, City Hall
Camden, NJ NJ