In 2003, the Garden State Park racetrack ceased operations as a venue for horseracing, trade shows and numerous community events. World-renowned Turnberry Associates of Aventura, Florida, completed initial site plans for a mixed-use development. Through a partnership with local developers JMP Holdings and M&M Realty Partners of Clifton, New Jersey, a combination of residential, office and commercial development is growing everyday. The New Jersey Transit rail station at the site provides transportation to Philadelphia and Atlantic City. As part of the estimated $500 million plan, there will be an approximately one million square-foot corporate center and an upscale lifestyle center known as Towne Place at Garden State Park with retail shops and small restaurants, cafés, and offices.
The revitalization of the Garden State Park is expected to bring more than 4,000 permanent jobs to the Township and will generate substantial additional tax revenues when completed. Phase IA, the Marketplace at Garden State Park is now complete and consists of 520,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, including a 134,000-square-foot Home Depot and a 130,000-square-foot Wegmans Food Markets store. Wegmans will also be opening a new wine and spirits store in 2011.
Phase IB, Plaza Grande at Garden State Park, consists of 608 age-restricted condominiums currently under construction by nationally-renowned builder D.R. Horton of Ft. Worth, Texas.
The Cherry Hill Mall, owned by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), includes anchor stores Nordstrom, Macy's, J.C. Penney, and Old Navy. The Cherry Hill Mall was the first enclosed shopping mall on the East Coast and still attracts thousands of shoppers daily from southern New Jersey, Philadelphia and other parts of the Delaware Valley. PREIT has completed a major facelift of the Mall, and has attracted numerous new tenants since taking ownership such as Urban Outfitter’s, Sephora, Arden B, Godiva and more. They have also created the new Restaurant Row home to Magianno’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Seasons 42, and Capital Grille and many others.
The adjacent Hillview Shopping Center contains 350,000 square feet of retail space including Target and Kohl's stores. The Plaza at Cherry Hill, also adjacent to the Mall site, is home to Raymour & Flanigan, Sam Ash Music, Total Wine and The Guitar Center.
Of the twenty-five (25) largest County private-sector employers, 44% are located in the Township, located in buildings such as the Beowulf Plaza, a model for "flexible office" space, along with the landmark Subaru of America building, Commerce Center, Commerce Bank Atrium, and Liberty View Center. All these buildings are monuments of design and demonstrate the ongoing success and desirability of the Township as a corporate center. The Township is also home to some of the largest international companies in southern New Jersey including Subaru, Pinnacle Foods (Duncan Hines, Vlasic and more), and Commerce Bancorp. The Township is also home to the Cherry Hill Industrial Sites, a continually expanding, high-tech multi-tenant complex with a high occupancy rate.
Exciting redevelopment successes in Cherry Hill include the 296,000-square-foot Vornado Shopping Center on Route 38 and the 370,000-square-foot former Langston Steel Plant on Woodcrest Road. During the summer of 2004, the consulting firm EDS (Towers Perrin) moved approximately 1,000 employees to the Langston Steel site, now known as the Woodcrest Corporate Center. The Center’s developer, O’Neill Properties, converted the site into Class A office space providing a premier, thoroughly modern and comfortable working environment.
In January 2005, a 142,000-square-foot Wal-Mart store opened in the Vornado Shopping Center at Route 38 and Cuthbert Boulevard. The world’s largest retailer joined anchor Toys R Us at the shopping center and offers both a garden and auto center. The Township worked with the developer to revise designs of the building’s exterior. The building features a partially-brick-faced façade with classic architectural features that differentiate the Cherry Hill Wal-Mart from other stores in the chain. The site also includes increased open space. Cherry Hill officials also met with the Wal-Mart developers and the neighbors to address their needs and concerns. In conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Camden County Soil Conservation District, the Township worked to make improvements to drainage and water filtration methods at the Wal-Mart site.
Other recent success stories also include Mercedes-Benz of Cherry Hill, which chose to keep its business location in Cherry Hill rather than relocate elsewhere. A vacant Township-owned former hotel, the Rickshaw Inn, sat unused and untaxable for six years at its prominent Route 70 location. Today, the site has new life as the striking, state-of-the-art home of the Township's Mercedes-Benz dealer. Meanwhile, the auto retailer’s former Cherry Hill site has now reopened as Subaru of Cherry Hill’s retail sales location.
The Township's investment in infrastructure and its long-term strategic planning have resulted in millions of dollars in private investment in several corporate office parks. The Executive Campus- built in the 1970s as a state-of-the-art office complex- declined through the 1980s. With a 50% occupancy rate, the buildings in the park were subject to foreclosures and bankruptcies. Aggressive redevelopment initiatives by the Township saved the park. Matrix Development Group, Brandywine Realty Trust, BGP and others have purchased the office buildings, invested millions of dollars in improvements and turned the Executive Office Campus around. Now home to GE Capital, Stone & Webster, Cooper Health System, and the New Jersey Department of Transportation, it is at nearly 95% occupancy. The hub of office buildings along King’s Highway known as the Cherry Hill Office Center (built in the 1960s) had also declined by the 1980s to a 40% occupancy rate, but due to on-going renovations and the convenient location, occupancy is now at 98%.
The hospitality industry has expanded in Cherry Hill. The Holiday Inn Cherry Hill and the Crowne Plaza Hotel have undergone multi-million dollar renovations and the Township is home to two extended-stay hotels. Several restaurants have found a new home in Cherry Hill, including the Cheesecake Factory, McCormick & Schmick’s, Longhorn Steakhouse, Blue2O, Silver Diner and Famous Dave's Barbeque.
The banking industry has also expanded with the explosive growth of Cherry Hill-based Commerce Bank, recently purchased by TD Bank. The recent opening of two new Beneficial Bank branches have followed the openings of Liberty Bank, World Savings Bank, and The Bank, which is based in neighboring Gloucester County, New Jersey. We are also home to corporate offices for TD Bank.