Sunday, October 6, 2013

Greater Philadelphia World Trade Center

You know what's scary about walking across the Ben Franklin Bridge to Camden? Camden.

It's a bizarre place, to put it nicely.

What's more terrifying than the Camden your faced with when exiting the New Jersey side of the Ben Franklin bridge is the Camden just on the other side.

That could change, although I emphasize "could."

Remember Philadelphia's proposed World Trade Center on the Delaware River? It found its way into the dreams of hopeful skyscraper nerds far after its inception and lingered long after it was dead, despite the fact that it was a downright ugly complex that looked like the product of a 1995 K-hole.

Well Camden's Waterfront Renaissance Associates haven't given up on the idea.

Deeming Philadelphia's Delaware River "no longer appropriate" (for no apparent reason), the Greater Philadelphia World Trade Center established in 2002, is eyeing the former site of Camden's Riverfront State Prison.

It's not a horrible idea. Philadelphia's World Trade Center is currently on JFK Boulevard. Despite available land in the West Market vicinity, it's pricy and development costs in the city can be prohibitive, particularly for projects of this size.

What Philadelphia's northern Delaware River once offered in the early 2000s, Camden now holds: cheap land and an eager municipality.

Camden's location in its own right is iffy, but its home to Cooper Medical, Rutgers, and the NJ State Aquarium. Despite the World Trade Center's proposed height, it appears to be largely suburbanized, the only architectural model that seems to work in NJ.

It's highly speculative at this point, but given Camden's national reputation it's not likely a site to be hounded by neighborhood opposition.

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