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Camden’s History: Past, Present, and The Future

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Camden's history over the bridge

Camden’s History

A brief look at Camden’s History. Purchased by Richard Arnold and William Cooper between 1680 and 1682, Camden was originally referred to as Cooper’s Point, and later renamed Camden by Jacob Cooper, Charles Pratt,and the Earl of Camden from the United Kingdom. By 1688, a ferry was being operated across the Delaware River, connecting Philadelphia to then West Jersey (now South Jersey) for trading purposes. The ferry, which was located on Ferry Street, was established by William Royden but later abandoned. The Cooper family took over the ferry in 1695 and would allow the ferry to make stops along the coast of the Delaware River. People started to settle at these points, and these settlements make up what is now, the beautiful city of Camden.

Throughout the 1700s taverns, several hotels, pleasure gardens and ferry houses were being built throughout the city.  These Ferry Houses were eventually torn down but to this day, only one remains; the Benjamin Cooper House. The house was built in 1734, and was owned and lived in by the Cooper Family, and was used as the headquarters of British Lieutenant Colonel Abercrombie during the Revolutionary War.

Expansion of the City of Camden

In the first half of the 1800’s we see the city of Camden become more and more residential. Several lots across different sections of Camden were being sold at very fair prices to crowds coming in from South Jersey and Philadelphia. Between the years of 1870 and 1920, the cities population grew from 20,000 to 116,000 people. Early settlers were mostly of German, British, and Irish heritage. By the early 1900s, Italians and Eastern Europeans were dominating the town, and people could often be found socializing at their local synagogue or church.

Polish immigrants brought baroque architecture, the Jewish community started the first Orthodox synagogue in South Jersey, and Italians brought great influence over the cities politics and economy.

Camden at it’s core is a melting pot!

Camden continued to grow and by 1821, the city had its very own newspaper, the American Star. With a rising population, brought a growth in industry. Some of the industries were blacksmith, several factories, iron works, chemical plants, and a nickel works, which supplied a majority of the nickels manufactured for the U.S. The city also had some success with their rail line, the Amboy Transportation Service, which ran between Camden and Amboy. Following that success, Camden continued on with another great rail service, which journeyed from Camden to Atlantic City.

RCA-Victor, The “Nipper Building”

The RCA Victor is a major piece of Camden’s history.  Since their founding in 1919, RCA Records has produced many timeless artists such as Elvis Presley, Lou Reed, and more recently, Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters. Although the company’s current headquarters are in New York City, their first headquarters was right here in Camden, New Jersey. In 1896, Eldridge Johnson developed a spring motor for a hand-cranked music player that would be able to consistently spin a disk for music listening pleasure.

Johnson started manufacturing records by 1900 to be played on what he coined the “His Master’s Voice.” Johnson did so well with his “Victor Talking Machine” that in 1929, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) merged with his company. RCA-Victor made Camden into a center for broadcast, and RCA helped in the development of television. In 1969, RCA also played a role in the moon landing, by making it possible to communicate with Buzz Aldrin, Jr. from space with the use of a backpack radio system that was built in Camden.

Currently, The RCA-Victor are luxury apartments, repurposed by Dranoff Properties.

Great Camden Theater and Movie Houses

Camden’s history with theaters has always been rich and lively, from staging Vaudeville performances, theater plays, live concerts, and eventually showing films. Camden’s first theater was called “The Temple Theater” which opened in 1892. One very notable theater house was The Stanley. The Stanley opened February 19th, 1926 and brought in a big crowd from Philadelphia who at the time had a ban on Sunday entertainment.

The Stanley featured big names like Joe E. Brown whom you might recognize from films such as “Some Like It Hot” and “Around the World in Eighty Days”. Other notable figures who have performed at the Theater were, Cass Daley, Mayris Chaney and Edward Fox, Cappy Barra’s Swing Harmonica Ensemble, as well as other acts.

Unfortunately as the silver screen started gaining traction, many theaters were converted into movie houses. Camden is also home to the first Drive-in Theater! Patented by Richard M. Hollingshead Jr. in the mid-1930’s, “Park-In Theatres Inc.” in Camden was America’s first drive-in.

Camden’s History: Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Knowing Camden’s history possessed early on in the creation of this incredible city. The progress of the city has been halted for a long period of time after the economy collapsed after the Second World War. Factories in the city were shut down, leaving the corner stone of Camden’s economy to plummet.

In 2012, Camden’s violent crime rate was recorded at 2,566 for every 100,000 people. In 2011, 42.5% of the city was living below the poverty line, with the average household income at $21,191 per year. In 2012, only 49% of high school students were able to graduate. This allowed Camden to eventually become one of the most dangerous cities in America labeled by Neighborhood Scout.

Furthering Education in Camden

Despite being known as one of America’s most dangerous cities, the people of Camden are now doing their part to try and restore Camden to the bustling city it once was. One topic in particular that the city of Camden wants to focus on in continuing their education. With universities like Rutgers Camden, Rowan, and even Camden County College, it has given the community and city hope. Rutgers Camden is now making it even easier for Camden residents to continue their education. With the university’s new “Bridge the Gap” campaign, New Jersey residents with families making less then $60,000 will have their tuition waived. If the family is making between $60,001 and $100,000, Rutgers Camden will cover half of the student’s tuition.

Camden is hoping to bring Community Schools to town as well. Which will provide health and social services during and after regular school hours. New York and Cincinnati have recently implemented these programs successfully. Allison Steele from Philly.com says that community school models can make available for students, “anything from medical clinics and food banks to day care and after-school tutoring.” It is said that this program has resulted in student performance, and has grown graduation rates.

Future Business In Camden

Under the New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act, Camden has made it even more exciting to work in Camden. By giving out incentives to large businesses in Camden, the city has cemented over $2.1 billion dollars in development to create a vibrant business community throughout the city. These incentives are an attempt to create jobs and help redevelop the town’s economy.

Organizations like the Philadelphia 76ers have not only built their new practice facility in Camden, but also are bringing their entire corporate headquarters to Camden. This act will bring over 250 jobs into the city. Lockheed and Martin is another company coming to Camden. They too are bringing in upwards of 250 jobs to the city. Formally Cherry Hill’s headquartered Subaru is developing their brand new headquarters near the current Campbell’s Soup off, giving the city an additional 500 jobs to the region. Holtec International are creating 3,000 jobs over 5 years and 10,000 jobs over the next few decades, all of which are to be Camden residents. Together with Camden County College, Holtec is working to put programs in place to teach the skills needed for a vibrant work environment.

The Future of Camden

Despite Camden’s history, the city is destined to be great.

If you look at the infrastructure and geographic landscape of the city, there is no reason why Camden New Jersey can’t be the next Silicon Valley. Located in-between two of the busiest and affluent cities in America (Philadelphia and New York City), the city of Camden can pull resources from both sides and also be the bridge for startups and tech professionals to work, learn, network, and of course have fun!

Companies like Cooper’s Ferry are allowing startups to grow in the city, but with newer startups like GoQuest, the city of Camden hopes that this is the beginning of a new tech boom for innovation, entrepreneurship, and tech.

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Why Amazon’s Second HQ Should Choose Nashville

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Amazon's Second HQ

Nashville is amongst 20 cities being considered for Amazon’s second headquarters site. The “Country Music Capital of the World” hopes to boost their state’s job market with the new Amazon Headquarters. Amazon’s second HQ expects to invest more than $5 billion to build the 8-million-square-foot facility and promises to create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs over the next 15 years. Before any decisions are made, the company created specific requirements to be met for each city. Some of the requirements include a metropolitan area with over a million people, a time distance of 45 minutes from an international airport, direct access to public transportation, and to be able to expand 8 million square feet in the next decade.

The Unemployment rate is on the rise in Nashville. City officials have their sights set on the on the jobs that Amazon’s Second HQ will provide for 50,000 residents. “It is going to increase the size of the economy,” University of Tennessee Economist Bill Fox stated, “It is going to bring in a really highly skilled labor force that is not already there, a lot of community leaders. To have somebody with the worldwide vision of Amazon look at Nashville and say, ‘This is the place we want to be’ is really good for the brand.”

The aspect of new jobs may not be enough for some to welcome the online retailer with open arms. Residents of Nashville fear the new site would affect the housing market for low income families  in the process. “If you look at the size of Nashville, a headquarters like this bringing tens of thousands of jobs, it’s going to radically affect what the housing landscape looks like,” said Javier Vivas, Realtor.com’s director of economic research. Amazon’s decision creates an atmosphere for the conservation of gentrification not only for Nashville, but the other 19 cities in the running. “We have a housing crisis now and all this would do is throw gasoline on the fire,” said John Summers, a former Metro Council member who now leads the Coalition for Nashville Neighborhoods. “We cannot build affordable housing to replace what’s being lost by the rapid gentrification in all of our inner-city neighborhoods.”

The community of Nashville are now able to broadcast their opinions on Amazon. While state officials deal with the financial benefits, agencies and businesses within Nashville are now able to give insight on their city as well. This is why Amazon’s second HQ should choose Nashville.

If you are an agency from Nashville, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmagazine.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji

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Why Amazon’s Second Headquarters Should Choose Northern Virginia

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Amazon’s second headquarters

Among the top 20 shortlist for Amazon’s second headquarters, Northern, Virginia is not a stranger to the massive tech company. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have frequently conducted business in the region. Bezos is known to own The Washington Post and Amazon’s cloud service AWS is situated in a huge data center in the northern Virginia region. It is no surprise that Northern, VA is listed on the list. This region proved to be a safe home for Bezos’ businesses, it would only make sense that Northern, VA is the next home for HQ2.

While the nation waits for the announcements of Amazon’s second headquarters, speculations rise as Amazon employees crowd ARLnow.com. The local news-source for Arlington Virginia have reported major traffic from an internal Amazon site. The article reporting the county’s green building council had received over 6,000 page views and 3,500 visitors from an Amazon web page that is only visible to Amazon employees. Amazon’s interest in the community’s dedication to sustainability is predicted to help the company’s future development of a sustainable building of their own.

The area is surrounded by copious international airports including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Richmond International Airport for Amazon’s consideration  of transportation. The bid for Amazon had reports of the Hub property as a potential site for Amazon’s second headquarters. This 85-acre undeveloped location is near the Dulles Airport, perfect for Amazon’s demands.

Amazon’s second headquarters

Amazon announced that they are developing a second headquarter of up to 8 million square feet in order to accommodate 50,000 workers. The plan to bring in 50,000 lucrative jobs to the new location will create billions of dollars in investment for the community. This opportunity for economic expansion does not come often, but neither does a perfect business location in Northern Virginia that is close to Bezos’ other businesses.

A possible site for Amazon’s second headquarters is on the border of Fairfax and Loudoun counties along Metro’s Silver Line. “We are very excited that Northern Virginia is included on the short list as a potential location for Amazon’s second headquarters,” spoke the chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Sharon Bulova. “Fairfax and Loudoun counties are able to offer a great quality of life coupled with an innovative and business friendly culture for future Amazon corporate neighbors and employees. With our highly educated and talented workforce and a location close to Dulles International Airport and a new Silver Line train station, we hope we will have the opportunity to welcome Amazon HQ2 to Virginia.”

Small businesses and agencies within Virginia are able share their professional insight to Amazon now as well. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Virginia.

If you are an agency from Virginia, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmagazine.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji

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Why The Second Amazon Headquarters Should Choose Toronto

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Second Amazon Headquarters

Amazon is considering their first international city for their second Amazon headquarters. The bids for HQ2 have reached Mexican regions too but the tech company have their eyes on Toronto. Prior to this announcement, Toronto has been established as a major technology center. Their advancement will only grow from here, perhaps even more when Amazon arrives.

The city reported that they are not offering Amazon much financial incentives, but is offering a 100-acre land as a potential site for their second Amazon headquarters that is approximately close to downtown Toronto. Although this site is outside of the United States border, Toronto is the best option for the innovative company.

The mayor of Toronto, John Troy expressed how proud he was of the city when Toronto attracted Amazon without offering significant tax breaks. Toronto does not have to resort to selling themselves for the second Amazon headquarters, unlike other competitors on the top 20 shortlist. Toronto is already home to a significant Google engineering operation, a major artificial research center and quantum computing institute. Due to the massive influence in technology, there are plans to direct Toronto’s waterfront into a massive tech-city for the near future. This environment will foster Amazon and future companies moving to Toronto.

 Second Amazon Headquarters

The second Amazon headquarters require proximity to a metropolitan area with a large population for employment, mass transit, an area that is 45 minutes from an international airport, and an 8-million-square-foot facility that will eventually expand to 740,000 square metres over the next decade. Toronto would be an ideal location to attract talent from overseas. This move will put Amazon’s name outside of the United States and begin their serious international affairs. North America acknowledged the massive tech company’s capability when Jeff Bezos was announced as the richest man alive in 2017. After Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos dethrones Bill Gates, the entrepreneur should look to invest in talent from overseas. This plan can start with a move to Toronto for the second Amazon headquarters.

Toronto holds a strong quality of life. Canada is notorious for their free healthcare, something that the United States is lacking. The affordable area is attractive to employees. “We’re excited to have this opportunity and to be able to tell Toronto’s unique story,” told John Troy. “There is no other place in North America that can boast the same talent, the same quality of life, the same vibrancy, the same economic strength.”

Small businesses and agencies within Toronto are able share their professional insight to Amazon now as well. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Toronto.

If you are an agency from Toronto, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmagazine.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji

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