PEMBERTON TWP. — Pemberton needs commercial development and job opportunities for residents, said Daniel Hornickel, the town’s business administrator.
And within a year, the township will get a new warehouse and about 130 jobs to go with it, according to the director of construction for 200 South Pemberton Urban Renewal LLC., the company building the warehouse.
The 462,000 square-foot facility will sit at 200 South Pemberton Road and employ residents of Pemberton and its surrounding area, the director added. The company is building the warehouse for another business to occupy.
“That means being able to ship individual packages to consumers from the facility,” the director said.
Urban Renewal LLC has set the foundation for the building at the South Pemberton Road site. But it probably won’t be able to open the warehouse until February or March due to a nationwide shortage of structural steel, according to company officials.
That means jobs won’t be filled until around the end of the year, the director said.
But township officials are willing to stay patient, according to Hornickel. That’s because Pemberton has had a tough time redeveloping its economy over the last couple decades, he said.
“We do have our share of unemployed residents,” he added.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the three U.S. Military bases in the Pemberton area merged into one, the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and built larger fencing and developed more on-base retail options. The changes started keeping base families away from the downtown Browns Mills district, located within Pemberton Township, just a few miles away, according to Hornickel.
Then, between 2015 and 2020, two of the town’s biggest employers, Burlington County College and a county prison and juvenile detention center, moved out of Pemberton.
So now, township officials are looking to attract companies that can provide employment opportunities. And with their open space along South Pemberton Road, low annual tax rate of $1.027 per $1,000 of value and resident base of almost 28,000, they believe they are well-suited to become another South Jersey warehouse town.
“A warehouse can provide for anyone,” Hornickel said.
The director said Urban Renewal chose Pemberton because it wasn’t as sought-after by other companies building warehouses in the region.
Town officials are hoping that the warehouse is just the first step in a long-term redevelopment. In February, the township council declared a different property on South Pemberton Road a redevelopment area as well.
Hornickel said the township would like to see the other area utilized for light industrial and office purposes. The next step is for a company to make a request to the council to be designated as the redeveloper, which could happen in the next month or two, said the administrator.
The township is also marketing vacant properties in Browns Mills for commercial redevelopment.
“We welcome the development,” Hornickel said.
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