Retail Attracted to New Rutgers Student Housing in Camden

CAMDEN – A new 12-story student housing facility at Rutgers–Camden is positioned to reinvigorate retail growth in Camden’s University District even as it prepares to welcome its first student residents.

Rutgers–Camden’s newest residence hall will house three businesses —7-Eleven, Subway, and Three Chiles Grill – that will be open for business and serving members of both the Rutgers and Camden communities this fall.

In addition to providing additional retail dining and convenience store access in Camden, the new businesses are expected to bring 35 to 55 new jobs into the city.

The retailers will be located in 7,000 square feet of space on the street level of the Rutgers–Camden residence hall, which is located at 330 Cooper Street. Built by the Camden County Improvement Authority and owned by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the $55 million facility accommodates 350 students in state-of-the-art apartments.

“When Rutgers started this project, we recognized the opportunity to create a center that will serve our host city as well as our campus community,” says Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Wendell Pritchett. “The inclusion of these retail operations attracts jobs to the city and builds upon the vitality of Camden’s University and Waterfront Districts.

“During the next few years, Rutgers–Camden intends to grow its enrollment significantly, with approximately 2,000 students living on or near campus. This critical mass of students living, studying, and working in Camden will be a strong attraction for retail and residential development in the University District and Camden Waterfront sections of our city.”

The 7-Eleven store at the Rutgers–Camden housing facility will be a company-owned location that will employ approximately 10-15 workers. “7-Eleven offers many products and services that meet the needs of college students, those on the run and who want both treats and fresh foods,” observes Margaret Chabris, director of corporate communications for 7-Eleven.

The Subway store will create approximately 10-20 new jobs while delivering meal options for its customers. “There are over 400 colleges across the world that have Subway restaurants, and we are excited to bring our famous submarine sandwiches to the Rutgers–Camden campus. Busy college students turn to Subway restaurants to grab a fresh, made-to-order sandwich or salad as a healthier alternative to traditional greasy fast food,” says Sharon Smith, Subway development agent for southern New Jersey.

Three Chiles Grill will offer a menu of southwestern foods with options for in-house dining and take-out service. The restaurant will be managed by Rutgers Dining Services, which expects to hire an additional 15-20 workers to staff the location.

The addition of new jobs and retail opportunities in Camden has engendered positive reaction from city and regional leaders.

“The City is proud to welcome 7-Eleven and Subway to Camden and historic Cooper Street,” Mayor Dana L. Redd says. “It is truly an exciting time here in Camden as redevelopment efforts continue to transform the downtown and its neighborhoods. These new business additions are yet another example that Camden is on the rise and open for business opportunities.”

New Jersey State Senator Donald Norcross (D.-5) notes that “Rutgers–Camden is an engine for job growth and economic and community development in our region. This new student residence hall will attract the best and the brightest to Rutgers–Camden and to southern New Jersey, while the convenience of 7-Eleven, Subway, and Three Chiles Grill will be a great benefit for Rutgers students, Camden residents, and everyone who works in or visits the city.”

“As the new dorm at Rutgers–Camden opens its doors, we see even more examples of how an ‘eds and meds’ strategy for redevelopment in downtown Camden can work,” says Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. “We welcome Subway and 7-Eleven as part of the downtown mix of retail businesses and look forward to more development of this kind as more people reside in the downtown area.”

Financed by Rutgers, the construction was managed by the Camden County Improvement Authority. The 330 Cooper Street facility represents the first new student housing for Rutgers–Camden since 1989, when the Rutgers–Camden Tower opened to welcome residential undergraduate students. The Rutgers–Camden residential complex currently serves approximately 520 undergraduate and graduate students, and includes the Rutgers–Camden Apartments, which opened in 1986.

The new structure includes the creation of student gathering spaces; a fitness center; a mail room; a business center with study space; and a roof deck that will be accessible from the residential tower. Students will begin to move into the facility in August.

Subway, 7-Eleven, and Three Chiles Grill will open for business this fall. Each business anticipates maintaining day and evening hours; 7-Eleven will be open 24 hours daily.

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