Subaru won’t be moving too far when it relocates its American headquarters, but it could venture beyond the Garden State.
Now based in Cherry Hill, N.J., Subaru is Camden County’s second largest employer after Campbell’s. Cherry Hill received almost half a million dollars in property taxes from the carmaker last year.
“We’re trying to stay local,” said company spokesman Mike McHale.
“When you make these announcements … people think you’re moving to Los Angeles. That’s not the case,” he said. “We’re looking to stay within the area, within the Delaware Valley area.”
Subaru has grown, and wants to find one location that could support a total of 600 employees. McHale confirmed one possible site is Philadelphia’s Navy Yard business district.
Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey are trying to entice the company.
Cherry Hill’s township council has just approved vetting two potential locations for possible designation as “redevelopment zones.” The designation would make it possible to cut property taxes for a new tenant, according to Bridget Palmer, a township spokeswoman. She said Cherry Hill is being proactive.
“Certainly we realize that we need to be competitive with any incentive package that’s put forward, so we’ve reached out and spoken to the lieutenant governor’s office, the state Economic Development Authority,” she said. “I know that Camden County’s been a part of the discussion too.”
A Philadelphia official who’s taken part in conversations with Subaru said the company could be eligible for 10 years of tax incentives. The company expects to decide on a location by the end of the year.
Editor’s note 6/14/13: This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Subaru’s new headquarters, wherever it is located, will ultimately hold 600 employees.