A True Community

A True Community

Mount Laurel is able to simultaneously grow business and improve its quality of life.

Home to more than 40,000 people, Mount Laurel has long been regarded as one of South Jersey’s coveted communities for a number of reasons. Property values are solid, taxes are favorable and the school system is one of the best in the region. And with picturesque parks, family-oriented entertainment options and desirable retail and dining choices, the overall quality of life is exactly what you’d look for in a suburban setting. All those contributing factors helped the township land at No. 16 on Money magazine’s 2020 rankings of the Best Places to Live in America.
 
But aside from being a wonderful place to raise a family, Mount Laurel holds the distinction of also being a great place to do business thanks to a supportive community and an advantageous location. Not only is the township conveniently nestled between major cities like Philadelphia and New York, but its accessibility to Route 295 and the Turnpike keep it closely connected to the rest of New Jersey. Add the fact that Mount Laurel has the third-most hotel rooms in the state—trailing only Newark and Atlantic City—and it’s easy to see the attraction for businesses both big and small.
 
The location offers tremendous access to employees and convenient access for client and business partner travel,” says Kristi Howell, president and CEO of the Burlington County Chamber of Commerce.
 
Howell also says the area’s business parks can fulfill a wide range of needs from class A to industrial and that municipal leadership goes the extra mile to provide a warm and welcoming community designed to help companies realize their full potential.
 
That is important as officials not only want to attract businesses, they also want to make sure they are set up for long-term success. To help them flourish, the township provides countless resources and a support system that encourages growth and stability through a collaboration of ideas and resources.
 
Bill Giegerich serves as Mount Laurel’s Director of Economic and Community Development and says this purposeful approach has been instrumental in establishing the township’s reputation as a major hub for any number of businesses.
 
“I believe that Mount Laurel Township offers a diverse built-in workforce. It is a viable workforce that offers a variety of education and skill levels that can help sustain a company’s employment needs as they continue to grow,” Giegerich says. “The effective leadership of Mount Laurel’s local officials plays a crucial role in attracting businesses to the area. The administration prides itself on being business-friendly and fostering a collaborative relationship between all government entities and businesses in the township.”
 
Having that type of foundation in place has been extremely beneficial according to Eunide Alexandre, managing director of Alexandre Contracting (formerly known as HelpForce), a commercial and residential construction solutions provider. Alexandre says the shared interest between business owners and township leaders has proven to be a real asset.
 
“We were inspired by the close bonds among the town’s community members and its rich networks of entrepreneurs that strive to support each other on many business fronts. We’ve joined with local business owners to collaborate and exchange ideas, share resources and build our capacities,” she says. “We are positive and confident that the network’s synergy will go a long way in expanding our company’s capacity to reach and serve more customers while continuing to support the community.”
 
Bohler Engineering has locations across the state and throughout the country, but makes its South Jersey home in Mount Laurel. While being in close proximity to its roster of clients is certainly a draw, so too is the opportunity to recruit homegrown talent.
 
Mount Laurel is located within close proximity to quality engineering schools within Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia. Through our strong culture of empowering ambitious people to accomplish their goals, we’ve been able to attract, retain and expand a skillful and passionate team of engineers and designers,” says Gregory S. DiBona, branch manager.
 
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound on almost every aspect of our lives and the business world certainly has not been immune to its consequences. With more people working from home and less office space being utilized, the path forward will require some ingenuity, but Howell is confident that Mount Laurel will be at the forefront of South Jersey’s continued economic recovery.
 
“In recent years, [the township] was booming with office space and professional services, but this is changing,” she says. “However, Mount Laurel is resilient and I know that property owners and government officials will be able to find innovative solutions. We will once again see these office parks bustling with new business.”
 
DiBona says despite the uncertainty that the pandemic has caused, he sees Mount Laurel showing signs of strength and that things are progressing in a positive direction.
 
Business in the Mount Laurel region remains strong, and land development projects are booming specifically within the residential and industrial market sectors,” he says, adding that Bohler has been playing an important role in helping real estate professionals identify opportunities.
 
To that end, Alexandre has also noticed an uptick in interest in both commercial and residential real estate in the area as businesses locate their services here and employees look to make Mount Laurel their home.
 
“There is an increased demand for modern housing and commercial buildings in Mount Laurel that has led to an increased demand for construction services. Our company saw an opportunity and is focused on being a positive contributor to the town’s development while addressing
community needs,” says Alexandre.
 
Giegerich says it only makes sense for businesses to plant their roots in Mount Laurel. The township is continuously investing in its infrastructure and the commercial tax rate is quite favorable compared to nearby areas. And it’s a two-way street, as the strong commercial base helps keep the residential tax rate stable, which benefits those who want to live close to work.
 
“Companies want to locate where people enjoy living. Mount Laurel offers plenty of community amenities including access to medical care, retail shopping, education, recreational activities and community events,” he says. “The business community plays a huge part in fostering that sense of community and the quality of life that the township residents enjoy.”
 
Adding to the buzz around town has been several recent projects that have taken shape:
• The Allegro Development Company has received a use variance approval for a nearly 57,000-square-foot, four-story senior living facility. The property will consist of 96 units for independent living, 53 units for assisted living and 21 units for memory care for a total of 170 units and 203 beds.
• The newly rebranded Samaritan moved its headquarters to a new facility in Mount Laurel on Church Road earlier this year. When COVID-19 safety guidelines are lifted, approximately 50 of Samaritan’s 400 employees will work in this administrative office which will also offer grief counseling for loved ones of the terminally ill.
• The Rancocas Woods Business Association has been established with the goal of revitalizing the Rancocas Woods business district. The new nonprofit aims to transform the area into a “bustling main street destination” for dining and shopping.
 
Giegerich says the recent flurry of activity is no accident and because of Mount Laurel’s tremendous ability to foster both local business and the local community, he expects the future to be even brighter.
 
I think the climate has evolved to become more business-friendly, which will help position Mount Laurel to continue to attract more companies to the area while still providing that ‘small town’ feel,” he says.
 
With more and more businesses being drawn to Mount Laurel, it would appear that the sky is the limit as the township solidifies its longstanding reputation as a great place to live, work and play.

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Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2020).

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Author: Peter Proko

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