Sid Brown lives and breathes the transportation industry every day.
So it should come as no surprise that the prospect of driverless vehicles and ridesharing entered his mind about two years ago, as his company and two others were crafting plans for a new 18-story, 375,000-square-foot office tower on the Camden waterfront.
“Probably about a third of the way through, I said, ‘We need to really think about what this means and where the future is,’ ” said Brown, CEO of NFI, one of the nation’s largest trucking and logistics companies. “The idea of commuting is going to be different in the future.”
Slated to open late next summer, the building will house the new headquarters of NFI and its partners, Conner Strong & Buckelew and The Michaels Organization. The so-called Camden Tower will include 10 floors of office space above seven stories of parking, with about 780 spaces, but Brown said that need could decrease in the long run, as commuters come to rely on autonomous vehicles and carpooling services.
It’s why the developers have designed the structure so that they can convert the top two levels of parking into additional office space, if and when they feel they have excess parking. Their contractor, Joseph Jingoli & Son, has built in an extra two feet of ceiling height on each of the top two parking floors, along with matching floor plans and a continuous central core of elevators that runs through the top of the office building.