SOURCE: Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

August 17, 2009 15:32 ET

Tom Corcoran Appointed New President of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC)

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - August 17, 2009) - Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that Thomas P. Corcoran has been appointed as the new President of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC). Mr. Corcoran joins the DRWC from the Cooper's Ferry Development Association, Inc. (CFDA), where he has served as Founding President and CEO for 25 years.

"I am very excited that, after an extensive search involving over 100 national and international highly qualified individuals, we have found the perfect candidate right across the Delaware River," said Mayor Nutter. "Tom Corcoran takes the helm at a very exciting time for the DRWC as we are finally in a position to realize the full potential of the Delaware River waterfront."

Mr. Corcoran founded the CFDA which has spearheaded the development of the Camden waterfront. He has attracted over $550 million in private and public investment to the waterfront and initiated many flagship projects including the Susquehanna Bank Center, Campbell's Field, the Adventure Aquarium, RiverLink Ferry, and Camden Children's Garden. He transformed Cooper's Ferry from a waterfront organization into a citywide economic and community development corporation, engaging neighborhoods along the length of Camden's 15 miles of waterways.

"Mayor Nutter has made it clear from the beginning of his Administration that developing a world-class waterfront is key to his vision of Philadelphia's future," said Tom Corcoran. "I am honored to have been selected by the Mayor and the board of the DRWC to help lead this effort."

On January 30, 2009 Mayor Nutter transformed the former Penn's Landing Corporation into the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, an organization dedicated to the design, development and management of the entire Central Delaware riverfront. Last month it was announced that Donn Scott of Wachovia Bank has been appointed Chairman of the DRWC Board, replacing former Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Andrew Altman who left the City of Philadelphia to take up a position as founding CEO of the Olympic Park Legacy Company.

"In Tom we have a highly qualified candidate with a proven track record of transforming urban waterfronts," said Donn Scott, Chairman of the DRWC Board. "Together with an accomplished Board of Directors, and talented DRWC staff, this organization is poised to achieve Mayor Nutter's vision of a world-class waterfront."

Tom Corcoran replaces Acting President Joseph Brooks who will be leaving the Corporation on August 31, 2009.

"Joe Brooks has provided 20 years of service to Philadelphia and leaves as a legacy a waterfront that is finally ready to realize its full potential," said Mayor Nutter. "We thank him for leading the DRWC through this time of transition and wish him well for the future."

"I sincerely wish the Mayor, the new DRWC Board, and, most importantly, my friends and colleagues on our staff the greatest success as they embark on this next phase of our waterfront revitalization," said Joe Brooks.


Tom Corcoran was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, where he attended Loyala University and graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor's Degree in political science. He then joined the Peace Corps and was part of that agency's first group of volunteers in the Republic of Chad.

As a rural development volunteer assigned to a village on Lake Chad he supervised the construction of earthen dams and developed alternative irrigation systems to increase agricultural production. Following his volunteer service, Mr. Corcoran was selected as a Peace Corps Fellow and participated in a one-year management internship in Washington, D.C. In 1969 he returned to Africa as Assistant Peace Corps Director in the Republic of Benin, becoming the Country Director in 1971 at the age of 27. Under his leadership the program in Benin was recognized as one of the most effective Peace Corps programs in Africa.

In 1973, Mr. Corcoran returned to this country and enrolled in the Wharton Graduate School at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received an MPA in 1975.

Upon graduation, Mr. Corcoran went to work for the City of Camden, New Jersey, one of the poorest cities in the United States. During the next four years he fulfilled a variety of responsibilities, including the development of parks throughout the City. In 1979 he became director of the City's department of utilities where he obtained funding for and supervised major upgrades of the City's municipal water system.

In 1981 Mr. Corcoran became Camden's Business Administrator, the highest non-elective position in City government. In that position he helped lead the City out of bankruptcy after one year in office, renegotiated all collective bargaining agreements for over 1,000 employees represented by five bargaining units to increase productivity and generate savings, completely revamped the City's health insurance program, and initiated a long-term capital program.

In 1984 Mr. Corcoran helped form, and then was named President and CEO of Cooper's Ferry Development Association, Inc. (CFDA), a non-profit corporation initially established to plan and coordinate the redevelopment of Camden's abandoned downtown waterfront. The goal of this effort was to create a new center of economic activity that would serve as a catalyst for the redevelopment of the downtown area, and to help change the image of the City. The board of CFDA consists of 25 leaders from the corporate and institutional sectors, as well as heads of community organizations and elected officials.

Over the past 25 years CFDA has attracted more than $550 million of private and public investment to the Camden waterfront, which now attracts over two million annual visitors, and is the location for over 2,000 office workers and home to 600 residents. Notable projects initiated and coordinated by the organization include: the construction in five different phases of Wiggins Waterfront Park, a 1.3 mile park along the Delaware River directly across from Penn's Landing in Philadelphia; Adventure Aquarium; the RiverLink Ferry; the Susquehanna Bank Center; the Camden Children's Garden; Campbell's Field, the home of the Camden Riversharks; the campus of L-3 Communications East; and the redevelopment of the historic Victor Building into market rate apartments.

Cooper's Ferry's goals for the next 10 years are to coordinate all of the public actions needed to effectuate the design and build-out of a 1,200 unit town center, to be undertaken by Dranoff Properties, and the development of another 400,000 square feet of office space, as well as ancillary retail, dining, and entertainment.

Cooper's Ferry will also be working with community groups and elected officials in the implementation of new waterfront development plans that the organization helped formulate for the neighborhoods of North Camden and Cramer Hill.

Contact Information

  • Michael A. Nutter
    Douglas I. Oliver
    Press Secretary
    Office: 215-686-6210
    Cell: 215 439-4655