By Mike DeNardo

By Mike DeNardo

CAMDEN, N.J., (CBS) — It’s a milestone in rebuilding the gateway to Camden: Subaru of America broke ground Wednesday morning on its new headquarters complex.

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Subaru of America had outgrown its Cherry Hill headquarters, so CEO Thomas Doll says the carmaker went looking.

“We were considering other locations in Philadelphia, the Naval Yard in particular has been mentioned.  But we also looked at the western suburbs of Philadelphia as well,” said Doll.

New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno says the automaker came this close to leaving.

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“Subaru could have gone anywhere in the world.  And they decided to stay in New Jersey with a little help from us,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno.

In the form of a $118 million tax credit over the next decade, to build at the old Sears location along Admiral Wilson Boulevard.  The new corporate headquarters is expected to spur more development near the Campbell Soup Company, in what Camden now calls its Knights Crossing area.

Doll says Subaru employs 600 people, and expects to hire 100 more at the new location.

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

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At an elaborate groundbreaking ceremony complete with video screens and musicians from Symphony in C, the company chose to forgo the usual shovels-in-the-dirt photo op.  Instead, a Subaru Outback scaled a mound of dirt to mark the start of construction.