North Camden's Riverfront State Prison, a controversial fixture on the Delaware River since 1985, is officially empty.
According to the New Jersey Department of Corrections, the prison's final few inmates were shipped out to other facilities in the state yesterday morning.
"It's over," said department spokesman Matt Schuman.
The prison, which held more than 1,000 inmates, has been eyed by local officials and community groups as the cornerstone of North Camden's revitalization, continuing its chain of waterfront attractions.
Last week, a few dozen remaining inmates spent most of their time dismantling tables, toilets and other infrastructure at the state's second-newest prison.
"They were basically there at the end to clean up and get the final items out," Schuman said.
A North Camden community group seeks a combination of retail and corporate space; parks, boardwalks and fishing piers, and low-income housing for the area. Nearby Rutgers University also has expansion plans there.
Councilman Gilbert "Whip" Wilson said the prison's waterfront location was always a mistake, but questioned whether the city could afford to lose the prison.
"I wanted to know what the impact would be," he said. "I thought we could keep the prison in Camden but move it."
Corrections officials have said they don't plan to replace Riverfront.
Glenn Phillips, a spokesman for New Jersey's Economic Development Authority, said a New York firm has been awarded a demolition contract for the prison.