Kevin Johnson gives back to hometown with athletic complex

Former NFL wide receiver Kevin Johnson is working to bring an athletic training, fitness, health care and physical therapy facility to his hometown of Hamilton, N.J., The Times of Trenton reported.

The 37-year-old former wide receiver expects to finally realize his dream in six months, at the planned opening of Team Campus Bordentown, a $50 million, 32-acre, six-building complex focused on providing athletic training, fitness, health care and physical therapy to what Johnson hopes are thousands of people.

Johnson saw a number of different professional facilities in his seven-year career with the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions, and after he retired he traveled the country and saw smaller facilities that casual gym-goers, weekend warriors and injured people use, he said.

These health clubs and physical therapists are useful, Johnson said, but to him they were just components; he did not want to settle for a gym alone.

So Johnson, a graduate of Hamilton High School West, created K. Johnson Enterprises and decided to look in central New Jersey for the right location to build a giant fitness complex. He said he decided on the Bordentown site because of its large size, location on Route 130 and proximity to the Turnpike, I-195 and I-295.

Johnson said his K. Johnson Enterprises will run the main building, the fitness center and an all-purpose indoor field. St. Francis Medical Center has leased two buildings as outpatient facilities. And a bank and a chiropractic practice have leased other buildings.

Phase two will replace agricultural silos with multi-purpose athletic fields.

The plan is to draw people by offering a variety of quality services, but Johnson said he also is trying to sell people on something else: time. By offering the amenities of a health club combined with medical and therapeutic services that many people need on a regular basis, he will be able to attract families with a variety of needs, he said.

Ideally, the facility will become customers' third stop of the day: home, work and Team Campus, he said.

"Everyone's going to 10 different places. It's all here," Johnson said.

While Johnson wants to profit from the project, he said he has motivations beyond money.

"I could have made money in other places," Johnson said. "I want to make a difference."

-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor