CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ADVANCES SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS GROWTH, COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION AT OCTOBER EDA BOARD MEETING
TRENTON, N.J. (October 8, 2013) – In support of the Christie Administration’s commitment to spur business growth and community investment, the Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) took action today to incentivize investments in emerging technologies, encourage significant redevelopment in urban centers and support diverse business expansion projects. In total, these projects are expected to result in the creation of more than 1,600 construction jobs, nearly 490 new, full time jobs and the retention of 400 existing jobs.
“The projects approved today by the Board reflect the breadth and depth of economic activity happening in our state,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Michele Brown. “EDA support is very important for these projects to come to fruition, and they, in turn, are important to spur economic development and job growth.”
To encourage business expansion and retention in Bergen County, EarthCam Incorporated was approved for both a Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP) and Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant (BRRAG) award. The global technology leader is contemplating a move to a 41,544-square-foot facility in Upper Saddle River or a location in New York. If New Jersey is chosen, the company expects to double its staff to 160 and invest over $6 million.
The Board approved a BEIP and BRRAG to encourage McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings to remain and expand its operations in Mercer County. The digital learning company is seeking to move to independent, stand-alone space in East Windsor, which would involve the creation of 40 new, high-wage jobs and an investment of approximately $2.15 million. The company is also reviewing locations in New York.
In a move designed to maintain jobs that are at risk of leaving the state and fuel job creation, the Board approved a Grow New Jersey award to encourage Maplewood Beverage Packers to expand in New Jersey. The company, which manufactures and distributes Arizona Iced Tea products, is considering development options in-state or relocating operations to New York. If the company selects New Jersey, it will develop land in Woodbridge, adjacent to its current operations in Edison, significantly increasing its footprint and employee base. Plans call for the construction and outfitting of a 560,000-square-foot structure for manufacturing and distribution, which would result in the retention of 215 jobs and the creation of 100 new, full-time positions.
Consistent with the recently signed New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, the Board also took action on three projects that were submitted under a competitive solicitation that closed in December 2012 and made $100 million in tax credits available through the residential component of the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Program. The Act allows EDA to approve up to $33 million in tax credits for those qualified residential projects that did not previously receive funding.
This includes Harborside Plaza 7 in Jersey City, a $291 million mixed-use project that will feature a 69 story residential tower, a parking podium and ground level retail. The project, a joint venture of Mack-Cali Realty and Ironstate Holdings, is expected to create 700 construction jobs and 18 new permanent positions. Matrix Development Group was approved for credits to advance its mixed-use project in New Brunswick that will boast over 390 rental units and 215,000 square feet of office space. The $108 million project, which also involves façade, plaza and streetscape improvements, will help to bolster the City’s retail market and encourage residents and workers to utilize mass transit. It is expected to create more than 100 new, full-time jobs and an estimated 450 construction jobs.
To support Springfield Avenue Marketplace in Newark, the Board approved tax credits through the Hub program, as well as bond financing and an Economic Redevelopment and Growth award. Spearheaded by Tucker Development Corp., the $91.75 million project will transform a vacant, blighted site into a 287,000-square-foot mixed-use development featuring an apartment complex, grocery store, restaurant and retail space. It is expected to create over 100 new, full-time jobs, 300 part-time positions and an estimated 145 construction jobs.
To accelerate New Jersey’s position as a leading technology hub, the Board approved investments in two emerging companies under the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program. Investors John C. Dries and GHO Investors, LLC applied for tax credits based on their investments of $4.2 million in Monmouth Junction-based semiconductor company United Silicon Carbide, Inc., a Rutgers University spin-out specializing in the development of high efficiency Silicon Carbide devices and foundry services. The second company, Princeton Power Systems, is a designer and manufacturer of technology products for energy management, micro-grid operations and electric vehicle charging. The Marshall J. Cohen Family Trust was approved for tax credits for its $550,000 investment in the Lawrenceville Company. The Angel Investor Tax Credit Program is a result of legislation Governor Christie signed in January to spur job creation and growth in New Jersey’s emerging technology industries.
The Board also approved new leases for space at the EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT) in North Brunswick and Waterfront Technology Center at Camden. PDS Biotechnology, an early stage cancer immunotherapy biotechnology company, was based in Indiana and looked at various locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before choosing to execute a one year lease at CCIT. Rutgers University finalized its 64-month lease in Camden, where approximately 12 faculty and graduate student researchers will utilize 5,193 square feet of pre-built lab space for special projects and biology-related research.
As part of ongoing efforts to support New Jersey businesses and communities damaged by Superstorm Sandy, EDA announced that storm-impacted municipalities can apply for funds through the streetscape revitalization component of the Stronger NJ Neighborhood and Community Revitalization Program (NCR) beginning October 24, 2013. The $10 million initiative will offer grants to support business district improvements, including streetscapes, lighting, sidewalks, façade enhancements, and code-related and other physical upgrades to commercial areas.
In a related action, the Board approved the first grant under the NCR program to the Intersect Fund Corporation (IFC) for $500,000. The non-profit IFC is a Certified Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and micro-lender, providing coaching and micro-loans to low-income, minority and women-owned businesses throughout New Jersey. The proceeds of the grant will be used to create a loan fund to offer disaster relief loans at reduced interest rates to small businesses within the nine counties most impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
The Board also extended the application deadline for the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program. Grant applications were previously due to EDA by October 31, 2013 and now must be submitted by December 31, 2013.
EDA Board meetings are typically held at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at 36 West State Street in Trenton. The Board meeting schedule, as well as Board agendas and minutes, are available at www.njeda.gov. All Board actions will take effect at the expiration of the statutory period for the Governor’s review and consideration of the meeting minutes.
To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at www.NewJerseyBusiness.gov. For more information on the Stronger NJ Business programs, visit http://application.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness or call 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929).