HAS THE INFLUX OF JOBS INTO NEWARK FINALLYSTARTED?

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For some time, Newark has been trying to rehabilitate itsimage and lure companies across the Hudson. Standard Chartered'sdecision to move 300 jobs to the city from Manhattan suggest thatall that hard work may be paying off. But does this mean asignificant shift of businesses from New York? A third of thisweek's respondents think it does. A little more than half (56%),perhaps wary of the current economic situation, believe only timewill tell. A mere 11% remain pessimistic about the chances of amajor influx into Newark. Hartz Mountain Industries is attemptingto influence business' decisions through a major billboard andprint campaign that points out how much more expensive it is forcompanies to lease space in Manhattan versus North Jersey. It'shardly surprising, then, that Hartz's senior vice president ofsales and leasing, Ernie Christoph, has high hopes for thearea:

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"Given the economic times, I don't know that there'll be aninflux, but I know for a fact that a lot of companies are lookingat New Jersey as an alternative right now. We've done a dealrecently with a company that wanted to move some people out of NewYork. I have a lease out right now for 60-odd thousand feet; thosetenants are a contingent of people coming over from New York City.I've had interest in another 200,000 feet recently, and I know Ican attribute that interest to the ad that we ran. These are allcompanies that are looking to relocate their employees and takeadvantage of the much cheaper rates in New Jersey.

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"New Jersey is much more affordable than New York right now.We've always stated that and it's one of the reasons why theMeadowlands is in existence, because it's a better alternative, acheaper alternative than Manhattan.

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"A lot of New York companies are in belt-tightening mode andthey're going to look for alternatives. The real estate market inNew York, although it has slacked off a little, is still relativelytight and I doubt you're going to see people dropping their rentssubstantially. If you go on the calculator we have in ouradvertisements, you can readily see how much more reasonable it isto come to New Jersey. People are starting to realize that; we'rereally starting to see the fruits of our ad campaign now.

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"Over the past year, certain industries have begun moving overhere from New York City. One I can readily point to is the filmindustry. Some of that industry's backup companies, the lightingcompanies and sound companies are coming out here because they'rekind of being forced out of New York. The cost of doing business,especially for these companies, is rising dramatically."

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