JERSEY CITY, NJ−JP Morgan Chase will geta Grow NJ tax incentive award totaling $224million over ten years to expand its regional technology andoperations hub in Jersey City.

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JP Morgan Chase CEO Matt Zames said in arelease Monday that the award "made it possible for our firm topurchase our Newport Operations Center in Jersey City." Zames saidthe bank will invest $77 million in consolidatingoperations on two sites on Washington Boulevard in the Newportcomplex.

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At a Friday boardmeeting, the Economic Development Authorityapproved the JP Morgan award and also $78 million in taxbenefits over ten years to Canadian financial firmRBC, contingent on that companytaking offices at the Goldman Sachs tower in JerseyCity.

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The EDA estimatesthe JP Morgan project will produce a net benefit to the state of$1.1 billion over 20 years and voted at its Trenton board meetingto forgo an annual $22.4 million in taxes for a decade to get thecommitment from JP Morgan.

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NJ PolicyPerspective's presidentGordonMacInnes immediately reacted withskepticism. "At a time when the state is facing a fiscal crisis anddiscussing serious cuts to public services, one has to question thewisdom of giving up such a large amount of revenue over the nextdecade for a single project," he said.

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But Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop wasexultant. He said his city has become the “driving force leadingNew Jersey out of the recession.”

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The multi-famiy market is exploding, with 10,000 units in thepipeline in Jersey City. And last week SalmanCapital of New York City invested $31 million in acquisition of acentury-old office tower in downtown Jersey City.

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The EDA's president, Timothy Lizura, saidJP Morgan was considering sites in Delaware and Ohio for its newhub, but began to train attention on Jersey City – where itcurrently has an office on Washington Boulevard in the Newportcenter – because of the state's aggressive incentive program. Theextra-large carrots being offered now are available under thestate's Economic Opportunity Act that took effectat the end of last year.

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JP Morgan currently has three office centers in New Jersey,including those in Whippany and Iselin. The new hub project wouldmean retention of 2,612 employees in the state and 1,000 new jobs,according to the EDA.

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The EDA board alsoapproved an annual $7.8 million over ten years under Grow NJ forRBC, if it chooses to renovate a 207,000-square-foot space in theGoldman Sachs building, instead of moving to a building inMinnesota.

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RBC has leases due to expire at One Liberty Plaza and WorldFinancial Center in Manhattan.

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If it brings its 900 jobs to Jersey City, the EDA estimates thenet benefit to the state would be $295.7 million over 20 years.

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