CHATHAM, NJ—Editor's Note: Raymond P. Trevisan is managingprincipal for Cassidy Turley in New Jersey. Hejoined the firm in April 2012. With 23 years of commercial realestate experience, Mr. Trevisan was previously principal at Normandy RealEstate Partners, and a first vice president atCBRE. Before this, he founded his own law firm,where he specialized in negotiating property acquisition and leasetransactions. He holds a BS in Finance from Lehigh University,where he recently served on its Board of Directors, and a JD fromthe Seton Hall University School of Law.

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Q: What is NJEDA's thinking with the Grow NJincentives? What do companies need to do to qualify for theprogram?

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A: New Jersey is finding truth in the oldadage; “it takes money to make money.” The New Jersey EconomicDevelopment Authority (NJEDA), which is responsible foradministering Grow NJ, has awarded more than $1.4 billion in taxincentives to 71 companies in the past 12 months.

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The NJEDA isn't just sprinkling the money around, hoping jobswill merely sprout up in the Garden State. To qualify forincentives, a company must be located in a qualified area; be inneed of financial support; and demonstrate the award is crucial tothe applicant's decision to remain in, or relocate to, New Jersey.The basis for awarding a grant is calculated on three primarypoints: jobs, capital investment and net benefit. Only if a companymeets all three criteria, is it eligible for at least $3,000 inannual tax credits for each new job and $1,500 in annual taxcredits for each retained job.

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A correlation may be drawn between the distribution of taxincentives and the continued increase in employment throughout thestate. Grow NJ may have played a significant role in the improvingemployment environment. In the third quarter of 2014, theunemployment rate decreased to 6.3% with employment rising to3.24 million compared to 3.19 million during the same quarter of2013.

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Q: Which industries are getting the most out of GrowNJ incentives?

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A: The top five industries whichbenefitted most were financial services, manufacturing, consumergoods, energy and entertainment/media. These five industriesaccounted for 55% of all projects, but received 75% of all funds awarded. The sixth largest industry was defense and aerospacewith one award to Lockheed Martin for $107 million, the thirdlargest single project award.

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The financial services industry was by far the biggest winnerwith eight companies receiving a combined total of almost $334million in tax incentives, an average of more than $40 million perproject – the highest for an industry with more than one approvedproject. The NJEDA awarded banking giant, JP MorganChase, $224 million to relocate 3,500 jobs to the Hudson Waterfrontin Jersey City.

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Q: Where is the money going,geographically?

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Hudson County had the largest concentration of Grow NJ projectsawarded and is home to 19 projects with more than $500 million inawards from the NJEDA. So far however, employment numbers inthe county do not reflect these awards and have not translated intosignificant job growth yet, with unemployment hovering around 7%.There may be a lag since the full impact of the incentiveshas not been realized and is not reflected inreported job growth. The Hudson County Grow NJ investments promiseto create or retain 8,000 jobs and the county's proposals receivedan average of $63,000 per job for both new and retained jobs.

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Q: Camden County has been a big beneficiary, withseveral big companies getting incentives to relocate into the Cityof Camden, not far from their existingfacilities.

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A: Camden County is home to thirteen awards,including the single largest award, a $260 million dollar award toMarlton-based energy company Holtec International. The energycompany is proposing to build state-of-the-art manufacturing andresearch facilities on the Camden Waterfront. The project promisesto relocate 160 jobs from Marlton and create more than 235 new jobsin Camden. Similar to Hudson County, the Camden County unemploymentrate stands at 6.9% at the end of the third quarter in 2014.

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Moreover, although Holtec was the only energy company to receivetax credits, the amount was significant enough to rank the entireenergy industry in the top five alongside financial services,manufacturing, consumer goods and entertainment/media. Singleawards that led the pack were Holtec and JP Morgan Chase followedby Lockheed Martin.

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Q: What other areas arebenefitting?

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A: Bergen, Passaic and MiddlesexCounties rounded out the top five counties for number of awards andvalue of the awards. Bergen and Middlesex Counties can boast thelowest unemployment rates at 5.3% and 5.6% respectively, as of thethird quarter of this year. Passaic has the highest unemploymentrate, even greater than Hudson or Camden Counties at 7.4% duringthe same timeframe.

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Q: Do you see an impact on the employment levelsfrom these incentives?

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A: One of the obvious goals of NJEDAand Grow NJ is to raise New Jersey's employment up to thesame level we are seeing on a national scale. Across the country,unemployment declined 90 basis points over the year to 6.1% as ofthe third quarter. This sustained decrease in unemploymentreinforces the uptick in market conditions on a national basis. Thehope is that Grow NJ provides just the right mix of light, sunshineand water on the Garden State's employment landscape and that localeconomies will experience the positive impact of job stimulus.

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Steve Lubetkin

Steve Lubetkin is the New Jersey and Philadelphia editor for GlobeSt.com. He is currently filling in covering Chicago and Midwest markets until a new permanent editor is named. He previously filled in covering Atlanta. Steve’s journalism background includes print and broadcast reporting for NJ news organizations. His audio and video work for GlobeSt.com has been honored by the Garden State Journalists Association, and he has also been recognized for video by the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has produced audio podcasts on CRE topics for the NAR Commercial Division and the CCIM Institute. Steve has also served (from August 2017 to March 2018) as national broadcast news correspondent for CEOReport.com, a news website focused on practical advice for senior executives in small- and medium-sized companies. Steve also reports on-camera and covers conferences for NJSpotlight.com, a public policy news coverage website focused on New Jersey government and industry; and for clients of StateBroadcastNews.com, a division of The Lubetkin Media Companies LLC. Steve has been the computer columnist for the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey, since 1996. Steve is co-author, with Toronto-based podcasting pioneer Donna Papacosta, of the book, The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional. You can email Steve at [email protected].