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RED BANK, NJ-Last year, fast-growing homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises said it would move its HQ to this Monmouth County town from its current location just across the Navesink River in adjacent Middletown. Yesterday, that move became reality when company officials broke ground for a new three-story, 65,200-sf office building that’s slated to be ready for occupancy in late 2004.

The location of the new building is an in-fill site that borders the Navesink River. The project, which will include a 300-car parking garage, will consolidate the company’s current HQ, the locally-dubbed “gold building” because of its distinctive glass facia, and another Middletown location used for back-office purposes. Altogether, about 200 employees are involved in the move, and the firm’s workforce is expected to be expanded in the process, according to company officials.

Once known primarily for its homebuilding efforts in the Garden State, Hovnanian has, in recent years, expanded beyond its home turf to nearly a dozen other states. According to reports filed by the company, its revenues have nearly hit the $3 billion mark, making it a top 10 homebuilder nationally.

In its headquarters deal, Hovnanian has agreed to a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with Red Bank. No other development incentives were part of the project, according to officials.

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