WARREN TWP., NJ-Financial giant Citigroup’s announcement that it will reshuffle its metro-area operations provides a substantial gain for New Jersey, but at a cost of an estimated $57 million in state funds. The company will ship at least 1,600 jobs across the Hudson River, and when existing operations in the state are added to projected new hires, the job total at a former Lucent campus here could hit the 3,000 mark.

Citigroup’s new New Jersey home is the Warren Corporate Center, an 800,000-sf asset located at 283 King George Rd. in this Somerset County community. The sprawling building is owned by the Parsippany, NJ-based SJP Properties, headed by Steven J. Pozycki, and Prudential’s Prisa fund, which jointly acquired it from Lucent in the fall of 2001 for an estimated $165 million.

By the numbers, those 1,600 jobs moving from Manhattan come from Citigroup Global Markets, the company’s research arm, and Citigroup Technology, which services the company’s technology requirements. The location will also be staffed by more than 700 employees already working at various locations in the Garden State. And Citigroup is projecting the hiring of up to 650 new people over the next two years.

Stamford, CT also beckoned for the jobs, but Citigroup opted for the New Jersey location because the State of New Jersey came across with more money. A Citigroup spokesman declined to comment, but state officials say the company will get an estimated $57 million over the next 10 years through the Business Employment Incentive Program.

The BEIP program provides cash grants based on a percentage of the state income tax withheld from any new jobs created. The Citigroup award is the second biggest grant ever through the program, although it substantially trails the $173 million award Goldman Sachs got a few years ago to move to Jersey City.

While declining further comment, Citigroup officials have announced that they will spend more than $80 million of their own money to overhaul the former Lucent campus. The latter once had as many as 2,800 jobs on-site before shedding it as part of its ongoing consolidation.

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