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NEWARK-Verizon New Jersey Inc. went under contract to sell its 428,000-sf headquarters building at 540 Broad St. to Accordia Realty Ventures early this year. And in June, the company said that rather than move, it would stay in the building, leasing 140,000 sf back from Accordia for 10 years. Now, the telecom company is the first to benefit from the state’s Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program.

In exchange for making $25 million in capital improvement to its space and the building, as well as keeping more than 700 employees at the site, Verizon New Jersey will receive tax credits amounting to just more than $2 million per year for 10 years. As part of the equation, new owner Accordia is also making capital improvements that will boost total expenditures past $75 million. The project will also bring to market the nearly 300,000 sf that will not be occupied by Verizon.

The legislature approved and Gov. Jon Corzine signed the Urban Transit Hub program into law early this year. It provides tax credits of from 80% to 100% of qualified capital investments made in projects within a half-mile of major transit stations in nine cities. Projects must generate at least $75 million in capital improvements and at least 250 full-time jobs. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority oversees the program and issues approvals.

“It is particularly meaningful in this case, and in this tight economic environment, because it will act as a stimulus to bring other businesses into Newark,” says Caren Franzini, CEO of the New Jersey EDA.

“This program is an important addition to the financial tools that we have available in New Jersey to spur urban redevelopment,” says Corzine, in a statement. “Just as significant, this project will add almost 300,000 sf of office space to a tight Newark office market and enable the city to attract new businesses to its downtown.”

The landmark 20-story, art deco building dates to the late 1920s. The sale price has not been released, but industry sources have told GlobeSt.com that the number is in the $35-million range.

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