Newark would gain both a new office building for Panasonic Corp. of North America and six new screens for Newark Screens movie theater under a pair of incentives approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority on Tuesday.
Panasonic would receive up to $102.4 million through the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program to lease 250,000 square feet of a new 410,000-square-foot building, to be built at 2 Riverfront Center by Matrix Development Group and SJP Properties.
The electronics company, a subsidiary of Japan-based Panasonic Corp., would retain 806 jobs in the state and add 200 more. If it doesn’t add the jobs, it would still receive $81.9 million in tax credits.
While EDA staff members acknowledged the parent company pleaded guilty to a price-fixing scheme, the issue didn’t affect the application of the credits.
EDA board member Steven D. Plofker praised the project.
“No other office development is occurring, especially in an urban center,” he said.
The EDA has approved a total of $386 million in Urban Transit Hub Tax Credits since the program’s inception. Panasonic's interest in Newark was reported earlier by NJBIZ in its Grapevine column.
While EDA CEO Caren S. Franzini said it was a “risky” project, she noted the theater owners wouldn’t receive the $1.2 Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant unless the project was successful, since the award is paid through reductions in future tax revenue.
In addition, the board approved Business Employment Incentive Program grants for: a plastic extrusion company, Allied Plastic Holdings LLC, $108,000 to move 60 jobs from New York to Newark; Bayer HealthCare LLC and Affiliates, $22.2 million for 500 jobs at a site to be determined; direct mailer Direct Success Inc., $1.83 million for 125 jobs in Wall Township; and a specialty packaging company, SupplyOne New York Inc., $205,000 for 55 jobs at a site to be determined.
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