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EDA awards Pearson $82.5M tax credit to relocate in Hoboken

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Artists rendering of the project.
Artists rendering of the project.

Publishing company Pearson Inc. was awarded an Urban Transit Hub tax credit of up to $82.5 million by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority on Wednesday to move into a new office building in Hoboken.

The 500,000-square-foot building at 221 River St. would be built and owned by SJP Properties. New York-based Pearson, a subsidiary of London-based Pearson Plc, would lease 210,052 square feet for 151/2 years at $50 per square foot. This would leave most of the building to be leased by other tenants.

Pearson would relocate approximately 646 full-time employees to the facility, with most of them coming from an existing location in Upper Saddle River. The company also is considering consolidating jobs at 330 Hudson St., in Manhattan. It would receive the full $82.5 million if it creates 200 new jobs and $66 million if it doesn't create the additional jobs.

If Pearson receives the credits, it would have to repay the state $3.2 million it previously received from the Business Employment Incentive Program and structured finance program benefits.

The EDA board approved several other groups of incentives at its annual meeting, including 73 companies that received $60 million through the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program, which allows them to sell their net operating losses to profitable businesses.

In addition, the board approved $10 million in film tax credits to six companies, including $9 million to Northern Entertainment Inc., which filmed "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" in the state; $420,000 for "Jersey Shore" producer 495 Productions Inc.; and $400,000 for Event Services Inc., which filmed two live wrestling "Hell in a Cell" events in the state.

The board also awarded BEIP grants to Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., which would receive $1.9 million to add 50 jobs in North Brunswick; lens and glass maker Universal Photonics Inc. and its subsidiary, J.J. Rhodes Co. Inc., for a total of $338,000 to move their headquarters from New York to New Jersey, instead of South Carolina; and Manhattan-based software provider Vitech Systems Group Inc., which would receive $1.35 million to create 100 jobs in New Jersey.

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