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Pearson signs lease on future headquarters in Hoboken

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Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (Office of the Governor)
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (Office of the Governor)

Pearson Education on Tuesday formally committed to keeping 900 jobs from leaving New Jersey, as the textbook publisher held a ceremony to sign a lease at its future new headquarters in downtown Hoboken.

Company executives joined Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and representatives from SJP Properties at the ceremony near the site of the office tower, Waterfront Corporate Center III, according to a news release from Guadagno's office. Pearson plans to occupy more than 200,000 square feet, or 40 percent, of the $150 million building.

The publisher planned to move its operations in Upper Saddle River and Old Tappan to New York, but the Chris Christie administration successfully intervened with Pearson Vice President William Brooks, Guadagno said. Pearson would receive an Urban Transit Hub tax credit of up to $66 million for retaining 646 jobs and relocating them to 221 River St., in Hoboken, although the company now says it plans to move about 900 employees to the Mile Square City.

As a condition of the award, Pearson also must maintain a statewide employment level of 1,666 each year it receives tax credits, according to the EDA.

"Pearson's decision to stay is just one of many examples where we've successfully intervened to keep and create jobs in New Jersey," Guadagno said in a prepared statement.

The Economic Development Authority on Sept. 14 approved Pearson for an $82.5 million tax credit under the incentive program. The award was tied to the creation of 200 jobs in New Jersey and 646 relocated positions. Timothy J. Lizura, EDA senior vice president for business development, later said Pearson would receive a $66 million credit if the new jobs aren't created.

Pearson also is slated to shift part of its operation to New York. A week after gaining EDA approval, Pearson executives and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the company would move 600 positions from Upper Saddle River to space in Lower Manhattan, near the existing company offices.

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