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EDA raises transit hub credit cap on residential bids

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Residential developers will be eligible to have as much as 35 percent of project costs covered by Urban Transit Hub tax credits, instead of a 20 percent limit that had previously been set for a competition for projects.

The Economic Development Authority board lifted the cap that it had set after announcing the competition for $100 million in transit hub credits, as developers had been relying on that competition having the same 35 percent limit other transit projects have carried.

"We had not had outreach to developers" before lowering the cap to 20 percent of project costs, agency CEO Michele Brown said. She said the higher limit was particularly important for sites that otherwise would be difficult to develop.

Board Chairman Alfred Koeppe said the change was "a thoughtful adjustment," while board member Brian Nelson said the 35 percent level provides more flexibility and allows the authority to maximize the use of its remaining funds.

In other action, the board approved an $11.6 million Grow New Jersey award to DSM Food Specialties USA Inc. for its Belvidere location. The food enzyme and culture maker is looking to expand its capacity for enzyme production, and is weighing whether to expand in New Jersey or build a new facility in Tennessee.

The board also approved four companies for awards under the Business Employment Incentive Program and the Business Retention & Relocation Assistance Grant Program. They were: Cellco Partnership — which does business as Verizon Wireless and is a partnership of Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC —which was awarded a $5.48 million BEIP to add 300 jobs in the state; Moonachie rug distributor Home Dynamix LLC, awarded a $1.13 million BRRAG to retain 252 jobs in the state rather than move to Dalton, Ga.; textile product maker Precision Custom Coatings LLC, awarded a $134,000 BEIP to add 50 positions and a $506,000 BRRAG to retain 225 positions in the state; and single-use medical product maker Acupac Packaging Inc., awarded a $113,000 BRRAG to retain 50 jobs in the state.

It was Brown's first meeting as CEO, and she said she was pleased that six manufacturing companies received grants or loans at the meeting.

Tim Lizura, newly elevated EDA president and chief operating officer, announced the incentive awards, a job previously handled by former CEO Caren S. Franzini.

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