Pearson Education has taken another step toward fulfilling its pledge to retain 900 jobs in New Jersey, as the textbook publisher broke ground today on the development of its future corporate headquarters in downtown Hoboken.
Though the publisher had originally planned to move its current operations in Upper Saddle River and Old Tappan to New York, the state Economic Development Authority in September 2011 approved an Urban Transit Hub tax credit for Pearson of up to $66 million over 10 years for the publisher to relocate hundreds of jobs within New Jersey — which the company formally committed to execute during its ceremonial lease signing near the Hoboken site in February.
Will Ethridge, CEO of Pearson North America, said in a statement the company chose to relocate to downtown Hoboken because "the leadership of Pearson and Hoboken share a passion for innovation, and we believe that this community is precisely the type of vibrant, stimulating center for media, technology and digital services for businesses like ours."
In prepared remarks, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said today's groundbreaking "demonstrates that New Jersey's highly skilled labor force and vibrant city centers are continuing to attract significant investment to the benefit of the entire state."
Before Pearson retains 900 jobs in a move to its new corporate headquarters in July 2014, Jeff Schotz, executive vice president of leasing and marketing for the site's owner, SJP Properties, said the project will generate 600 construction jobs.
The 500,000-square-foot mixed-use building is the final piece of Hoboken's 26-acre waterfront master plan and the last phase of SJP's three-building office and retail development that first broke ground more than a decade ago.
Following the $150 million Waterfront Corporate Center III project's completion in June 2014, Pearson plans to occupy five floors of the 14-story office tower.
Though SJP has seen increasing demand for office leases from the financial services and publication industries in Hoboken, Schotz said the firm has not yet secured tenants for the remaining 25,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 275,000 square feet of office space in the building.
However, Schotz said Waterfront Corporate Center I and II were "both fully leased before their completion in June 2002 and June 2003, respectively — and we have every hope and belief we will have the same success for this third and final project."