The parent company of DressBarn and other clothing retailers has officially opened its new headquarters in Mahwah, helping write another success story in New Jersey’s effort to lure out-of-state companies and their employees.
The company, Ascena Retail Group Inc., moved into its newly built 195,000-square-foot offices earlier this month, according to a news release from brokerage firm JLL. The site at 933 MacArthur Blvd. is expected to house more than 400 new jobs that are relocating from the retailer’s former corporate base in Suffern, N.Y.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week, executives touted the building as the first headquarters project to receive incentives under the original Grow New Jersey tax credit program, which has since been expanded. The $32.4 million, 10-year subsidy helped the company renovate an older 145,000-square-foot building in Mahwah while adding an adjacent 50,000-square-foot building, with both structures connected by an enclosed walkway.
“Our new headquarters facility in Mahwah creates a unique campus-like environment for our associates,” David Jaffe, Ascena’s president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “The space provides a bright, airy, natural setting that was designed to foster a sustainable workplace environment.”
The total capital investment reported to the state Economic Development Authority was $53.2 million, creating 316 construction jobs.
Ascena, which sells specialty retail for women and “tween” girls, tapped JLL as its project manager. The result was a property that has a glass curtain wall system, a glass atrium slicing through the existing building, a full-service café and a host of features aimed at sustainability.
JLL is seeking to achieve gold certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system, the news release said.
The JLL team overseeing the assignment was led by Scott Lesh, senior vice president, and included Erik Egger, senior project manager; Susan Pady, project manager; and Eric Brown, assistant project manager. The group handling LEED certification was led by Dana Schneider, senior vice president, and included Jasmine Davis, project manager.
Other companies involved in the project included architect Gensler; general contractor Structure Tone Inc.; civil engineering firm Bohler Engineering; engineering, design and commissioning firm Syska Hennessy Group; and structural engineering design firm Gilsanz Murray Steficek.
The project is a feather in the cap of Gov. Chris Christie and his administration, which has used tax breaks as one of its key tools for economic development and job growth.
“Ascena Retail Group had a choice and they chose New Jersey,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who attended last week’s ceremony. “This effort shows that by working collaboratively with New Jersey’s business and community leaders, we can create jobs and further grow our economy.”
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