Gov. Phil Murphy, along with a delegation including his wife First Lady Tammy Murphy, is traveling through Ireland on what is being characterized as a trade trip that will advocate for more economic activity between the county and the Garden State.
Prior to the voyage, Murphy hinted at some tangible deliverables. On Monday, the governor announced Applegreen will make a $126 million investment in New Jersey, which will include a new headquarters in Glen Rock.
Applegreen, an Irish-founded company, is one of the largest on-highway service plaza operators in the United States and Europe.
As part of the deal, Applegreen will redevelop all of New Jersey’s 21 on-highway service plazas, as well relocate its headquarters to Glen Rock, where the company already has a presence. The first two redevelopments, at the Woodrow Wilson and Molly Pitcher travel plazas, are expected to be completed before the July 4th holiday. The deal is expected to create hundreds of new jobs over the next few years.
“As a proud Irish-American, I am thrilled to be in Dublin and joined by Applegreen, Ireland’s foremost service plaza operator, to announce the relocation of its U.S. Travel Plaza Headquarters to New Jersey,” said Murphy. “Applegreen is a world-class travel infrastructure partner who will generate significant economic growth for the state and bring innovation and expertise to the redevelopment of New Jersey’s 21 on-highway service plazas. We welcome the hundreds of new jobs that Applegreen will bring to New Jersey and look forward to building a strong partnership that drives our state’s innovation economy forward.”
“We are thrilled to announce our new Travel Plaza Headquarters in Glen Rock, New Jersey,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president of Applegreen USA Operations. “Northern New Jersey proved an ideal location for our headquarters as it centrally located amidst many states in which we operate, is close to several major airports and offers top talent for our rapidly growing business.”
Applegreen acquired the concession for those 21 plazas in summer 2021.
“Our northeast footprint is expanding rapidly and the opening of our new headquarters and redevelopment of the 21 service plazas will enhance connectivity and convenience for our many customers,” Pierce said. “The creation of hundreds of new through these exciting projects will deliver a significant boost to the New Jersey economy, and, as such, today’s announcement is a genuine Irish-American win-win.”
“We look forward to continuing to be a good partner to New Jersey and to helping the Garden State maintain its national transport connected competitiveness for many years to come,” said Bob Etchingham, CEO of Applegreen Ltd.
Murphy is spending four days in Ireland on the economic mission. Over the weekend, the governor and his wife were given a guided tour of the Old Library at Trinity College. The full delegation then took a guided a tour of the Guniness Storehouse, where they learned about the history of Guinness Brewing and its cultural impact. On Monday, the delegation sat for a discussion with Claire Cronin, the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, and her team. That is being followed by a series of meetings with private sector meetings, pitching New Jersey to those companies.
Murphy hinted in a video posted to Twitter, that he believes more companies are close to signing deals on the dotted line to do business here in the Garden State.d