Brick City Development Corp., the economic development arm of Newark, announced Thursday it is developing a strategy to bring large commercial offices to the city on the heels of the recent relocation announcement by Panasonic Corp.’s U.S. operations.
“Business attraction has always been one of our initiatives, and we feel that the recent Panasonic lease signing is really steam for our city — and we want to use that steam to power the momentum of our efforts and get another office tower built in the city of Newark,” said CEO Lyneir Richardson.
The development corporation expects to launch the strategy by this summer, and will tap Mayor Cory Booker’s star power to announce the six privately owned sites in Newark that will be the focus of the program. Richardson said he expects to reveal the six locations in three weeks.
“We want to work closely with him — we want to use Panasonic, the mayor’s positive persona in the country, to tell the story of Newark,” Richardson said.
Richardson says the strategy will revolve around telling Newark’s story to “value-conscious CEOs” across the state, nation and world, pointing to the availability of Class A office space at $40 per square foot and its designation as an Urban Transit Hub.
“A lot of people don’t know that we have a college and university community that has 50,000 students,” he added.
“The Urban Transit Hub tax credit program will be rocket fuel for jobs growth in the city,” Richardson said. “If we can get another 200,000-square-foot office user, another thousand jobs in the city, another office tower — that’s 100-plus million dollars of construction value, 1,500 to 2,000 construction jobs, property taxes, payroll taxes, incidental parking revenue. All of that is a result of the UTHTC program. We really believe in it, and we’re marketing it to corporate community as we tell the story about the city of Newark.”
Richardson said he doesn’t believe the announcement by Panasonic on Thursday that the company was restructuring and laying off 17,000 employees would affect the Newark project. “In today’s economy, everybody’s trying to figure out how to be more efficient. We just know the leadership we meet at Panasonic is committed to Newark, and we’re excited to be partners with them.”
E-mail Melinda Caliendo at [email protected]