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Prudential Financial has decided to build a skyscraper for 2,000 employees on Broad Street in downtown Newark, after the company decided against developing a site blocks away near the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Star-Ledger has reported.
The Newark-based insurance giant has asked the state Economic Development Authority to amend its application for $250.8 million in tax credits for a $444-million tower, which would now rise on a full block between Broad and Halsey streets. The project would redevelop 3.25 acres that now include a tower, several stores and parking lots, according to the company’s letter to the authority. Prudential owns 12 of 19 parcels on the tract and is under contract to own the rest, according to the letter.
The amendment, filed late Wednesday and first reported Thursday on nj.com, the online home of The Star-Ledger, comes four months after the EDA said it would award Prudential an Urban Transit Hub tax credit worth $250.8 million over 10 years for the project. The project was originally proposed for a site on Center Street, across from NJPAC.
Prudential is considering where to house 2,000 employees who work at the Gateway Center complex once its leases expire in 2014. Company spokesman Bob DeFillippo declined to comment on whether Prudential would renew those leases, or what would happen if construction on the new facility is not complete by the time the leases expire.
“At this point, we’re only focused on going through the EDA application process, period,” he told the Ledger. Construction on a new tower could begin by fall and employees could move in by the end of 2014. Nearly 4,800 Prudential employees work in Newark.
The new proposed site is four blocks from the 751 Broad St. tower that will continue to serve as the company’s world headquarters and close to its other building on Washington Street. To receive the full $250.8 million tax credit, Prudential would be required to add at least 400 new jobs, double the amount typically expected because of the size of the award, EDA officials said.
In its application, Prudential said 100 jobs would be relocated from out-of-state offices and 300 jobs would be created. Construction is expected to generate more than 1,300 jobs, according to the EDA.
Prudential’s tax credit is one of the biggest financial incentives awarded by the EDA. Last year, the electronics company Panasonic received $102.4 million to relocate its North American headquarters to Newark from Secaucus, and the new Revel casino and hotel in Atlantic City received $261.4 million.