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Panasonic Moving Headquarters to Newark

Panasonic Corp. is expected to sign a lease today to move its North American headquarters about from Secaucus to Newark, NJ.

The electronics giant is expected to lease about 250,000 square feet in a new building in downtown Newark, moving 800 jobs from a more than 1-million-square-foot Secaucus location, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is providing Panasonic with $102.4 million in state tax incentives to facilitate the move. The use of tax incentives to relocate a company within the state has prompted a lawsuit from the town of Secaucus and the company’s current landlord, Hartz Mountain Industries.

The tax credits are designed to attract companies to nine select New Jersey cities; Panasonic said it had also considered offers in places such as New York and Georgia to leave its longtime home in the Meadowlands.

New Jersey is using this type of tax credit, called an Urban Transit Hub credit, to keep companies in the state and target urban downtowns. In a court filing this month, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority said it is talking with three companies that may apply for the tax credit, including one company that could transfer 1,400 jobs out of state.

The “viability” of the Panasonic project depends on this credit, the authority said in the court filing. Panasonic reportedly considered offers from New York and Georgia to relocate from its HQ from the Meadowlands in New Jersey before selecting the site in Newark, the state’s largest city.

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