Tag: NJ

World Business Lenders Moves HQ To Jersey City

By the end of the year, 225 employees will be located at the financial services company’s new Jersey City, NJ corporate headquarters.

New Jersey EDA Awards $47.4M To Tech, Biotech Companies

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJ EDA) has approved 41 companies to share a total of $47.4 million through the state’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer (NOL) Program in FY 2016.

Six Projects Approved For Grow NJ Tax Credits

Six projects approved for Grow NJ tax credits are associated with the creation of over 645 new jobs, the retention of more than 550 jobs at risk of leaving the state, and private investment of more than $313 million.

Snapshots: 60 SECONDS… with New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno

New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno discusses the Garden State's growing biotech/pharma industry and workforce training programs.

New York: A Business State of Mind

The Empire State boasts a global financial center, the nation’s most advanced high-tech hub and a bevy of business-friendly, scenic locations that offer an unsurpassed quality of life and easy access to a skilled workforce.

Fire and Water

In an age of bottled water, it is refreshing to remember that the best-tasting water in America still can be found flowing out of the taps of every kitchen sink in New York City. The water system for the nation's largest city is an immense natural bounty that has been harvested for nearly a century by one of the greatest feats in the history of human engineering. Originating in pristine upstate reservoirs, the City's water is naturally filtered by granite outcroppings left by glaciers eons ago, enhancing its purity with a sweet, mineral aftertaste. As any kid who ever interrupted a stickball game to race inside for a cool drink on a hot summer day can tell you, there is no better thirst-quencher on Earth. In 1677, a few years after the Dutch outpost on the tip of lower Manhattan was established, drinking water was distributed to the settlers through hollow logs from a handful of shallow, privately owned wells. In 1776, when the population of New York City reached 22,000, the city's first reservoir was built on the east side of Broadway between Pearl and White Streets, serviced by wooden mains. In 1830, the system's water arteries were replaced with 12-inch cast iron pipes. As the City's population approached its first million, the water became polluted and the supply was inadequate. The City decided to augment the system by impounding water from the Croton River, in what is now Westchester County. In 1842, the Old Croton Aqueduct was placed in service with a capacity of 90 million gallons per day; in the 1870s, several storage reservoirs were built in the City; in 1890, a second aqueduct (New Croton Aqueduct) came on line and the water facilities of the five boroughs were consolidated into the New York City Water System. In 1905, its population still exploding, the City decided to develop the Catskill region as an additional water source. The Ashokan Reservoir and Catskill Aqueduct were completed in 1915, joined by the Schoharie Reservoir and Shandaken Tunnel in 1928.  Also in 1928, approval was granted to develop the upper portion of the Rondout watershed and upstate tributaries of the Delaware River. Construction of the Delaware System began in 1937, after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out an attempt by New Jersey to block the project. The Delaware Aqueduct was completed in 1944, Rondout Reservior in 1950, Neversink Reservoir in 1954, Pepacton Reservior in 1955 and Cannonsville Reservoir in 1964. Today, the New York City Water System is served by 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes with a total storage capacity of approximately 580 billion gallons. Like the only water system comparable to it--the aqueducts built by the ancient Romans--about 95 percent of the water is delivered to the City by gravity. The water travels through two huge water tunnels, soon to be joined by a third. When it is completed in 2020 at a cost of $6 billion, the 60-mile-long Water Tunnel No. 3 will be the largest tunnel in America, delivering 1.3 billion gallons per day and enabling the City to temporarily shut down each of the older tunnels for long-needed repairs. It would be wonderful if the story ends here, with generations of future New Yorkers ensured of access to the best water in the world. But it does not. In fact, if the natural gas industry has its way, it may not be possible for anyone to drink the elixir that is delivered by Water Tunnel No. 3 or its two brothers when No. 3 is brought on line. If you haven't heard of the term "fracking," you will soon. Hydraulic fracturing—a.k.a. fracking—involves blasting water, sand and chemicals into underground rock formations to unlock the natural gas they contain. It has successfully been used, mostly without incident, in hundreds of thousands of natural gas wells. But in a nation starved for "clean" energy, gas wells are now being drilled deeper and stretched vertically and horizontally to get at remote deposits. This expansion also has exponentially increased the risks: a single well can result in a million gallons of wastewater laced with carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium. Rural homeowners who live near recently started fracking operations have discovered that if they hold a match to their running tap water the entire sink erupts in a blaze of flames. That's worth repeating: because of contamination from fracking, people can't drink their tap water but they can now set fire to it. The presence of high-level radioactivity in fracking wastewater and the lax regulation of wastewater disposal were highlighted recently in a comprehensive investigative report published in The New York Times. Based on its review of thousands of internal documents from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and gas drillers, the Times concluded that "the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood." As the quest for natural gas has intensified, so too has the national debate over the dangers of fracking. Ground zero in this debate now resides in the Marcellus Shale formation, a natural gas repository that stretches from West Virginia through the middle of Pennsylvania and into a wide swath of New York State. Sitting squarely in the northeastern quadrant of the Marcellus Shale formation are the reservoirs of the New York City Water System. It is probably not an exaggeration to say that the fate of New York City's famous drinking water now rests with New York's new governor, Andrew Cuomo. As this is being written, Gov. Cuomo is playing his cards close to the vest. He has not yet made clear his position on the proposed expansion of fracking in New York's portion of the Marcellus Shale belt. When he does weigh in, Gov. Cuomo's decision likely will tip the balance--one way or the other. We have a helpful suggestion for Andrew as he wrestles with what will probably be his most important decision as New York's chief executive: Wait until the hottest day in July and pay your parents a visit at their home in Queens. Mow the lawn for them. Touch up the paint on the outside of the house. Patch up the cement work in front of the garage, chipped during some of your youthful basketball contests with your dad, Mario. Then go inside and ask for a drink of water. Savor. Remember. Protect.  

Bartlett Dairy Coming to Newark, NJ

Brick City Development Corp., Newark, NJ’s economic development catalyst, has announced it has completed the sale of a 105,000-square-foot  South Ward Industrial Park site to Bartlett Dairy.  Bartlett will bring more than 400 jobs to the city over the next 5 years. “Creating jobs is one our top priorities,” said Lyneir Richardson, CEO, Brick City Development Corporation.  “The core of our work is focused on building a sustainable economy in Newark. This includes job creation, job retention, and leveraging private and public investment to attract businesses that strengthen the economic base of the city,” Said Richardson. Bartlett Dairy is a major food and dairy distributor with operations in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York with sales in 2009 of $141 million. “Distributors rely on efficient access to transportation in order to prosper.  Newark offers advantages over other sites in the region including access to the largest Port in the Northeast, three airports, an extensive highway system, affordable real estate, 50,000 person university community, and a ready workforce,” said Richardson. Lyneir Richardson has overall responsibility for business attraction and real estate development.  Richardson’s primary focus is to actualize the development in the pipeline. Bartlett Dairy is just one of the many projects BCDC is bringing to fruition. Bartlett Dairy will proceed with  the relocation in phases. The initial phase is the relocation of their operation in Clifton, NJ and 175 jobs, which will be completed by June. Over the next 2-3 years, Bartlett intends to relocate to Newark more than 150 jobs from their other facilities in New Jersey and Jamaica, New York.  Bartlett expects to create an additional 100 new jobs through growth over the next five years. As part of the acquisition, Bartlett has agreed to a first-source hiring under which it will give priority to Newark residents for all openings. In addition to Newark residents at large, Bartlett will target job openings to participants in Mayor Cory Booker’s prisoner reentry program. “This is a great example of the type of partnerships we are attempting to create, which help to foster better relationships between employers and the community,” said Ingrid Johnson, Chair of Reentry Initiatives for Newark. Bartlett Dairy is a major food and dairy distributor with operations in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York with sales in 2009 of $141 million.  Crain’s recently ranked Bartlett as the 5th largest minority-owned company in the metropolitan region. Bartlett is the exclusive, tri-state distributor to over 550 Starbucks stores.  Bartlett is also the largest fresh milk distributor in the Northeast for Elmhurst Dairy, one of the most trusted milk processors and packagers in the business.

No Downturn for Emerging Financial Powerhouses

Jersey City, NJ and Charlotte, NC continue their steady march to the top of the list of financial services centers.

Amtrak Plans $13.5-Billion Hudson Tunnel

Amtrak has announced plans for a $13.5-billion rail tunnel project to connect New York City and New Jersey. The rail giant said it would spend $50 million on preliminary engineering and design work on two tunnels under the Hudson River. New York and New Jersey state governments, as well as local authorities, could contribute further funds, Amtrak said. The project is expected to be completed by 2020. A similar project was cancelled by NJ Gov. Chris Christie last year for being too expensive. Gov. Christie's decision stunned federal officials, who had designated the Hudson project to receive one of the largest single national allocations of federal stimulus funds. Christie said estimates for the project had increased by almost one-third since it was announced. "The two new trans-Hudson tunnels envisioned under this plan will provide long-sought, peak period operational capacity and is an investment that will improve transportation flexibility and reliability for decades to come," Amtrak said. Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said: "The Gateway Project is a vision for our future that will shorten commutes, create jobs, increase property values and grow New Jersey's economy." Currently, there is one century-old rail tunnel servicing the Hudson crossing.

Rising tide of red ink

Anyone who thought state budget deficits were confined to one or two regions of the United States had a sobering wake-up call in the form of a report issued this month by the Center on Budget and Policy. The report indicates that the sea of red ink has now washed over no less than 44 states. Nevada, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas and California lead the list of states in arrears, each compiling current deficits that amount to roughly one-third of their budgets. Nevada currently is facing a $1.5-billion deficit that is equivalent to 45.2 percent of the state budget; Illinois's deficit is about $15 billion, or 44.9 percent of its budget; New Jersey weighs in at $10.5 billion, or 37.4 percent of its budget; Texas is facing a $13.4 billion gap, 31.5 of its budget total; and California, despite draconian budget cuts in the past two years, still has a $25.4-billion gap to close. States that are closest to making ends, according to the center's report, are Indiana, West Virginia, Montana, Iowa, and Massachusetts, which range from the Hoosier State’s 2 percent shortfall (approximately $270 million) to Massachusetts' $1.8-billion deficit (5.7 percent of budget). Proposed remedies include a bill reportedly circulating in Congress that will enable states to file for bankruptcy so they can renegotiate obligations like pension payments. However, a less-painful cure can be found in the 2010 census results: the Census Bureau reports that the fastest growth was achieved by states without a state income tax.

60 Seconds with Albert Chen, Chairman of the America China Society of Indiana

The America China Society of Indiana (ACSI) was recently formed as the trade organization that will promote cooperative business, trade and investment opportunities between the Hoosier State and the world’s most populous nation. The effort is headed by ACSI chairman Albert Chen, president and founder of Telamon. BF: How long has Telamon been involved in business ventures on mainland China? Do you have facilities in China? AC: Our firm has been in China since 1986. We operate three facilities there that repair and test wireless devices. We also are involved in IT software development in China and South Korea. BF: The announcement for the new trade initiative indicated that Indiana will be promoting agricultural products, advanced bioscience, automotive and IT technology for export to China. Do you expect this to be a two-way street, resulting in new jobs in Indiana? AC: The focus will be on both jobs and the exchange of goods. We are interested in selling Indiana’s products in China, which will create jobs here. We also want to help China understand the investment opportunity for Chinese firms here in Indiana. We aim to promote cooperative business, trade and investment opportunities between Indiana and China. BF: China has a huge, low-cost labor pool and a growing domestic market. Can U.S. producers compete with Chinese manufacturers in their home market? AC: Our exports to China will help meet the tremendous demand of the Chinese market. We also want to convince China that it can make a wise investment in Indiana in producing consumer goods here as well as industrial parts. BF: What will be one of the key attractions for Chinese businesses that may want to set up shop in Indiana? AC: Indiana is the Crossroads of America. We can offer tremendous logistics advantages for anyone locating their business in Indiana. BF: Currently, the U.S. balance of trade with China is widely skewed in China’s favor. Can this trend be reversed? AC: Sometimes these figures can be misleading. For example, custom touchscreen phone components that cost $178 to produce in the U.S. cost $6 to produce in China, but the value of the goods is usually stated based on the U.S. cost. BF: Many businesses like yours have forged their own ties with China. Why is a statewide trade organization needed? AC: A lot of small- to medium-sized businesses don’t have enough experience in dealing with China. We want to share our experience with them. BF: It took about 20 years to establish a significant number of Japanese business facilities in the U.S., and Japanese companies often required the creation of joint ventures that quickly absorbed U.S. technology. Do you believe deals with China will follow the same pattern? AC: We need to be careful that we don’t give China our technology. We have to toughen our negotiating positions. Hopefully, it won’t take 20 years to achieve with China the level of Japanese production in the U.S. We should be able to do that within five to 10 years.

SEA OF RED INK

Anyone who thought state budget deficits are confined to one or two regions of the United States got a sobering wake-up call this month from the Center on Budget and Policy, which reports the sea of red ink has now washed over no less than 44 states. Nevada, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas and California lead the list of states in arrears, each compiling current deficits amounting to roughly one-third of their annual budgets. Nevada currently is facing a deficit that is equivalent to 45.2 percent of the state’s budget; Illinois's $15-billion deficit equals 44.9 percent of its budget; California, despite draconian budget cuts in the past two years, still has a yawning $25.4-billion gap to close. Proposed remedies include a bill reportedly circulating in Congress that will enable states to file for bankruptcy so they can renegotiate obligations like pension payments. A less-painful cure may be found in the 2010 census results: the Census Bureau reports that the fastest population growth has been achieved by states without a state income tax.

Privacy Policy

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Roche Expanding in Tucson, AZ

Drug giant Roche will spend about $180 million in Oro Valley on new buildings and other capital investments while creating 500 jobs there over the next five years. The jobs, to pay an average salary of $75,000, will include positions in science, administration and manufacturing, as the heavyweight bioscience and pharmaceutical firm grows to meet the demands of an aging population, the Swiss-based company recently announced. The new jobs will increase the work force of Oro Valley-based Ventana Medical Systems—which was bought by Roche in 2008—by up to 50 percent. The Tucson area is believed to have won out over three other regions that also have a Roche workforce, in Indianapolis, Southern California and northern New Jersey, said Joe Snell, president and CEO of Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities Inc. or TREO. Community and business leaders close to the deal said it's been in the works for nearly a year and hinges on Pima County and the state providing key incentives. Pima County Supervisor Ann Day, whose district includes Oro Valley, said the county and state were able to put together generous incentives to entice the company to expand its work force at Innovation Park. The county will waive $8.5 million in property taxes and the state is offering $2 million in stimulus funds, Day said. Pima County will also offer work force training. "These are 400 to 500 high-tech positions that have a median wage of more than $70,000 a year," Day said. "I just think it's remarkable to have companies like Ventana Medical and Roche in our region because they are at the forefront of creating new medicine to treat previously untreatable diseases. Just think, it's developed right here in our county." Innovation Park has become a hub for bioscience research. Sanofi-Aventis also has a research center at the 535-acre campus, and the University of Arizona recently acquired Sanofi-Aventis' older, smaller lab space a few miles from the park. Plans for that lab call for drug research, but the lab will also be used as a business incubator.

Data Center Giant Plans Hub in NJ

i/o Data Centers is planning to build a huge data center in New Jersey to serve as the East Coast hub for its growing colocation business. The company is in the late stages of site selection for a modular data center that will occupy 550,000 square feet of space, which would make the center one of the largest in the country. “We’re expanding to the East Coast,” said George Slessman, CEO of i/o Data Centers told Data Centers Knowledge. “We really think it’s critical for our customers to have both East coast and West coast options. We think it’s a natural progression.” The company currently operates two data centers in the Phoenix market , including i/o Phoenix, which at 538,000 square feet is among the world’s largest data centers. Last month, the company acquired a $130-million line of credit facility to finance growth, including the New Jersey data center and additional deployments in Phase II of its Phoenix site. Slessman said the company has narrowed its site search to two locations in New Jersey, including a greenfield site and a retrofit of an existing facility. Either site would be developed using the company’s i/o Anywhere modular data center as the deployment model. The New Jersey market already has seen several new providers open facilities this year. Earlier this month, DuPont Fabros Technology opened a data center in Piscataway; Senitinel Data Centers is in Somerset; and NYSE Euronext recently opened a colocation center in Mahwah.

Google Aims to Power East Coast

Every year, somebody at our office circulates an email message updating us on what it’s like to work at Google. This message always generates a lot of “oohs” and “ahhs” at the water cooler. The privileged few who inhabit Google’s high command in Mountain View, CA are living the corporate good life. In between tweaking the algorithm that governs 80 percent of web searches, these working stiffs can be seen: Serenely swimming in an Olympic-sized pool; Reclining in ergonomically designed “stress” capsules; Moving from floor to floor on a sliding pond; Shooting pool in the billiard room; Getting a professional massage; Having a personal chef prepare a five-star meal for lunch. Frankly, we’re fed up with the annual “what it’s like to work at Google" message. We’d like to forward it to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Strike that last thought. Google just announced it has plans for the Atlantic Ocean. The search behemoth is going to spend $5 billion to power a huge stretch of the East Coast of the United States with wind from the Atlantic. Google intends to leapfrog to the head of the alternative energy pack. The project would set up offshore wind turbines and a new transmission grid stretching 350 miles from New Jersey to Virginia. Google, which also is dabbling in robotic cars (they drive themselves), said it would provide 37.5 percent of the initial funding for the East Coast wind bonanza. Rick Needham, director of green business operations and strategy at Google, described the project as a new "superhighway" for alternative energy, creating jobs and eventually providing enough power to serve 1.9 million households. "We're willing to take calculated risks on large-scale projects that can move an industry. Indeed, that is what's made our company so successful to date," Needham told a news conference in Washington. Google and its partners hope to begin work on the project, called the Atlantic Wind Connection, in early 2013 and complete it by 2020, subject to government approval. Needham said Google was open to further investment later. We can imagine how this project got started. Google founders Sergey and Larry were taking a stress break after a five-star meal at the Mountain View HQ. While they were lying on the massage table, Sergey suddenly blurted out: “Gigabits. Gigabits. That’s all we ever talk about. I’m sick of gigabits!” To which Larry responded: “OK. How about gigawatts?” We’ve got an uneasy feeling about this initiative. Creating a power transmission grid for the most densely populated chunk of the U.S.A. is not a simple algorithm. We’re talking about electricity here. Have these guys ever plugged in a server? Besides, Google’s core business still needs a little tweaking. How do we know? We googled “East Coast” while researching this post. Topping the results list was “Don’t Miss Octoberfest at East Coast Toyota! Lowest Prices on 2011 Camrys in New Jersey!”

Tunnel Vision

The largest public transit project in the nation—which was earmarked to receive the largest single allocation of federal stimulus dollars—apparently has been killed by a slash from the relentless budget-cutting sword wielded by New Jersey’s governor. Gov. Chris Christie abruptly announced this week that New Jersey is pulling out of an $8.7-billion project to construct a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River. Ground already had been broken for the rail tunnel and more than $3 billion in federal financing (with an additional $2 billion from the Port Authority of NY/NJ) had been arranged. More than 6,000 construction jobs were in the process of being filled for the shovel-ready project. The rail tunnel has been in the planning stages for decades as an alternative route into New York City for NJ Transit’s northern rail hub, which serves the most densely populated region of the United States. The Garden State’s commuter rail giant currently relies on two tracks that travel across the Hudson through a single, century-old tunnel which rapidly is approaching its capacity limit. After learning that original estimates for the rail tunnel project had ballooned by at least $2.5 billion, Gov. Christie said New Jersey could not afford its one-third share of the project’s cost. The decision shocked federal officials, who viewed the tunnel project as a crown jewel of the federal stimulus program. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is seeking an emergency meeting with Christie to try to get the governor to reverse course. The state's portion of the rail tunnel funds reportedly will be reallocated to fill a yawning deficit in NJ's highway and bridge repair fund. Despite slashing New Jersey’s bloated state budget by nearly $3 billion since taking office in January, Gov. Christie recently discovered that the state’s dedicated fund for bridge repair and roadwork has run out of money after years of underfunding by the state Legislature. The governor previously indicated that an increase in the state tax on gasoline, currently one of the lowest in the nation, is not an option to close the fiscal gap. We give Gov. Christie kudos for boldness. Let’s face it, it’s not every day that a state chief executive turns down more than $5 billion in ready cash from the Feds and a regional agency. We will reserve judgment on the wisdom of Gov. Christie’s decision. There are some nagging questions about the long-term impact of this action, and a few doomsayers are imagining a worst-case scenario that might confront future rail commuters in the Garden State. It goes like this: The year is 2030. There are now 14 million people living in New Jersey. Because the price of gasoline is now $5.25 per gallon and New York City recently banned all vehicular traffic, the only way for northern New Jersey’s 4 million daily commuters to enter NYC is by train. Unfortunately, the now 120-year-old rail tunnel under the Hudson has been closed indefinitely for repairs. The NTSB declared the tunnel unsafe for use after the derailment of 2028, which killed 15 people. The terrorist bombing of 2029, which blew apart an entrance to the tunnel, caused another $6 billion in damage. NJ Transit, which was privatized in 2017 and is just emerging from its 2025 bankruptcy filing, still is trying to raise funds to repair the damage to the track caused by the derailment. New York City Mayor Rudolph Bloomberg (grandson of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and son of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s son, Andrew) estimates the economic impact to NYC of a prolonged Hudson rail tunnel shutdown at $134 million per day. The estimated cost of replacing the aging tunnel recently topped $45 billion. Lin Yaopang, president of the Chinese-American International Monetary Fund World Bank, who recently suspended the United States’ budgetary line of credit due to a default on a $2-trillion interest payment, said an emergency appropriation for a new Hudson tunnel is “out of the question” until the $500-billion Amazon high-speed rail corridor is completed in 2038……  

60 Seconds with Neal Wade, Sr. Vice President for Economic Development, St. Joe...

Neal Wade left St. Joe Co. eight years ago to become director of the Alabama Development Office. He is now returning to St. Joe to spearhead the West Bay development in northwest Florida. BF: What attracted you to this opportunity and what do you bring to the table? NW: I’m bringing a whole new set of values and experiences I didn’t have before. If you’ve only been on the corporate side, state government can be a shock. It’s really been an education to me to learn how to navigate through all levels of government. I’ve also made a tremendous amount of contacts internationally as well as here in the U.S., especially among projects that we’re going to be targeting and among site consultants throughout the country. BF: Are there specific lessons you’ve learned in your state post that you can apply to your new position? NW: Government does not operate at the same pace that the private sector does--you don’t have the same abilities to make decisions inside state government that you do on the private side. It’s much slower [at the state level]. So you really have to pick your battles and figure out how you’re going to work within the system. It’s also really brought into focus that to be successful, you have to have a team: not just St. Joe, but local and state government, the new governor, all of those elements have to be part of the success we’re going to have down there. BF: How challenging is the economic environment in northwest Florida today? NW: We’re seeing a lot more activity than we were seeing two years ago. We’re seeing a lot of projects right now. Companies are preparing for recovery and the opportunity for activity is good. BF: What are the biggest selling points for West Bay? NW: In northwest Florida what we have to offer is an unparalleled quality of life, a workforce that can be trained to fit the companies we’re going to be targeting and we’re going to have a new set of sites that we’re going to make available over the next three years that weren’t available seven years ago. There are 1900 aerospace and defense businesses in northwest Florida, and when you combine that with the type of sites we will have available we’ve got a tremendous selling point. We also are changing the perception that the region is strictly a tourist destination rather than a major business location. BF: How important is the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport to the West Bay development? NW: It is crucial to what we are doing in northwest Florida. You have people able to get in and out a whole lot easier. It also is going to bring sites that surround that airport into play. The airport is going to be the tipping point for the development of NW Florida.

TUNNEL VISION

The largest public transit project in the nation—which was earmarked to receive the largest single allocation of federal stimulus dollars—apparently has died on the relentless budget-cutting sword wielded by New Jersey’s governor. Gov. Chris Christie abruptly announced earlier this month that New Jersey is pulling out of an $8.7-billion project to construct a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River. Ground already had been broken for the rail tunnel, more than $3 billion in federal financing had been arranged, and more than 6,000 construction jobs were in the process of being filled for the shovel-ready project. The rail tunnel has been in the planning stages for decades as an alternative route into New York City for NJ Transit’s northern rail hub. The Garden State’s commuter rail giant currently relies on two tracks that go through a single century-old tunnel that is approaching its capacity limit. After learning that original estimates for the project had ballooned by at least $2.5 billion, Gov. Christie said New Jersey could not afford its one-third share of the project’s cost. The rail tunnel funds reportedly will be reallocated to fill a yawning deficit in the stat’s highway and bridge repair fund.

Energy Innovation Hub Set for Philadelphia Navy Yard

Pennsylvania State University researchers will receive $129 million over the next five years from several federal sources, including the Department of Energy (DOE), and an additional $30 million from Pennsylvania, to develop ways to make buildings more energy efficient. The funds will create an Energy Innovation Hub at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, which will involve researchers from academia, the private sector and two national laboratories in an effort to save energy, cut carbon pollution and position the United States at the forefront of the industry. In addition to the $122 million grant from the DOE, three other federal agencies will provide about $7 million in funding, and Gov. Ed Rendell has pledged $30 million to the project to construct a new facility at the Navy Yard Clean Energy Campus in Philadelphia. The 1,200-acre Navy Yard site is a city within a city with a master plan guiding its development. A central feature of the master plan is the Clean Energy Campus aimed at making the Navy Yard and the Greater Philadelphia region a global headquarters for clean energy technology and policy. The Navy Yard's size, its extensive utility infrastructure including an independent electric grid, and diverse building stock, combined with its future development capacity, make it the ideal location for a national energy efficient building initiative. Partners in the Penn State-led energy initiative include: Bayer Material Science; Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeast Pennsylvania; Carnegie Mellon University; Collegiate Consortium; Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center; Drexel University; IBM Corp.; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Morgan State University; New Jersey Institute of Technology; Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation; PPG Industries; Princeton University; Purdue University; Rutgers University; Turner Construction; United Technologies Corp.; University of Pennsylvania; University of Pittsburgh; Virginia Tech; and Wharton Small Business Development Center.

Coca-Cola Expands in New Jersey

Coca-Cola Enterprises will soon break ground on a new facility in South Brunswick, NJ while expanding operations at its Carlstadt plant. "Coca-Cola is a world-class, Fortune 500 company that is recognized all over the globe as a symbol of growth and success,'' Gov. Chris Christie said in South Brunswick. "The company's decision to partner with and remain in the state of New Jersey is one of the clearest signals yet that our efforts to improve the state's business climate is working.” Christie aides said the new 230,000-square foot facility in South Brunswick, set to open in mid-2011, and the expansion of the existing Carlstadt plant will result in the retention of over 1,000 jobs and ensure the company has the space to accommodate future growth. "After a comprehensive assessment, the decision was made to build a new facility in South Brunswick, and to expand our current operations in Carlstadt," Michael Sullivan, Coca-Cola's Market Unit vice president, CCE New Jersey, said . "Working with the state of New Jersey and the Christie administration, we were able to keep jobs in New Jersey and be well positioned to grow in the future." Christie noted his administration's new Business Action Center, a component of the New Jersey Partnership for Action which provides a one-stop shop for business, combining all economic development activities under one roof, including business retention and attraction services. The center has launched a business call center, where customer service representatives are available to answer inquiries and businesses will get a return phone call from an account manager within 24 hours. Christie said the Business Action Center will work closely with Coca-Cola as it moves on construction of the South Brunswick plant and will continue to assist other companies that have recently chosen to grow in New Jersey, including: -- Intrasphere Technologies -- Relocation from New York City to Jersey City, 300 new jobs); -- Watson Pharmaceuticals -- Parsippany expansion involving 175 new jobs; -- UPS -- Retention of over 740 jobs in sites throughout Passaic and Bergen counties; -- Diversified Foam -- 68 retained and 30 new manufacturing jobs in Gloucester County; -- PNY Technologies in Parsippany -- Chose to remain in New Jersey and upgrade its flash memory card manufacturing facility. This week's announcement adds Coca-Cola Enterprises to an expanding list of Fortune 500 companies opting to continue operating in New Jersey, including Campbell's Soup Co. Honeywell, and Pitney Bowes. Fourteen other firms from New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee and Maryland have made the choice to relocate operations to New Jersey since January. The moves represent 1,180 new jobs and nearly $27 million in total public-private investment generated for the state.

Baltek Relocates to High Point, NC

Materials manufacturer Baltek Inc. will invest $3.5 million and bring 68 jobs to High Point over the next three years, Gov. Bev Perdue has announced. Baltek Inc., a manufacturer of core materials for the wind energy, mass transit, marine and military markets, will relocate to a new manufacturing facility in Guilford County. The New Jersey-based core materials manufacturer Baltek will relocate its operations to High Point. The company plans to create 68 jobs and invest $3.5 million over the next three years. Approximately 56 of the jobs will be newly-created local positions and approximately 12 employees will be transferred to High Point from out of state. The average annual wage for the new jobs by the end of 2011 will be $43,544, not including benefits. The average annual wage in Guilford County is $38,116. The project was made possible in part by a $204,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund. The company's materials are used by manufacturers to make lightweight sandwich structures that enable end products to become lighter and thus more energy efficient. Baltek is a member company of 3A Composites, headquartered in Switzerland with 3,000 employees in Europe, the Americas and Asia.

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