Panasonic settles on subsidized Newark move

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Panasonic’s current North American headquarters in Secaucus, N.J.

Panasonic has signed on to move its corporate North American headquarters to Newark, taking advantage of $102.4 million in state subsidies and rebuffing efforts by New York City officials to lure the company to Downtown Brooklyn, according to Crain’s. The subsidy package requires Panasonic, which is currently housed in Secaucus, to add 250 employees to the 950 it already has in the state over the next 10 years.

The company is expected to take 250,000 square feet in a new building by SJP Properties and Matrix Development Group, 2 Riverfront Center. In Brooklyn, Forest City Ratner’s MetroTech Center and Atlantic Yards had been among the locations pitched.

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New Jersey has been aggressively pursuing big, otherwise New York-bound tenants through the promise of tax incentives in recent months: among them, the city’s Hunts Point produce market.

Meanwhile, Secaucus officials and Hartz Mountain Industries, the electronics giant’s Secaucus landlord, have each filed lawsuits against the state for improper use of the funds in Panasonic’s case, arguing that the company’s plan to leave may have been nothing more than an empty threat.

“We’re cutting all kinds of programs and they’re spending $102 million to relocate existing jobs within the state,” said Allen Magrini, senior vice president at Hartz, which had also offered to build new offices for Panasonic.

“It doesn’t make sense to penalize us to benefit Newark,” Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli added. [Crain’s] and [WSJ]