9 companies getting tax breaks for setting up shop in NYC

Credits tied to Excelsior job program attracting a wide array of corporate tenants

Corner of Kent Avenue and South 2nd Street
Corner of Kent Avenue and South 2nd Street

Earlier this month, VICE announced it would move into a new 60,000-square-foot space in Williamsburg as it sought to house an additional 525 employees. The development will see the company move to and renovate an industrial building at the corner of Kent Street and South 2nd Street in Brooklyn.

To support the transition, New York State will give VICE up to $6.5 million in tax credits if it meets its hiring targets. The credit is part of an initiative called the Excelsior Jobs Program. The scheme has been around for years and aims to convince businesses to move to New York State or expand within it. And since more bodies typically require more space, Excelsior has helped companies build out and lease up in New York City. Here’s a look at some of the companies that have received an Excelsior tax credit for setting up shop  in New York.


Just north of VICE’s new headquarters, Amazon.com operates a 40,000-square-foot photo studio at 35 Kent Avenue, where it shoots clothing from all angles for its Amazon Fashion store. At the ribbon cutting in October, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the  facility would hire up to 175 freelancers and contract workers — as well as full-time employees — as photographers, digital imaging staff, models and hair and makeup artists.

Tax credits: $2 million

Dumbo Heights rendering

Dumbo Heights rendering


Etsy’s move to Jared Kushner’s new tech hub among the former Watchtower buildings will see the Brooklyn-born online marketplace for crafts lease 200,000 square feet in Dumbo. The company plans to add more than 300 employees at 117 Adams Street. Its facility will include a rooftop deck and space for events and discussions.

Tax credits: $5 million


Payroll processor ADP will open a 24,000-square-foot software development facility in a two-floor space at 135 West 18th Street. The company plans to add 100 new jobs, increasing its headcount from 22 at the time of the announcement.

Tax credits: $2 million

From left: Macy's, 919 Third Avenue and 1440 Broadway

From left: Macy’s, 919 Third Avenue and 1440 Broadway


The retail giant leased nearly 80,000 square feet of additional space in two buildings as it began adding 583 back office jobs. In 2012, it inked a deal for 47,000 square feet at SL Green’s 919 Third Avenue. The following year, it took another 31,700 square feet at 1440 Broadway near 40th Street, which American Realty REIT bought from Monday Properties and the Rockpoint Group for $528.6 million last year.

Tax credit: $7.6 million


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The financial data and software firm plans to lease an additional 16,867 square feet of space on the 11th floor of 90 Park Avenue to accommodate the 186 new employees it committed to hiring.

Tax credit: $2.5 million


The cross-platform marketing company plans to lease an additional 14,000 square feet of space at 160 Varick Street, bringing its footprint in the West Side building to about 32,000 square feet. The additional space will house a projected 140 new employees.

Tax credit: $500,000

Roche Clinical Research Center rendering

Roche Clinical Research Center rendering


The Swiss-owned pharmaceuticals company signed an 11-year lease for space in the Alexandria Center for Life Sciences at 450 East 29th Street. The deal was part of a plan that saw Roche shutter most of its Nutley, New Jersey operations and bring 200 jobs to Manhattan, with another 35 to follow. The company agreed to invest more than $9 million in a research center at the building.

Tax credit: $6.6 million


The payment hardware maker currently occupies 15,000 square feet at 143 Varick Street and plans to expand its presence in the building as it builds up its cloud-based software platform. A representative for the company said Shopkeep has not inked a deal yet, but the company committed to adding 365 new jobs by the middle of 2018, up from 77 today.

Tax credit: $750,000

Shapeways "Factory of the Future" launch in Queens

Shapeways “Factory of the Future” launch in Queens


The 3-D printing services company joined the program about two years ago and leased 25,000 square feet of industrial space in Long Island City, Queens. Shapeways agreed to hire 50 employees at its “Factory of the Future,” where engineers, 3-D printing specialists and industrial designers create and ship products for consumers.

Tax credit: $200,000

Tax credits listed are the maximum amount afforded through the Excelsior Jobs Program. Source: Excelsior Jobs Program Quarterly Report, March 31, 2014