Monday, November 12, 2018

NJ EDA Awards $39.1 Million in Tax Breaks for Philadelphia Firm to Open Gloucester County Hub

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is offering a Philadelphia on-demand delivery service $39.1 million in tax incentives to open a nearly 300,000-square-foot distribution center in Gloucester County, bringing roughly 600 new jobs to the Garden State.

The EDA has awarded the tax credits to Gobrands Inc., which does business as goPuff and develops software that lets customers order items online or through the company's app, bringing products ranging from snacks and drinks to household items to people's doorsteps.

Gobrands, which serves 38 U.S. locations, is looking to centralize its logistics, research and development, warehouse and distribution operations, according to EDA documents. The company is weighing whether to build a 299,750-square-foot facility that would span the towns of Glassboro and Harrison, New Jersey, or go to a 327,044-square-foot building in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, the EDA said. The agency approved the incentives at its monthly meeting this past week in Trenton, New Jersey.

The potential New Jersey site is just off Route 322 in Glassboro, with only a small part of it in Harrison, according to Glassboro Zoning Officer Clark Pierpont. The portion in Glassboro is about 36 vacant acres that are owned by Rowan University, Pierpont said.

"The borough of Glassboro is extremely happy to partner with Harrison, [the town of] Mantua, Gloucester County, Rowan and the state to help bring Gobrands Inc. to our region," Joseph Brigandi Jr., Glassboro borough administrator and its executive director of economic development, said in an email. "The 600 new jobs will contribute significantly to the quality of life for our residents and businesses in Glassboro."

Mantua is a township across the street on Route 322 from the Gobrands site, according to Brigandi.

"Even though this particular project is not in their [Mantua] town, the partners I mentioned have been working together on developing all 600 acres that Rowan owns on their west campus location," he said.

The incentive winner said that it hasn't decided if it will come to the Garden State.

"GoPuff appreciates the support of the state of New Jersey EDA as we continue to transform the convenience and retail industries," Gobrands spokeswoman Liz Romaine said in an email. "This grant is a critical factor in our potentially locating our new tech and distribution hub in Gloucester County."

Gobrands, whose headquarters is at 454 North 12th St., Philadelphia, would make a $43 million investment in the New Jersey hub, which which would create 602 jobs, according to the EDA.

The new facility would be completed by February 2020, the EDA said, and the New Jersey tax incentives are granted over a 10-year period.

At its meeting, the EDA also awarded $8.25 million to Mesorah Publications Ltd., which prints Judaic books, $8.25 million to come to Rahway, New Jersey, and lease 130,000 square feet for a manufacturing facility at 313 Regina Ave., according to the EDA. The expansion would bring 110 new jobs to New Jersey. The Brooklyn, New York-based publisher is also considering expanding its manufacturing to a site in Yonkers, New York, instead of the Garden State, the EDA said.

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