EDA BOARD APPROVES FUNDING TO HELP ROWAN EXPAND IN DOWNTOWN CAMDEN


Board Takes Action on Other Financing Assistance, Business Incentives to Spur Job Creation and Private Investment

TRENTON, N.J. (Nov. 15, 2012) – In support of the Christie Administration’s commitment to revitalizing communities through redevelopment and fueling economic growth across the State, the Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today approved over $83.7 million in assistance at its monthly meeting, including a grant to Rowan University to expand its campus in the City of Camden.  In total, approved projects are expected to leverage more than $200 million of investment in New Jersey’s economy and lead to an estimated 1,370 new and retained jobs, as well as over 500 construction jobs.  

“Our resources are working to support the Christie Administration’s focus on helping businesses expand and thrive in New Jersey, while driving the development of new job opportunities for our residents,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Michele Brown.  “At the same time, we are supporting projects that will revitalize New Jersey’s urban communities and improve the quality of life for residents and businesses.” 

The $5.1 million grant to Rowan, which was previously approved by the Economic Recovery Board for Camden (ERB), will allow the University to continue its renovation of the former First Camden National Bank and Trust building in the City’s downtown.  Rowan has advanced the $13.5 million redevelopment project in three phases, and the ERB grant will be used for phase two, which includes demolition and various upgrades to support the elevation and renovation of the third floor for classroom use.  Over the past two years, Rowan’s Camden campus has doubled its enrollment from 425 students to over 800. The expansion will allow Rowan to better operate its growing programs and services, and offer additional bachelor degree programs, specifically in the areas of urban research and education.   

Large and small manufacturing companies also received approval today to support the continued growth of their respective businesses in New Jersey.   In 2012, the EDA has provided over $150 million in assistance to manufacturers throughout the state, resulting in a total of over 5,000 new and retained jobs.   

WWRD US, LLC was approved for an award of up to $16.8 million over ten years through the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program to encourage this leading provider of home and lifestyle products to relocate within New Jersey, rather than move out of state.  The company, which manufactures, distributes and sells many well-recognized brands, currently has its US headquarters and logistics and distribution center in New Jersey.  WWRD is considering investing more than $31.8 million in a build-to-suit facility in Robbinsville and keeping its 280 employees in New Jersey, or relocating to two separate locations in New York.   

With operations in New Jersey and New York, Northern Building Products is in the process of evaluating its consolidation options.   The company manufactures and distributes window products and other building materials and is currently headquartered in Teterboro.  To support its continued growth in New Jersey, Northern Building Products was approved for a Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP) grant worth up to $118,000 over ten years tied to the creation of 40 new jobs, and an award of $333,000 through the Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant (BRRAG) program to help ensure the retention of the company’s 148 New Jersey employees.   

Located in Shamong, Harry Shaw Model Maker Inc. will be able to refinance its mortgage debt as a result of the New Jersey Business Growth, a joint lending program of the EDA and PNC Bank.  The Burlington County manufacturer offers its customers state-of-the-art computer driven mills, stereo lithography, and hand carving and sculpting, with a special emphasis on finishing and detail work. The company is benefiting from a $465,740 PNC Bank loan, backed by a 25-percent EDA guarantee.  Harry Shaw Model Maker expects to maintain its staff of five.   

During the meeting, CEO Michele Brown also announced that the EDA had relaunched the Main Street Disaster Relief Program to assist businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  In partnership with its more than 40 Premier Lender banking partners, the EDA is able to offer guarantees of up to $500,000 for commercial lines of credit, providing quick access to cash for businesses that are awaiting insurance proceeds.    For more information on the program, visit www.njeda.com/disasterrelief

EDA Board meetings are typically held at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at 36 West State Street in Trenton.  The Board meeting schedule, as well as Board agendas and minutes, are available at www.njeda.com. All Board actions will take effect at the expiration of the statutory period for the Governor’s review and consideration of the meeting minutes. 

The EDA is part of the state’s results-driven Partnership for Action.  Created by Governor Chris Christie and led by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, the Partnership is the hub for all economic development activity in New Jersey and is comprised of three interconnected and highly focused organizational elements: Choose New Jersey, the Business Action Center and the EDA.   

To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at www.NewJerseyBusiness.gov or call the Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789.

 

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