EDA approves modified grant for MLB in Secaucus

TRENTON – The Economic Development Authority modified a grant Tuesday regarding the MLB Network in Secaucus. The enterprise is considering adding an adjacent location that could lead to an additional 250 employees.

EDA approved the modification as MLB is weighing a possible alternative site in the Bronx.

Under the approval granted today, the site at 44 Hartz Way in Secaucus would be added to the existing Business Enterprise Incentive Program, the 20 percent new employment cap would be waived because of significant capital improvements MLB would make, and the potential 250 new workers would have an average annual salary of $95,000, EDA reported.

MLB had an original $8 million grant in 2009, creating more than 200 jobs in Secaucus. EDA staff informed the board today that MLB is looking at a capital investment of $12 million to $15 million depending on which site is selected.

The EDA conducted other business as well.

*EDA OK’d an angel investment of up to $2.5 million in Rose Venture Capital Fund, which has agreed to invest $2 in N.J. companies for every $1 EDA invests. Rose is looking to invest in about 40 startup tech companies on the East Coast, and already has raised about $25 million, and made 11 investments.

* EDA approved an initial application under the new Angel Investor Tax Credit program. It OK’d an investment of $17,500 by Jonathan Perelman in Edge Therapeutics in New Providence Borough.

The credit would be 10 percent of the investment, and it can be taken against the applicant’s gross income tax, EDA staff said.

*Several school projects in Newark were approved.

Ashland School received an OK for $23 million, from $18 million, in an amended bond resolution, due to construction costs.

Five other charter school projects in Newark were approved for various purposes, including construction, acquisitions, and renovations: CA Newark on Morris Avenue, $8 million; Kingston Educational on Littleton Avenue, $40 million; NSA 559 Broad St. for Northstar Academy, $2.8 million; Uncommon Properties on 15th Avenue, $34 million; and Uncommon Properties on Hazlewood Avenue, $40 million.

*Also in Newark, EDA is planning to move its offices there from Gateway Center to 24 Commerce St.

EDA Executive Director Michele Brown said that they had been in the current site since 1988, but moving to 3,340 square feet at Commerce Street when the lease ends in January could save them almost $20 a square foot. Seven employees use the location, Brown told the board.

*And in Camden $1.25 million was approved for non-profit redeveloper Cooper’s Ferry Partnership to convert a former Campbell’s Soup warehouse into office space and an artisan incubator site.

EDA approves modified grant for MLB in Secaucus