Harrison marked another advancement in its Passaic River waterfront redevelopment with Panasonic Corp. of North America breaking ground last Tuesday, Oct. 9, for a new technology center at 600 Guyon Drive, next to Red Bull Arena.
When completed, the 48,500 square foot building will house Panasonic’s engineering offices, a lab and testing facilities for special projects, according to Panasonic spokesman Dan Unger.
Panasonic is also relocating its North American corporate headquarters, from Secaucus, to Newark.
Both new facilities are scheduled to open by summer 2013, according to Unger.
“Between the two, there will be about 1,000 employees,” Unger said. About 50 of those are expected to be working in Harrison, he said.
The Harrison center will be built by Advance Realty, of Bedminster, owner of the 3.3-acre Panasonic project site and developer of Class A office, multifamily, mixed-use and flexspace properties.
Initially, Russo Development Co., of Carlstadt, was slated to construct the Harrison facility but the Russo firm – which is developing another property within the Harrison waterfront redevelopment zone – made an agreement with Advance to permit that firm to take over the Panasonic project.
Harrison Mayor Raymond McDonough said: “We welcome the addition of Panasonic to Harrison. The prestige of the Panasonic brand and the company’s commitment to innovation in green electronics will mean a lot to the Harrison Redevelopment Area; it will mean employment opportunities for our residents.”
McDonough said that the town will be collecting an annual payment in lieu of taxes in the amount of $80,000 from Panasonic.
Mike Riccio, Panasonic Corp. of North America Controller and Vice President of Finance, said: “Panasonic is pleased to be on track to take advantage of all the flexible technical capabilities the planned Harrison Technology Center will offer us. With a new headquarters being developed at Two Riverfront Plaza in Newark, and now this Technology Center under construction in Harrison, we expect to be able to smoothly transition all of our operations from Secaucus by summer.”
The new center will be part of Harrison’s Riverbend District being developed by Advance, close to the Harrison PATH station which the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will shortly be upgrading with a $256 million investment. “
As developer of the Riverbend District in Harrison, Advance is a firm believer in the extraordinary potential of this ideally located (community),” said Peter Cocoziello, President/CEO of Advance Realty. “We look forward to the completion of this project and fully expect that other high-caliber firms will follow Panasonic’s example and seek out Harrison as a dynamic location for their businesses.”
– Ron Leir