HUDSON COUNTY - Goya Foods Inc. broke ground in Jersey City on Wednesday on what will be the company's new 615,000 square foot headquarters on County Road.
The company, the largest Latino-owned company in the U.S., is expanding its operations beyond it current facility on Seaview Drive in Secaucus.
Gov. Chris Christie, whose administration offered Goya tax incentives to stay in New Jersey, was on hand for the groundbreaking. Christie was joined by officials from Goya, the state's Economic Development Authority (EDA), Jersey City, Secaucus, and the Rockefeller Group, which owns the property at 350 County Rd., where the new headquarters will be built.
Last year, the EDA approved $81.9 million in tax breaks for Goya through the state's Urban Transit Hub Tax Program, which offers tax breaks to companies that move to designated transit hubs in the state. Proponents of the deal said it was necessary to keep Goya based in New Jersey.
More than 500 current Goya employees will be transferred from the company's facilities in Secaucus and Long Island to the new Jersey City headquarters, company president Joseph Unanue said at the groundbreaking, and about 80 new jobs will be created. In addition, 150 temporary construction jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project.
Co. received local tax breaks, too
In addition to the tax breaks from the state, the Jersey City Council approved its own package of tax incentives for Goya.
The company's 20-year payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) agreement with Jersey City will require Goya to pay $806,400 annually for the first six years the company is in Jersey City. In years seven through 12 the company will pay $892,950 each year. In years 13 through 20, Goya will pay $979,500 each year.
Under the company's agreement with the city, Goya will pay an annual service charge that will be passed along to Hudson County for county taxes and will have to pay an annual administrative fee. Both of these fees will increase incrementally over the duration of the 20-year agreement with the city.
Goya's annual county tax fee will start out at $40,320, and the annual administrative fee will start out at $16,128.
The company has also agreed to pay a one-time sum of $114,700 to Jersey City's Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Goya will not contribute to the local school system.
Given that the city currently receives only $299,300 in property taxes from the 350 County Ave. site, members of the City Council who supported the PILOT agreement last year said this is a good deal for Jersey City.
Last year, New Jersey Policy Perspective, a Trenton-based think tank, estimated that Goya will likely create only about six new jobs as a result of its move to Jersey City.
The new facility, which will be used as a distribution center, is scheduled to open in spring 2014. The company will keep its current warehouse open in Secaucus and will use the facility for manufacturing.- E. Assata Wright