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Quest, Ralph Lauren eye projects at ex-Roche campus on Route 3
re-nj.com
November 14, 2017
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Quest Diagnostics and Ralph Lauren could be among the newest tenants at the former Hoffmann-LaRoche campus in Clifton and Nutley, now known as ON3, following the approval of $88 million in tax credits to support more than 500,000 square feet of activity at the site.

According to the state Economic Development Authority, Quest has proposed building a 250,000-square-foot laboratory on a 12.3-acre portion of the campus, which is owned by Prism Capital Partners. The project would allow the diagnostics company to consolidate its footprint in the region by reducing operations in three surrounding states.

As such, the new building along Route 3 in Clifton would house 946 positions that are currently at a Quest-owned building in Teterboro, including 754 that are at risk of being moved out of the state. The proposal also calls for relocating 269 employees currently in Pennsylvania and Maryland, along with the creation of another 115 new jobs.

The EDA on Tuesday approved a 10-year, $55.2 million tax credit award for Quest. The estimated capital investment for the project is $230 million, according to a board memo.

The authority estimates the project would have a net benefit to the state of $76 million over 30 years. Quest, which is headquartered in Secaucus, has told the EDA it's weighing an alternative plan that would involve moving most of the Teterboro employees out of state and expanding facilities in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Ralph Lauren Corp., which is headquartered in Manhattan, has proposed leasing 255,018 square feet of existing space at the ON3 campus as part of a move to retain 518 jobs in the state and create an another 250 positions. According to the EDA, the move would be needed to accommodate the growth needs of back-office support operations that are currently based in Lyndhurst.

The authority on Tuesday approved a 10-year, $33 million incentive to encourage the fashion giant to choose Nutley over a competing 177,600-square-foot facility in High Point, North Carolina. The New Jersey project would have an estimated net benefit of $95.5 million over 20 years.

The two high-profile projects would continue the fast progress at ON3, which Prism acquired last fall. The 116-acre site was a research hub for Hoffmann-LaRoche for more than 80 years, but the Swiss pharmaceutical company announced in 2012 that it would vacate the site.

The property was in danger of becoming another hulking vacant office campus in the state, but Prism has seized on its location, size and several Class A office buildings that Roche left behind. The Bloomfield-based firm has since begun to reposition it as a mixed-use hub for corporations and research, having moved quickly to fill the void left by Roche.

The EDA this summer awarded a 10-year, $32 million tax credit to encourage Modern Meadow — which develops collagen proteins to make leather, rather than using animals — to move its headquarters to the campus from Brooklyn. The complex also will soon be home to a new medical school operated by Hackensack-Meridian Health and Seton Hall University.

Tuesday's EDA meeting was Quest's second time before the board since May 2016. At the time, the company was awarded a 10-year, $18.7 million incentive that propelled its move to a 130,000-square-foot space in Secaucus. The company also sought a benefit under the Sales & Use Tax Exemption program that would reduce the renovation costs associated with the latest project in Clifton.