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New proposal urges Amazon to build second headquarters in New Brunswick

<p>New Brunswick is now in the running to become the location of Amazon's second headquarters due to an official proposal submitted by the New Brunswick Development Corporation (Devco).</p>

New Brunswick is now in the running to become the location of Amazon's second headquarters due to an official proposal submitted by the New Brunswick Development Corporation (Devco).

Amazon has been looking for a location to place its HQ2 — the second Amazon headquarters. Included in the cities that put in proposals to be the new home of the estimated $5 billion project is New Brunswick.

Chris Paladino, the president of the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO) told tapinto.net that the company submitted their proposal directly to Amazon on Oct. 17, two days before the Oct. 19 deadline.

DEVCO worked with Rutgers University and Middlesex County officials before completing the proposal that met all of Amazon's criteria. 

“New Brunswick is the clear choice of New Jersey. Mass transportation, Rutgers engineering and business school graduates, a walkable city, restaurants, theater district and an engaged, supportive local and county government,” he said.

According to Amazon, the second headquarters is expected to be a complete equal to the original in Seattle. It will employ up to 50,000 people in addition to tens of thousands of people from construction and operation.

Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy, according to its site.

Paladino suggested the majority of HQ2 would be placed at the former site of the Ferren Mall on Albany Street, as part of a 1.7 million-square-foot, mixed-use redevelopment project known as The Hub @ New Brunswick Station. 

"The Hub will be one of the most ambitious and innovative projects the city has ever seen — an epicenter for cultural, commerce and business activity, and in many ways the gateway to the city," according to The Hub website.

This proposal includes the use of Rutgers’ Innovation Center in Piscataway, Paladino told tapinto.

Despite Paladino saying he was “proud” of New Brunswick’s proposal, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) endorsed Newark to get the bid, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Christie also offered Amazon $7 billion in tax breaks if they come to the Garden State, and said he estimated $9 billion in economic activity.

"Newark is prime for Amazon's HQ2 development, and this deal would amount to one of the most successful endeavors in the history of New Jersey and Amazon," Christie said.

On Oct. 5, New Brunswick broke ground on the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), The Daily Targum reported. The new center was a collaboration between Rutgers University and DEVCO and is set to cost over $190 million. 

The center is set to open in Fall 2019.  

The venue consists of two state-of-the-art theaters, dedicated rehearsal studios and both academic and office space. There will be 250 residential apartments and 15,000 square feet of office space, according to the DEVCO website.

University President Robert L. Barchi said New Brunswick will benefit from the economic development, culture and growth in job opportunities that will now be offered through the NBPAC. 

"New Brunswick right now is probably the premier city with regard to urban economic development in the state, and probably even in the country,” he said.

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