N.J. lost Amazon to Long Island City; can it win Gucci with $14.7M EDA incentive?

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority on Tuesday approved a $14.7 million Grow New Jersey grant over 10 years to entice luxury brand Gucci to open a central U.S. customer hub in Jersey City, rather than Long Island City, Queens.

The company currently has 25 jobs in Secaucus and many customer service jobs around the country.

The company wants to bring 210 jobs to the planned hub, according to the application.

It plans a $6.6 million capital investment for the proposed office space at 70 Hudson St. near the Exchange Place PATH station.

At its meeting Tuesday, the EDA also approved moving its Newark office two blocks east, to One Gateway Center.

The current lease at 24 Commerce St., at $66,780 in annual rent, expires in May 2019.

After that, the EDA will move the current 11 Newark employees to One Gateway, where the agency intends to scale up its presence to 45 employees in a 10,643-square-foot office space.

The EDA anticipates spending $2.3 million for improvements, fixtures, furniture, equipment and moving expenses.

CEO Tim Sullivan said the move is being made to help the agency’s focus on expanding international trade and business relationships.

“We have a lot of opportunities as we expand the international part of our operations,” Sullivan said.

“Dealing more with the consuls general that are up in New York, so having a greater presence in that part of the state, particularly for the Office of International Trade and Investment and Brian Sabina’s shop on economic transformation, will be very helpful.”

The EDA is one of two organizations with an eye on Newark — with its proximity to the airport and ease of transit access — to increase the state’s visbility.

Choose New Jersey, currently based in Princeton, is also said to be looking for an office space in Newark, where it currently does not have a presence, according to two sources not authorized to speak publicly.

With the expansion in Newark, the EDA would have a significant presence in all three sections of the state, with locations in Camden, Trenton and Newark.