Is Newark good (and inexpensive) place to put company HQ? This study says, ‘Yes’


How does Newark rate for companies seeking a new headquarters?

Pretty high. At least that was the take of The Boyd Co., a Princeton-based site selection firm.

When it comes to annual operating costs of $22.1 million, Newark was fourth-lowest among the 25 cities ranked — and the lowest of the 12 U.S. companies ranked.

The costs were based on a facility occupying 75,000 square feet of Class A office space and employing at least 250 nonexempt workers.

According to The Boyd Co., the annual operating costs in Newark are $22.1 million, compared with the top U.S. city, San Francisco, at $28.5 million.

John Boyd Jr., principal of The Boyd Co., said the location of headquarters offices is now in play like never before.

“As companies continue to examine their bottom line in response to global competition and uncertainties in the economy, their focus is increasingly turning to the remaining piece of the restructuring pie: the corporate headquarters,” Boyd said. “For good reason, the corporate headquarters is the ‘holy grail’ of business attraction, given the prestige, human capital and the economic and philanthropic stimulus a new head office can bring to a city like Newark.

“Make no mistake about it, corporate headquarters mobility is not going unnoticed by mayors, governors and economic development foot soldiers around the country.”

Boyd also emphasized the potential social impact of corporate business coming into Newark and providing a transformative number of jobs.

“With the highest unemployment and poverty rates, the second-lowest median income and largest concentrations of people of color of all the 20 finalist HQ2 cities, Newark would be in a position to award a relocating company a very significant social standing boost,” he said.

“Social impact is meaningful, as corporations increasingly focus on building their brand and currying the favor of a socially conscious millennial workforce, not to mention, generating goodwill among lawmakers looking for a social good to rationalize incentives.”

The report said cost is only one of many variables in Newark’s favor.

Crucial factors that made Newark a finalist for Amazon’s second headquarters search last year remain in place, led by a highly skilled talent base of people who already live throughout New Jersey and the surrounding New York metropolitan area. A company moving into Newark would not have to relocate a large workforce.

Newark also offers corporations access to a wide range of employees from diverse backgrounds. The city is one of the few nationally that is directly accessible through air, rail and water.

In addition, Newark has a strong technological infrastructure, including an intricate fiber-optic network that has proven invaluable to corporations that are already based in Newark, including Prudential, Panasonic of North America, Audible, Broadridge Financial Solutions and, soon, Mars Wrigley.

Newark Alliance CEO Aisha Glover said the report is another potential point in the city’s recruitment.

“The collective community of Newark sees this as an opportune time for the city’s future,” Glover said. “We want to make sure we are incorporating the hard data from third parties like The Boyd Co. into our day-to-day activities as we communicate Newark’s messages to potential corporate partners.”

Here is a ranking of the cities included in the study (with operating costs, in millions):

  1. Hong Kong ($38.1)
  2. San Francisco ($28.5)
  3. Stockholm ($28.4)
  4. Zurich ($28.3)
  5. New York ($28.0)
  6. Tokyo ($27.2)
  7. San Jose ($26.7)
  8. Brussels ($25.7)
  9. Paris ($25.7)
  10. Oakland ($25.6)
  11. London ($25.2)
  12. Boston ($25.2)
  13. Washington ($25.1)
  14. Sydney ($24.3)
  15. Milan ($24.2)
  16. Los Angeles ($24.2)
  17. Stamford ($24.1)
  18. Chicago ($23.6)
  19. Osaka, Japan ($23.6)
  20. Orange County, Calif. ($23.6)
  21. Frankford, Delaware ($22.8)
  22. Newark ($22.2)
  23. Shanghai ($20.0)
  24. Madrid ($18.7)
  25. Singapore ($17.3)