2115 Linwood Ave. in Fort Lee — file photo
By Joshua Burd
A Fort Lee-based bank is eyeing a major expansion in the borough, having acquired a 70,000-square-foot office building with plans to hire 250 new employees in the coming years.
The company, Cross River Bank, is slated to grow with the assistance of a 10-year, nearly $11 million tax credit incentive from the state Economic Development Authority. To that end, the lender told the agency in December that it was considering a purchase of a building at 2115 Linwood Ave., as well as an alternate location in Orangeburg, New York.
On Thursday, the EDA announced that Cross River had acquired a new facility in Fort Lee, which will be home to 200 employees from the bank’s current Fort Lee headquarters, along with an additional 250 new employees it plans to hire.
“Innovative fintech companies like Cross River choose to locate in New Jersey because of our unrivaled pool of diverse, tech-savvy talent, and the unique advantages of our location,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled that Cross River is committed to growing in the Garden State and creating the kind of job opportunities that align with our vision for a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy, with a focus on high-growth, high-tech industries that promote financial inclusion.”
Founded in 2008, Cross River is a fast-growing financial services organization that merges the established expertise and traditional services of a bank with the forward-thinking offerings of a technology company, according to a news release. The company has won acclaim within banking and financial technology circles, or fintech, and from Forbes.
The bank will initially occupy 36,447 square feet of its new facility and will take on additional space as its employee base grows, the EDA said. The project involves the retention of 50 employees and the creation of another 255 positions, bringing an estimated net benefit to the state of $69.4 million over 20 years under the EDA’s calculations.
“The state’s support will enable us to expand within New Jersey instead of leaving the state we have always called home,” said Gilles Gade, Cross River’s CEO and president. “Governor Murphy’s focus on supporting companies that look to the future and take advantage of innovative new solutions is exactly what New Jersey needs right now. We are proud to call New Jersey home and look forward to hiring hard-working Garden State residents as we continue to grow.”
The EDA awarded the incentive under the Grow New Jersey program, which is performance-based and requires Cross River to meet its hiring, capital investment and tax revenue commitments before it begins to collect the 10-year tax credit. No funds are provided up front, the EDA said, noting that annual certification of jobs is required throughout the term of the award.
“Governor Murphy’s plan for a stronger, fairer New Jersey economy is centered on supporting innovative companies that create new, good-paying jobs for New Jersey workers,” Tim Sullivan, the EDA’s CEO, said in a prepared statement. “Cross River is the kind of innovative, high-growth company that will drive New Jersey’s economy forward.”