95 Greene St. in Jersey City — Courtesy: Thor Equities Group
By Joshua Burd
A biotechnology firm is moving from Brooklyn to Jersey City after being awarded a seven-year, $3.5 million tax credit under the Economic Development Authority’s Emerge program.
According to the agency, EpiBone Inc. has committed to lease 28,089 square feet at 95 Greene St., a life sciences building owned by Thor Equities Group. The property will be the company’s new headquarters and will include research and development facilities and clean room space, housing 90 full-time jobs that will come to New Jersey as part of its move.
EpiBone, which was co-founded by biomedical engineer Dr. Nina Marie Tandon, is a clinical stage company that grows bone and cartilage for skeletal reconstruction, using stem cells to create new healthy bone, cartilage and compound products in a lab.
“By securing EpiBone’s relocation to Jersey City through the groundbreaking Emerge program, New Jersey is once again expanding its nation-leading life sciences ecosystem,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday, following the EDA’s approval of the tax credit. “EpiBone will serve as an invaluable asset to our growing economy as it brings nearly 100 new jobs to our state and innovates at the cutting edge of life-changing biotechnology. We welcome this women-owned and -led small business as we celebrate International Women’s Day and continue to foster a fairer and more inclusive New Jersey.”
As the EDA noted, EpiBone has outgrown its current location at the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator space in Brooklyn. Its move to Jersey City will allow it to expand at a time in which it has one product in clinical trials and two products in various phases of clinical development, requiring it to take on additional space, including a clean room and hire more support staff.
The authority added that the Emerge program, one of the new business incentives created under New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, compelled EpiBone to choose New Jersey over a competing and less expensive option in New York’s Long Island City neighborhood. Its new home at 95 Green St. is part of a 350,000-square-foot former office building that Thor acquired in 2020 and subsequently repositioned to create lab-ready space for life sciences users.
The website for 95 Greene St. lists a leasing team that includes JLL’s Blake Goodman, John Cahill, Dan Loughlin, Bob Ryan, Craig Eisenhardt and Dan Spero.
“The board’s approval of EpiBone for tax credits illustrates the ability of the Emerge program to attract growing innovation companies to New Jersey,” said Tim Sullivan, the EDA’s CEO. “Gov. Murphy’s vision for a stronger, fairer economy and the Legislature’s thoughtful approach to the creation of the Economic Recovery Act, combined with New Jersey’s unmatched talent pool and ideal location, creates a stellar value proposition for up-and-coming companies and future technologies.”
The state announced the move late Wednesday while touting Tandon’s background, noting that she holds several patents and is known for her TED Talks on engineered tissue and the future of personalized medicine. She holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering and an MBA from Columbia University, as well as a master’s in bioelectrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tandon has also earned recognition on Crain’s New York’s 40 under 40 list, as an Ernst & Young Winning Woman and as one of Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, according to a news release. Additionally, she is a WEF Young Global Leader and McKinsey alumni.
“New Jersey’s educated and diverse talent pool, accessible location, and network of high-profile research universities makes it an ideal spot for a dynamic, rapidly growing business to reach its potential,” Tandon said. “New Jersey also offers a robust range of programs to support companies through all stages of growth. Jersey City, in particular, is a model of diversity, has a thriving innovation community, and is accessible via mass transit — all just a short drive from Lower Manhattan and major international airports.”
Founded in 2014, EpiBone is the first company approved under Emerge to qualify for the program’s Small Business designation, which allows for increased flexibility and enhanced benefits as the company grows in New Jersey, the news release said. Its new home in Jersey City will include 4,735 of R&D space and 23,354 square feet for offices and labs, with a team comprising executive staff, clinical positions, research, system engineers, lab support, quality control and quality assurance specialists, manufacturing support, information technology and administrative functions.
The EDA added that, over its 11-year commitment period, the project is expected to yield a net benefit to the state greater than 300 percent.
“We continue to promote growth and economic development amid one of the greatest renaissances Jersey City has ever seen, and businesses want to relocate here to be part of the progress,” Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop said. “We have welcomed several majorly successful companies in recent years as they move their operations across the Hudson River and even across the nation seeking out Jersey City where we have become a destination for businesses of all sizes to grow and thrive.
“We welcome EpiBone as our newest resident. We look forward to the job creation and economic growth that these companies can offer communities like ours, and we’re thankful for the efforts on the state-level to further push this narrative.”