100 Connell Drive in Berkeley Heights — Courtesy: The Connell Co.
By Joshua Burd
Fiserv Inc. has announced plans to lease more than 400,000 square feet for a new financial technology hub in Berkeley Heights, following the state’s approval of a seven-year, $109 million tax credit to encourage it to add nearly 2,000 jobs to its New Jersey workforce.
The Brookfield, Wisconsin-based company, a global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, would lease the space from The Connell Co. at the sprawling campus known as The Park, which sits just south of Interstate 78. The full-building commitment at 100 Connell Drive will allow Fiserv to nearly triple a headcount in the state that already includes more than 1,100 employees, while creating a new focal point for innovation in its industry.
The company’s announcement Wednesday came after the state Economic Development Authority approved the $109.23 million incentive under the new Emerge business incentive program. The authority calculates the project would have a net positive economic benefit to the state equating to 313 percent of the tax credit amount.
“Fiserv has been in New Jersey for decades,” said Frank Bisignano, CEO and president of Fiserv. “Our new location in Berkeley Heights will be a dynamic hub of collaboration and innovation, bringing our people together in an inspiring workplace environment to create opportunity for unmatched energy and career growth experiences as we move payments and financial services forward on behalf of our clients. As part of our investment in this new Fiserv location, we look forward to being a force for good by engaging in and creating positive and meaningful impact in the Berkeley Heights community.”
ROI-NJ first reported on the company’s plans in Berkeley Heights.
Fiserv considered an alternative location in Alpharetta, Georgia, where it already has a significant presence, according to the EDA. On Wednesday, the company said it picked Berkeley Heights due to its location in a vibrant, easily-accessible community and for the many existing and planned amenities at The Park, where Connell is in the midst of a $400 million overhaul.
“We are excited about Fiserv’s decision to choose The Park for their expansion, which serves as affirmation that the changes we’re implementing are continuing to attract top-caliber companies to our campus,” said Shane Connell, executive vice president of The Connell Co. “We look forward to welcoming Fiserv to the campus and introducing their associates to The Park’s plethora of social and wellness focused amenities.”
In its announcement, Fiserv also noted that the space with be home to an innovation lab that will specialize in designing use cases around the future of banking, money movement and commerce, where it will collaborate with partners from fintech firms, merchants and financial institutions to help improve services for consumers and businesses. The hub will be one of the largest on the East Coast, the company said, leveraging the diverse talent from New Jersey to elevate prominence of the payments and fintech industry in the state and beyond.
The news comes a week after the EDA approved an Emerge award for Party City, its first under the new program. Created under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, the subsidy is part of a sweeping new package of incentives crafted by Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration, helping to fill a void left by the lapse of the Grow New Jersey program in 2019.
“This announcement from Fiserv is exactly what we envisioned when we created the Emerge program — an innovative company that provides high-paying jobs choosing to expand in New Jersey,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “We’re excited that Fiserv sees what we see in New Jersey and we look forward to the company’s continued success.”
The new space will accommodate roughly 3,000 Fiserv associates, most of them in technology-related roles. The company added that the location will feature social work zones, wellness amenities and culinary programming to create an elevated workplace environment.
Fiserv currently has more than 40,000 employees operating in more than 100 countries.
“Berkeley Heights is gaining a great partner in Fiserv,” Berkley Heights Mayor Angie Devanney said. “The company’s technology focus and commitment to diversity are an ideal complement to our community, and we look forward to a long-term partnership that will continue to grow.”