Building 78 at Kearny Point in Kearny — file photo
By Joshua Burd
The developer of the $1 billion Kearny Point project in Hudson County has unveiled a new partnership for the campus, seeking to support businesses focused on clean technology and environmental sustainability.
Hugo Neu announced Monday that its 130-acre project in Kearny will offer free office space to six so-called cleantech startups, under a partnership with the Northeast Clean Energy Council accelerator known as Cleantech Open Northeast. To that end, Kearny Point will provide four months of shared office space and access to business development programs, along with high-speed internet access, free parking, concierge service and use of other on-site amenities.
The partnership is the latest step in Hugo Neu’s effort to support small businesses and solve environmental challenges in the state, as it continues to transform the historic ship-building facility in Kearny.
“By building alliances with those committed to investing in a better, more equitable and sustainable world for future generations, this partnership with NECEC and Cleantech Open brings us a significant step closer to realizing our ultimate goal of addressing the myriad challenges facing our planet,” said Hugo Neu CEO Wendy Neu. “NECEC, Cleantech Open and Kearny Point all see eye-to-eye on the importance of identifying and supporting the crucial efforts of these emerging companies here in New Jersey — and Kearny Point is the perfect place to make it happen.”
Cleantech Open is the world’s oldest and largest cleantech accelerator and seeks to provide entrepreneurs and technologists with the resources needed to launch a successful cleantech company, according to a news release. The nonprofit organization is fueled by a network of more than 1,200 alumni companies and more than 2,000 volunteers, seeking to unite the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America’s cleantech sector a thriving economic engine.
“This vital collaboration between Cleantech Open Northeast and Kearny Point will amplify the means, talents and possibilities of our collaborators and ultimately facilitate great innovations to improve the environment and build the green economy at the same time,” said Beth Zonis, Northeast regional director of Cleantech Open. “We are thrilled to have Kearny Point as a partner, and we look forward to working with them — and New Jersey’s brightest sustainable startups—as they reimagine the modern cleantech business paradigm.”
Kearny Point, which launched in 2014, is a sprawling mixed-use campus anchored by a 160,000-square-foot, loft-style flex office property known as Building 78, which has emerged as a hub for small businesses and co-working for more than 200 tenants. In the coming months, Hugo Neu will introduce the Building 78 Annex, which will add another 90,000 square feet of space for creative office users.
In total, Kearny Point will reactivate some 4 million square feet of flex office and industrial space, making it one of the largest and most economically significant redevelopments in the region. The campus is already home to a host of environmentally conscious companies, including Bowery Farming, a seed-to-store local farmer that uses zero pesticides and 95 percent less water than conventional farms, and Babo International Trade, a distributor of sustainable, 100 percent unbleached bamboo consumer paper products from China.
Stakeholders say Kearny Point’s new partnership with Cleantech Open will support Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal of creating thousands of jobs by making New Jersey a cleantech and green economy leader. Startups at the property may also be eligible for additional support through the state Economic Development Authority’s NJ Ignite program.
“New Jersey has long been home to some of the most impactful innovations that fuel our world today,” said Tim Sullivan, the EDA’s chief executive. “Innovation addresses complex challenges and drives sustainable economic growth. We believe that participants in this program will go on to achieve great things with the support they receive from our state, Cleantech Open Northeast and Kearny Point.”
Developer aims to transform historic Kearny shipyard into 21st-century workspace