Building 78 at Kearny Point, where Carbon22 recently became a tenant under the Economic Development Authority’s NJ Ignite program — file photo
By Joshua Burd
A medical device maker has relocated to a creative flex office space at the Kearny Point property in Kearny, making it the first company to benefit from a new state program that subsidizes rent payments for startups at certain collaborative workspaces.
The business, Carbon22, has moved into what’s known as Building 78 with the help of the Economic Development Authority’s NJ Ignite program. As such, the EDA will cover up to six months’ rent, while the owners of Kearny Point will cover rent for an additional three.
The EDA also noted that, because Kearny Point is located within a federal Opportunity Zone, it can offer companies participating in NJ Ignite an additional month of rent support.
“NJ Ignite has two complementary advantages: providing entrepreneurs with access to affordable real estate as they grow their companies and putting them in an environment where they can collaborate with other innovators,” said Tim Sullivan, the authority’s CEO. “Both of these benefits are essential to Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for making New Jersey the State of Innovation.”
Kearny Point, a sprawling redevelopment site owned by Hugo Neu Corp., is among 11 locations in which tenants can qualify for assistance under NJ Ignite. Launched late last year, the program provides up to nine months of rent support for startup technology and life sciences businesses that are moving to an approved collaborative workspace, thanks to a combination of support from the EDA and the collaborative workspace location.
As a supplement to a financial commitment, participating incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces are required to offer tenants a minimum of eight innovation-ecosystem-building events per year, the EDA said. Such events include meetups, guest speakers and office hours with professionals such as lawyers, accountants and consultants.
For its part, Carbon22 focuses on designing, developing and manufacturing innovative and cost-effective foot and ankle implant solutions, according to a news release. Company founder and CEO Vadim Gurevich noted that Carbon22 is creating the products for and in consultation with surgeons throughout the world.
“Thanks to the money we’re saving on rent with NJ Ignite, we’ll be able to hire additional engineers to build out our product line,” Gurevich said. “Additionally, our space in Kearny Point is perfect for our current needs, but also affords us the necessary space to grow.”
Building 78, the first building to be redeveloped under a multiphase plan at Kearny Point, features creative flex office spaces and a co-working facility known as Kearny Works. The overall 130-acre campus is a sprawling former shipyard that served the U.S. Navy in both World Wars, which Hugo Neu is now repurposing into a hub for creative business and technology.
“We’ve seen robust interest from startups looking to benefit from our well-located office space and from the growth-oriented programs and community amenities that Kearny Point provides,” said Michael Meyer, director of development for Hugo Neu. “Adding NJ Ignite into our suite of offerings has made Kearny Point even more attractive to the state’s youngest technology, life sciences, and environmental companies that are seeking modern office space within a vibrant business community at an attainable price point.”