Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Life for Old Factory

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Life for Old Factory

Article excerpt

PASSAIC -- Two years ago, nobody was hiring because nothing was happening at the old Hercules Chemical factory at 99 South St.

Hercules Chemical shut down at the end of 2013, ending a 99-year- run and adding another darkened factory to Passaic's gritty Eastside. But in a quick turnaround, the factory has been refitted and is humming once again, bolstered by $10 million in state tax incentives to become the new home of Patella Woodworking.

Patella Woodworking is a custom manufacturer of wood installations for Fortune 500 companies, and its relocation from Orangeburg, N.Y., to Passaic has brought 70 highly skilled, high- paid manufacturing jobs to the city. And in exchange for receiving $10 million in tax incentives over 10 years, Patella has promised to grow the business and hire more workers from in and around Passaic.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno cut the ribbon at the new Patella plant Tuesday, applauding how state, county and municipal officials worked together and quickly put a deal together that lured Patella back to New Jersey. Guadagno said the state estimates that its $10 million investment would yield $36 million in economic activity over the next 30 years.

"It's more than just 70 jobs," said Guadagno. "It's the perception. The people who work here will bring their families here."

Patella President Michael A. Ostroff, a Summit resident, started the company in Nutley in 1987. He eventually shifted all the manufacturing to Canada, but in 2009, he brought those jobs back to the U.S. when he moved to Orangeburg, N.Y.

Ostroff eventually found a better deal closer to home in New Jersey.

The factory on South Street had been empty since Hercules shut operations on Dec. 31, 2013. Deborah Hoffman, Passaic County's director of economic development, was shopping the property and helped Ostroff apply for tax credits through the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program, which is administered by the state Economic Development Authority. …

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