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Mars Makes Newark its US Headquarters as Mimeo Exits the Brick City

Undergoing a Renaissance, Newark Nets a Win and a Loss
June 7, 2018
Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S., the maker of legendary candy brands including M&Ms, Milky Way, Galaxy, Orbit and many more, has closed on a deal to return to its roots in Newark, NJ, where M&M’s were created.

But the Brick City is losing another business that arrived with much fanfare a decade ago, Mimeo.com.

Mars Wrigley - the global manufacturer of confectioneries including Snickers and Skittles, as well as pet food, gum, chocolate and other products - has signed a lease as the first tenant at the Ironside Newark redevelopment at 110 Edison Pl. for its U.S. headquarters, according to CoStar research.

The company will be taking about 150,000 square feet, occupying the entire fifth, sixth and seventh floors at the property, a 1900s-era warehouse that’s being converted to office and retail space. Work at the 450,000-square-foot, seven-story building is underway by developer Edison Properties of Newark, with construction slated to finish in November this year.

But as New Jersey’s largest city welcomes one new company, another is leaving. Digital printer Mimeo is shuttering its 74,000-square-foot production facility at 158 Mount Olivet Ave. at Prologis Ports Newark. Mimeo.com has given notice to state labor officials that it will be laying off 116 employees effective July 7.

During the Christie administration, and despite the lure of attractive tax incentives, a number of companies left New Jersey or closed their headquarters in the state, including Hertz and Mercedes-Benz USA. So Mars Wrigley’s decision to make the Garden State its U.S. base is a win, not only for New Jersey but Newark, which is in the middle of a development boom and is one of 20 finalists in the competition to be the home of Amazon’s HQ2.

Edison Properties declined to comment on the Mars Wrigley lease at Ironside Newark, which is planned as a cornerstone of the Mulberry Commons redevelopment project. In its pitch to Amazon, Newark named Mulberry Commons as one of six locations that could be used by the e-commerce giant for its second home base.

Last December Mars Wrigley announced its plan to base its U.S. headquarters in the Garden State by using its existing office and manufacturing facility in Hackettstown, NJ, along with a new location in Newark. The company’s global headquarters will remain in Chicago, with the U.S. headquarters transitioning to New Jersey by July 2020.

In its press release last year, Mars Wrigley said that it was returning to its roots in Newark, where Mars opened up shop more than 75 years ago "when M&M’s candies were first created in 1941 as military rations during World War II." The company also has a long history in Hackettstown, where it opened offices in 1958 to accommodate its growth, according to that same release.

"Over the past year, we’ve been focused on creating Mars Wrigley Confectionery in the U.S. to better serve our customers, address consumer trends and accelerate growth opportunities in the vibrant U.S. confectionery category," Mars Wrigley President Berta de Pablos Barbier said in a statement last December. "Creating U.S. offices in New Jersey will allow us to keep driving growth, while also positioning us to retain and attract the future talent needed for our continued success."

By summer 2020 there will be about 500 employees working in Newark and about 1,000 at the facility at 800 High St. in Hackettstown, Mars Wrigley said.

The company is getting incentives from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to come to Newark, namely $31.5 million in tax credits over a 10-year period.

The leasing agent for Prologis Ports Newark, Jones Lang LaSalle, didn’t respond to an email request for comment.

  For the Record: Harrison Russell, Jamie Ragucci and Andrew Sachs of Newmark Knight Frank and Frank Recine and Timothy Greiner of JLL represented Edison Properties in the transaction. Jeffrey Babikian of CBRE represented Mars.
CoStar Research Analyst Jordan Schott contributed to this report.



In Newark’s loss, Mimeo.com will be leaving the city, where it arrived in 2008. Cory Booker, then Newark’s mayor and now a U.S. Senator, said that the company’s entrée into the city was a sign of its comeback.

Last month, economic development officials in Memphis, TN, and Shelby County awarded the company $2.5 million in tax incentives over a 15-year period if it expands its facility there. Mimeo.com has a printing and distribution hub in Memphis, and to get the tax breaks it would have to make that southern city its U.S. corporate headquarters and create 170 new jobs in the state.

But the printing company’s decision to leave its Newark site didn’t hinge on tax incentives, according to Doug Bohaboy, Mimeo.com’s vice president of marketing.

"Tax incentives and things are certainly nice to help make decisions on ultimately where we are, but it’s really a business and logistics consideration as our business grows," he said. "We do a lot of next-day (delivery). We can just hit a higher percent of the country (by being) in other parts of the country. But we’ve had a great experience in New Jersey."

In addition, Mimeo.com also acquired a company several years ago, HubCast Inc., and can leverage that firm's existing distribution network in New Jersey, Bohaboy said.

The printer, whose international headquarters is in Manhattan, is also considering other possible sites to base its U.S. operations, he said, including Denver and Louisville, KY.

Mimeo.com will begin the process of closing its Newark location throughout the year, according to Bohaboy.



Linda Moss, Northern New Jersey Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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