Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Online News Now - August 15, 2017

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August 15, 2017

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PORTAL BRIDGE REPLACEMENT MOVES AHEAD 
Replacement of the century-old Portal Bridge advanced a significant step with approval by the Federal Transit Administration. It was an important mark toward obtaining federal funding for the $1.6 billion project. 

Replacing the old bridge over the Hackensack River in Kearny is part of the planned Gateway Rail Tunnel program under the Hudson River. 

PLANNING FOR TRANS-HUDSON TUNNEL MOVES AHEAD WITH RELEASE OF DRAFT EIS
The Planning process for a proposed new trans-Hudson rail tunnel is moving forward this month with public review of the latest draft of the tunnel's alignment and its potential impact on the environment.
A series of public hearings on the proposed tunnel's draft environmental impact statement has been completed.  Alliance for Action Vice President Chris Hartman testified at the August 3rd hearing in Secaucus, NJ stressing the economic benefits of a new Rail Tunnel to the entire region, while noting the degradation of the current rail tubes.  Federal and state officials are also collecting public comments on the tunnel, which would be built as part of the larger Gateway transportation project, through August 21.
The public hearings and the collection of public comments are important steps in the tunnel project's planning process, which currently calls for a final environmental impact statement to be issued next spring to allow for construction to get underway in 2019.
The new tunnel between North Bergen and New York's Penn Station is the most significant feature of the Gateway initiative, which also involves other infrastructure improvements in the region, including the planned replacement of a key rail bridge spanning the Hackensack River near Secaucus Junction.
The current trans-Hudson tunnel that's utilized by both Amtrak and New Jersey Transit supports an estimated 200,000 daily train passengers, but it is already more than a century old. The existing tunnel, which features two tubes that allow for traffic in each direction, was also damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and is in need of repair. Transportation officials have warned that if just one of the two tubes were to go out of service for emergency work, there would be a reduction in overall rail capacity of 75 percent.
EDA OFFERS $32 MILLION TO BROOKLYN TECH TO MOVE TO STATE

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) offered $32 million over ten years in incentives to a Brooklyn based tech company to move its headquarters to the 11-acre former Hoffman-LaRoche site on the boarder of Nutley and Clifton.  Modern Meadows move would create 263 new jobs and invest more than $20 million to construct a 120,000-square-foot facility. 

The EDA wants to entice the company to move to New Jersey instead of Farmingdale, New York.  The EDA estimated the gross benefit to New Jersey to be $63 million. 

UPCOMING EVENTS 


9/8/17 - Atlantic County Alliance for Action, click here to register. 

9/27/17 - Somerset County Alliance for Action, click here to register. 

10/5/17 - Eagle Awards Dinner, click here to register. 

ATLANTIC CITY ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS TO CONTINUE 

Atlantic City Electric PowerAhead Infrastructure program continues with approval by the BPU as park of strong improvements in New Jersey by the state's utility industry. 

BPU President Richard S. Mroz said the $57 million five-year program is designed to address vulnerable areas of the electric system that experience extended outages during recent storms.  Park of the work will increase system automation for faster and safer restoration. 

NJEDA HEADQUARTERS RENAMED TO HONOR THE LATE CAREN FRANZINI
              
Legislation to rename the New Jersey Economic Development Authority headquarters in Trenton to the "Caren Franzini Memorial Building" was signed into law recently by Gov. Chris Christie.
Franzini led the EDA for nearly two decades and has made significant contributions toward improving the Garden State's business climate. Franzini was a member of the New Jersey Alliance for Action Board of Directors.
Franzini joined the EDA in 1991 as its deputy director, and became head of the agency from 1994 to 2012 before founding her own firm, Franzini Consulting LLC in Lambertville.
Franzini died on January 25.
HOWARD HUGHES CORP. PROPOSES CONCEPT PLAN FOR WEST WINDSOR 

The Howard Hughes Corporation submitted a concept plan earlier this year to redevelop the 653-acre area formerly occupied by American Cyanamid in West Windsor Township. The concept plan proposes developing the site into a mixed-use complex of retail, office, hotel, residential and community spaces, with easier access to the Princeton Junction rail station. 

The site was bought by The Rouse Co. in 2004. Rouse then merged with General Growth Properties, which later restructured and spun off Howard Hughes Corp. in 2010.


In the proposed concept plan, over 240 acres have been designated for open space and preserved areas.  The proposal also includes 32 acres for a potential school and community recreation within a walkable live-work-play environment featuring a mix of housing options, office buildings, a hotel and a Village Center with shops, restaurants and public spaces for socializing and gathering
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
  • Kevin O'Toole has been names Chairman of the Port Authority of NY & NJ  and Rick Cotton will serve as the Authority's Executive Director.  
  • CB&I Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc. has changed its name to APTIM, Inc. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Online New Now - July 14, 2017

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July 14, 2017

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MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY DESIGNATED AS A RESEARCH DOCTORAL UNIVERSITY 


Montclair State University has been designated as a Research Doctoral University by the national Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
The prestigious ranking acknowledges Montclair State's recent growth. "That growth has enabled the University to expand educational programs and research initiatives in service to the state and the nation," says Montclair State President Susan A. Cole.

This new ranking recognizes substantial growth in research, scholarly activity and doctoral-level education. 

Montclair State's ten colleges and schools offer more than 300 doctoral, master's and baccalaureate-level programs.

WSP | PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF TO OPERATE AS WSP USA IN THE UNITED STATES

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global engineering and professional services firm, is now WSP worldwide. In the United States, the firm will operate as WSP USA.

Parsons Brinckerhoff, a leading transportation engineering and management organization founded in 1885 in New York City, was acquired in 2014 by WSP, a global professional services consultancy. For the past two and a half years, the firm has operated as WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff in the U.S.

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE SIGNS BUDGET 
                          
Governor Christie has signed his eighth and final balanced budget.

Click here for more details. 

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE ANNOUNCES SENIOR STAFF CHANGES
              
Governor Chris Christie announced the appointment of James DiGiulio as Chief Counsel. DiGiulio is an attorney at the Cedar Grove law firm of O'Toole Scrivo, Fernandez Weiner Van Lieu, LLC, and he previously served as a Senior Counsel in the Governor's Office.

DiGiulio will replace Chief Counsel Gregory Acquaviva, who is assuming his new role as a Superior Court judge, a position to which he was nominated by Governor Christie and approved by the state Senate.

UPCOMING EVENTS 

7/17/17 - Monmouth County Alliance for Action, click here to register. 

8/2/17 - Mercer County Alliance for Action, click here to register. 

8/14/17 - Ocean County Alliance for Action, click here to register. 



NEW LEADERSHIP FOR NJ HOSPITALS 

RWJBarnabas Health named two new presidents for its Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital campuses in New Brunswick and Somerville.

John Gantner, the Executive Vice President and chief integration officer will be the CEO and President of the New Brunswick hospital.  Anthony Cava was named President for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville after serving as chief administrative officer. 
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
  • Ralph LaRossa who has led PSE&G, New Jersey's largest utility, for more than a decade, will become the president and COO of PSEG's merchant generation business, PSEG Power.
  • David M. Daly, President and COO of PSEG Long Island, has been chosen to replace LaRossa as President and COO of PSE&G, as well as Chairman of PSEG Long Island. The changes are effective October 2.
  • Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) has announced that Mark A. Jones has been named Vice President of Operations and John Anderson has been named Vice President of External Affairs.
  • Hard Rock International announced the appointment of Matt Harkness as President of the highly anticipated, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City  
  • Richard Anderson, has been named the new CEO of Amtrak.  He will immediately share the CEO duties with Wick Moorman through December and take over the post next year.  Anderson formerly ran Northwest Airlines and most recently served as executive chairman of Delta's board of directors. 
  • Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters Executive Secretary-Treasurer  John Ballantyne has been approved by the New Jersey State Senate to join Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield's Board of Directors.
  • Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters President & NJ Regional Manager  William Sproule has been named to the steering committee at the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University.
  • Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters (NRCC) Director ofContractor Development and RelationsDaniel Christy and NRCC Council Representative/Delegate of Local 255Bruce Garganio  were recently appointed to the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) Board.
  • Andres Roda will join the Monmouth County Engineering Department starting July 24. 
  • Hackensack Meridian Health Chief of Staff, Vice President, Corporate Services and Governance Jose Lozano has been named to Becker's Hospital Review: Rising  Stars in Health care 2017 - 60 under 40.
  • Caren Freyer DeSouza has accepted a new position with PSEG as Regional Public Affairs Manager for Essex and Morris Counties.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Online News Now - June 15, 2017

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June 15, 2017

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AMERICAN DREAM PLANS ARE ANNOUNCED
                          
Triple Five, the developer of the American Dream project in the Meadowlands says it's moving forward on financing the $1.67 billion project and expected to open for business in March, 2019.
               
JP Morgan American Dream led the tax-exempt bond offering.
              
 A number of tenants already have signed up to be part of the three-million-square-foot project.  Triple Five also owns Mall of America in Minnesota and Edmondson Mall in Canada.
DELAWARE RIVER CHANNEL DEEPENING GETS FINAL $29.25 MILLION

Officials have approved the final $29 million in spending to complete the Delaware River navigation channel deepening project.  That money, combined with $33 million in funding carried over from 2016, is the final federal money needed to complete the channel deepening from 40 feet to 45 feet that began in March 2010.

OFFICIALS BREAK GROUND ON TERMINAL A AT NEWARK AIRPORT
 
Ground has been broken on the Terminal A redevelopment project at Newark Liberty International Airport.
 
The $2.4 billion project will see a complete overhaul of the 44-year-old terminal, beginning with the building of three roadway bridges designed to reduce congestion and help connect the central road network to the new terminal.

The new terminal will include 33 gates, a parking garage complex and infrastructure improvements. It will be able to handle 13.6 million passengers each year, and have the flexibility for further expansion and to serve larger aircraft and greater passenger demand.
The terminal will be constructed through a design-build process, utilizing a private-sector partner for a single contract covering design and construction services.
 
The new Terminal A is anticipated to be fully operational in 2022.

GOVERNOR COMMENDS ALLIANCE ON TRANSPORTATION
              
Key leaders of the region's key agencies speaking at the Alliance for Action's State Wide Transportation Conference outlined billions of dollars worth of upcoming capital construction.  More than 300 business and government leaders we're on hand to hear capital details provided by State Transportation Commissioner Rick Hammer, Port Authority of NY & NJ Chief Engineer Jim Starace, NJ Transit Executive Director Steve Santoro and Interim Executive Director of the Gateway Corporation John Porcari.
 
New Jersey State Senator Steve Oroho, who sponsored the bill to refund the Transportation Trust Fund, explained why he felt it necessary to fight so hard for transportation improvement funding. 

In his keynote address, Governor Chris Christie commended the leadership of the Alliance for its mission "as a force for good in New Jersey."  The Governor declared about the Alliance:  "You created your message and have carried it out for the economy and cultural values of our state."

Click here to view Governor Christie's remarks. 
UPCOMING EVENTS 

6/16/17 - Bergen County Alliance for Action, click here to register. 

6/23/17 - Investing in South Jersey, here to register. 

7/17/17 - Monmouth County Alliance for Action, click here to register. 

8/2/17 - Mercer County Alliance for Action, click here to register. 

8/14/17 - Ocean County Alliance for Action, click here to register. 


WILLIAMS PARTNERS' NORTHEAST SUPPLY ENHANCEMENT PROJECT EXPECTED TO GENERATE $327M ECONOMIC IMPACT, SUPPORT MORE THAN 3,000 JOBS

Williams Partners L.P. has released the results of a comprehensive study authored by researchers at Rutgers University analyzing the economic impact of the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement project - a nearly $1 billion energy infrastructure investment designed to increase natural gas deliveries to New York in time for the 2019/2020 winter heating season.
 
According to researchers at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, the design and construction of the Northeast Supply Enhancement project will generate approximately $327 million in additional economic activity (GDP) in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. In addition, the project will directly and indirectly generate 3,186 jobs during the one-year construction period, resulting in an estimated $234 million in labor income.  
 
"This broad analysis conducted by Rutgers University researchers clearly shows the economic ripples that are created by such a significant investment in the region's energy infrastructure," said Phil Beachem, President of the NJ Alliance for Action. "Besides the clear environmental benefits of increased natural gas utilization, this project will offer an economic boost to the region by generating hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and supporting more than 3,000 good-paying jobs."  
TRAFFIC FLOWING ON NEW GOETHALS BRIDGE EASTBOUND SPAN
 
The new Goethals Bridge is open to traffic, marking the first opening of a major new bridge by the Port Authority since the Bayonne Bridge was completed in 1931. 
 
Construction of the Goethals Bridge is the first true surface transportation public-private partnership in the Northeast.  With the opening of the first span located next to the old bridge complete, officials expect the second span to open in 2018. 
 
When finished, the bridge will include three 12-foot lanes on each of its twin spans. The second structure will also feature a 10-foot shared use path for bicyclists and pedestrians. The twin spans also preserve a corridor for future mass transit. 
CHRISTIE SAYS TUNNEL WON'T BE DELAYED BY LACK OF FUNDS IN TRUMP BUDGET 

Governor Chris Christie professed "confidence" that the proposed Gateway Tunnel under the Hudson River will proceed without delays, even though President Donald Trump's most recent budget eliminated a crucial source of funding for it.
 
"I had a very good conversation last week with (U.S. Transportation) Secretary (Elaine) Chao," said Christie, speaking to reporters at the ground breaking of renovations at Newark's Liberty International Airport on Tuesday.
 
"I absolutely believe that we will be partnering with the federal government and the state of New York to build a Gateway Tunnel and that there won't be any delays of our current time frame."
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
  • Liz Archer, Marketing Pursuit Manager for Dewberry, was recently selected as one of the Women Builder Council's (WBC) 2017 Outstanding Women. Per the WBC, her "commitment to increasing diversity and the role of women in the construction and professional services industries is inspiring". 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Online News Now - May 15, 2017

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May 15, 2017

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NEWARK AIRPORT TO GET NEW TERMINAL A

The Port Authority will spend $2.3 billion to build a new Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The Port Authority's vision for a new Terminal A includes a 1 million square-foot, T-shaped terminal that'll handle 13 million passengers through 33 gates - a 50 percent increase in capacity.

The project's deadlines are ambitious, especially since the old terminal will remain open while the new one's being built. Port Authority hopes to fly out of 23 new gates by the year 2020 - all 33 new gates by 2022.


NJ TRANSIT HOLDS HEARING ON EXTENDING HUDSON-BERGEN LIGHT RAIL

NJ Transit recently held a public hearing to review Hudson-Bergen Light Rail's (HBLR) Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SD-EIS), a required step in the process to move the project towards construction. The project received $5 million from a $400 million supplemental appropriation bill passed by the Legislature and signed into law last month by Governor Christie, to ensure the completion of the EIS process this spring.
The HBLR would bring light rail to Bergen County for the first time, extending it eight miles from its existing terminus Jersey City to Englewood Hospital in Bergen County.

NORCROSS ANNOUNCES
OVER $860K IN INNOVATIVE HEALTH RESEARCH GRANTS FOR SOUTH JERSEY
Congressman Donald Norcross announced that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) will be providing a total of $861,634 to South Jersey institutions.

The Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine will receive $564,713 from HHS' National Institute on Aging for a research project on blood-based biomarkers for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease. Andrew Technologies, LLC, will receive a $296,921 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from HHS' National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) so they can study ways to reduce insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.



ROCKEFELLER ANNOUNCES LATEST OFFICE PROJECT AT THE GREEN AT FLORHAM PARK


The Rockefeller Group has announced plans to build to suit an office space at 110 Park Ave. in The Green at Florham Park. The firm did not state the specific size of the project, but said the property is zoned for up to 300,000 square feet.
Rockefeller is working alongside Cushman & Wakefield to market the project.
The Green at Florham Park is a 268-acre development that is home to the New York Jets, BASF's North American headquarters and Summit Medical Group. Rockefeller said it will seek to obtain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification at 110 Park Ave.
The Rockefeller Group's plans at The Green also include a flexible-stay community with 256 corporate units. 

VOTERS APPROVE $111M IN SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION
PROPOSALS 

On March 28, 2017, voters approved school construction proposals totaling more than
$111 million in three districts out of the four that held special referenda.

The approved projects are:

Essex County
Glen Ridge
Renovations and improvements to four schools, plus acquisition and renovation of the Central
School building, previously owned by the district, to provide for early education and elementary
school classes.
Total project cost: $23,758,854
State funds: $4,330,923

Middlesex County
South Plainfield
Proposal 1 - APPROVED: Renovations and improvements to seven schools and the South
Plainfield Athletic Complex.
Total project cost: $28,094,000
State funds: $9,526,000

Woodbridge
Upgrades and improvements, including construction of a new elementary school on an existing site, to provide district-wide full-day kindergarten, technology upgrades, security upgrades, additional classrooms. Board capital funds of $1,550,000 will fund technology and security upgrades.
Total project costs: $59,218,113
State funds: $12,861,265

PERFORMING ARTS CENTER FINALLY COMING TO NEW BRUNSWICK 
               
After more than a decade of discussions and on-and-off planning, the long-awaited Performing Arts center in the heart of New Brunswick's revitalized downtown appears ready to move ahead.  The state-of-the-art 122-story building would feature two theaters, three rehearsal stages and 240 apartments. 

Chris Paladino, president of the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DevCo) said that if all work continues as expected, ground would be broken this summer with completion for the summer of 2019.  The project has been described as the biggest public-private initiative in New Jersey. 

The new 22-story-center would be located across from the Heldrich Hotel on a site that currently houses the George Street Playhouse and the Crossroads Theater, as well as the Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts and American Repertory Ballet---bringing together all those art forms for art presentations. 

Demolition will begin June 5 with groundbreaking scheduled for August. 

The project is receiving overall support of $75.5 million ---$40 million in Economic Redevelopment & Growth funds from the New Jersey EDA, $17 million from Rutgers in redevelopment bonds, $6 million from the Middlesex Cultural Arts Funds, $6 Million from New Market Tax Credits, $4.5 million from the New Brunswick Cultural Center and $2 million in air rights payments. 


UPCOMING EVENTS 

5/16/17 - NJ Statewide Transportation Conference, click here to register. 

6/7/17 - Hospital Capital Construction and Expansion...Health Care for the Economy, click here to register. 

6/16/17 - Bergen County Alliance for Action, click here to register. 

6/23/17 - Investing in South Jersey, click here to register. 
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
  • Jeff Waters, President of Waters & Bugbee, has been appointed Co-Chair of NJ LECET
  • Keller Engineers, Inc. has named Samir (Sam) Mody, P.E. President of the newly formed entity, Keller Engineers of New Jersey, LLC, a subsidiary of Keller Engineers, Inc.  
     
  • Thomas Scrivo, Chief Counsel to Governor Christie is the new Chairman of the NJ Economic Development Authority. Scrivo stepped down as the Governor's Chief Counsel to return to private practice. He will be replaced as the Governor's Chief Counsel by UnitedHealth Group Executive Director Gregory Acquaviva.  

REPORTS OUTLINE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF NJ COLLEGES 

New Jersey's non-profit independent colleges and universities released a report that details the $3.5 billion impact the sector makes on the state's economy. 

Highlights from the report illustrate the sector's importance: 

OVERALL IMPACT 
  • More than $3.5 Billion in overall economic impact to state
  • $35 in economic impact to the state for every $1 of state funding
  • Employment - over 33,000 direct and indirect jobs
  • Investment of $1 billion in Construction and spending
  • Research and Discovery - $1.9 billion in research over five years
In a separate report by the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi outlined to all Rutgers graduates how the State Government returns nearly seven dollars to the New Jersey economy for every one dollar investment that the government provides to Rutgers.
               
Among the economic impacts are sixty-eight thousand jobs statewide and $5.2 billion in economic activity.  The activity includes Rutgers' services which benefit small businesses, farmers, families, schools and local governments in every county.

N.J. OFFICIALS AUTHORIZE $300M STATEHOUSE RENOVATION 

A key state panel voted to authorize Gov. Chris Christie's  planned $300 million renovation of the 224-year-old Statehouse's executive wing. 
The eight-person State Capitol Joint Management Commission, comprised of top staffers from Christie's administration and from the offices of Assembly and Senate Democrats and Republicans, voted 7-0.

In announcing the project, Christie described the conditions as "shameful." 

If put off, the $300 million in estimated costs would rise by $8 million to $10 million per year, according to the resolution.

The renovations will include installing fire sprinklers, safeguarding the attic and other areas of the building from combustible materials, correcting non-code compliant means of exiting the building, such as the fire escapes, correcting non-compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act mandates, making security upgrades, and fixing significant structural issues throughout the building.

New Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems will be installed, and upgrades will be made to the building's electrical, mechanical, lighting, telephone and data systems.

Along with the work to the executive suites, the legislative branch will get upgrades to its HVAC, communications, fire safety and security infrastructure, according to the resolution.

The Economic Development Agency will finance the projected $300 million project through bond sales. Under the arrangement, the joint commission will for $1 lease the building to the EDA, which will sublease it back to the commission, which will reimburse the EDA in the form of rent payments.


NJIT CELEBRATES REOPENING OF CENTRAL KING BUILDING 
               
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) celebrate the grand reopening of the Central King Building as the newest part of the college's Newark campus.  

The project is the former home of Newark Central High School.  State, federal, county and local officials participated as the Central King Building was described as the largest single facility funded by the state through the 2013 Building "Our Future Bond Act" strongly supported by the Alliance for Action. 


FORMER ATLANTIC CLUB TO BE CONVERTED TO INDOOR WATER PARK 

Plans are moving forward to develop the shuttered  Atlantic Club casino in Atlantic City and convert the property into a large-scale indoor water park.

Plans for the site, which will be named Dolphin Village at Atlantic Club, include a 100,000-square-foot indoor water park, hotel rooms, restaurants and an arcade space.

The developer will put more than $135 million into the building and while construction on the water park could take one to two years, over 300 rooms could become available by this fall.


AMAZON ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR THREE NEW SITES 
               
As Amazon opened the doors on its largest fulfillment center in Carteret, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant also announced plans to open another three sites in New Jersey that will create more than 2,500 additional full-time jobs. The new sites will be in Logan Township, Edison and Cranbury. 

The newly opened one-million-square-foot center in Carteret houses over 2,000 employees and will serve as the main hub for the firm's shipping needs in the region.

The new fulfillment centers will be used to pick, rack and ship larger consumer orders like furniture and musical instruments.