urban development

Chris Murphy to Present at NJSBA Annual Meeting in Atlantic City


Murphy Partners LLP attorney, Chris Murphy, will be a featured speaker at this year’s New Jersey State Bar Association Annual Meeting in Atlantic City. The panel discussion, titled “Hot Topics in Commercial Real Estate” will focus on various challenges and issues confronting commercial real estate transactions in 2019.

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New Jersey Incentive Update - February 2019

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On Tuesday, February 12, 2019, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will hold its monthly board meeting in Trenton. Among the actions to be taken, the Board will consider three applications under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ). If approved, the three applicants could receive over $45,866,400 in tax credits (over 10 years).

Created under the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ) is the State’s main job creation and retention incentive program. Under the Grow NJ program, businesses creating or retaining jobs in the State may be eligible for tax credits ranging from $500 to $5,000 per job, per year; with bonus credits ranging from $250 to $3,000 per job, per year (awards vary based on applicable criteria).

While the Grow NJ program has been wildly popular and incredibly successful, it has been the topic of significant debate, and will likely be modified upon its expiration in July of 2019. Governor Phil Murphy recently outlined his vision for new incentive programs, which would include the creation of the NJ Forward Tax Credit Program (which would take the place of Grow NJ as the State’s main job attraction incentive program) and the NJ Aspire Tax Credit Program (which would take the place of ERG as the State’s main incentive for developers). Below is a more detailed overview of the Governor’s plan.

The NJ Forward Tax Credit Program (NJ Forward) will likely take the place of Grow NJ as the State’s main job attraction incentive program. As proposed, NJ Forward will focus primarily on high-wage, high-growth sectors, including life sciences, information and high tech, clean energy, advanced manufacturing, advanced transportation and logistics, finance and insurance, and food and beverage. While the report does not outline specific programmatic details, it states that the proposed program will:

  • Increase focus on global/U.S. headquarters, R&D activities, and foreign direct investments

  • Prioritize new job creation rather than retained jobs

  • Encourage job creation in urban centers and other distressed communities, particularly those with public transit assets

  • Include an annual award cap and review to ensure fiscal sustainability and transparency

  • Feature lower base per-job credit amounts more in line with neighboring states, as well as more focused bonuses that ensure the administration’s policy goals

  • Limit transfers of credits to ensure that job-creating companies reap the primary benefits of taxpayer investment

  • Reward companies that invest in employee skill development and training

The NJ Aspire Tax Credit Program (NJ Aspire) will likely take the place of ERG as the State’s main incentive for developers. The administration is proposing the creation of a new place-based gap financing tool to help catalyze investments in commercial residential, and mixed-use (including parking) projects, with a particular focus on cities, downtowns, and suburban neighborhoods served by mass transit. As proposed, the program will facilitate the conversion of surface parking lots, vacant and/or abandoned lots, and other underutilized properties into job and tax-generating development opportunities. The program will also assist in the development of market-rate housing in distressed communities and, where appropriate, mixed-income and affordable housing near transit in suburban communities. NJ Aspire will be structured as a competitive tax credit grant, giving the NJEDA discretion in awarding grants to the most impactful and development-ready project.

In addition to NJ Forward and NJ Aspire, the Governor has also called for the creation of a new remediation and development tax credit program and a dedicated NJEDA loan fund to support brownfield redevelopment, the creation of a state historic preservation tax credit program, and multiple programs aimed at encouraging venture capital investment in high-growth, high-wage sectors.

If interested in learning more about Grow NJ or other economic development incentive programs, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Murphy at (973) 877-6984 or cmurphy@murphyllp.com.  


Murphy Partners LLP is a boutique law firm specializing in real estate, development, and economic incentive advisory. With offices in Newark, New Jersey and New York City, the firm was founded to provide effective, efficient, and creative legal services to meet the distinctive needs of our clients. Through the development of comprehensive legal strategies, our team works tirelessly to create a blueprint for success and advance our clients’ interests in every matter.

Leadership Newark Admits Roosevelt J. Donat to its Public Policy Fellowship Program, Class of 2020

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Murphy Partners LLP is proud to announce that Roosevelt J. Donat has been admitted to the Leadership Newark Public Policy Fellowship Program, class of 2020.  

Established in 1998, Leadership Newark, Inc. was born out of a desire to strengthen the City of Newark’s civic infrastructure through public policy enrichment and leadership training & development.  Why the focus on public policy issues – because government policy affects the entire community. Why the focus on leadership training & development – to enable those armed with a deeper understanding of community issues to develop the skills necessary to make change and have lasting impact. As a result, the founders determined it would be wise to tap Newark & New Jersey’s greatest asset – it’s people to make a difference. Leadership Newark invests in the intellectual capital of the community to improve the state of affairs for the greater good.

Key stakeholders in a variety of sectors, including government, business, corporate, nonprofit,  and education were brought together to assess the type of support such a program would garner. It was determined not only would such a program be supported, but it was needed to help the City of Newark undergo a Renaissance.  As a result the organization designed a leadership development program. Today, Leadership Newark is known for administering a 2-year public policy fellowship program attracting diverse, active and committed professionals to participate in a program that expand their knowledge and pushes one to delve deeper into the public discourse to improve community.

In addition to the flagship public policy fellowship program, Leadership Newark has expanded to offer additional programs reaching youth, teens and adult populations.  The programs include board service training, public policy summits, board match/placement and special initiatives to support local nonprofits. The network is 600+ strong. The personal achievements and collective impact can be felt throughout the City, County, and State.

In 2014, Senator Cory Booker during his tenure as mayor for the City of Newark stated, “My Administration has been a great beneficiary of the tremendous work of Leadership Newark….And, we are partnering with dozens of organizations throughout the City that are being led by Leadership Newark alumnae. The impact of Leadership Newark is being felt throughout our great City.”

In April 2016, Mayor Ras Baraka notes, “Leadership Newark has played a major role in our City’s transformation, by working tirelessly to build the future we want for the City we love. I am proud of the vital role Leadership Newark is playing as a partner in our work. Truly, Leadership Newark is a winner.”

“I have no doubt that Roosevelt’s deep commitment to the City of Newark and the State of New Jersey and his understanding of the intersection of law, business, policy, nonprofit and government will make him a great addition to Leadership Newark. As a firm, we are proud of his continued dedication to serving the Newark community.” says Kellen F. Murphy, managing partner at Murphy Partners LLP.

For more information on Leadership Newark, please visit https://www.leadershipnewark.org/.