NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- State and local officials today joined executives from Panasonic Corporation of North America, SJP Properties and Matrix Development Group to celebrate the grand opening of Panasonic's new headquarters at Two Riverfront Plaza, a state-of-the-art, 340,000-square-foot Class A office tower that is the first new office building for Newark's downtown area in more than 20 years.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie officiated at the ceremony, which included remarks by Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.; Joseph M. Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America; Steven J. Pozycki, CEO of SJP Properties; and Joseph S. Taylor, CEO of Matrix Development Group.
"Today is a great day for the people of New Jersey and particularly the people of Newark," said Governor Christie. "From our first day in office, one of the top priorities of this Administration has been to create a business-friendly environment in New Jersey by reducing the tax burden on businesses, cutting unnecessary red tape and advancing job-creating economic development projects. I thank Panasonic for their decision to expand and create jobs in the Garden State and congratulate them today at the grand opening of their new, state-of-the-art U.S. headquarters right here in Newark."
The ceremony capped a transformative deal that brought a leading-edge global electronics firm to New Jersey's largest city. Panasonic, which signed a landmark 15-year lease to move from Secaucus to Two Riverfront Plaza, recently completed its relocation to its new headquarters, occupying 10 floors of the 12-story building, developed by a joint venture partnership of SJP Properties and Matrix Development Group.
The building was designed by leading architecture firm Gensler to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification for new construction, as well as LEED Platinum Certification for Interiors, in order to meet Panasonic's sustainability goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent.
"As we move into this new building that offers increased accessibility to mass transit options and other hubs of business and innovation, we are beginning an exciting chapter at Panasonic," said Joseph M. Taylor, Chairman and CEO, Panasonic Corporation of North America. "The development team has delivered a world-class headquarters for our employees that is a true model for environmental responsibility, and is strongly aligned with our company's long-standing history of leadership in green business practices, both with regard to our corporate operations and the technology solutions we offer our customers. In addition to the sustainability features throughout the new building, we were able to incorporate our brand heritage, creating a unique and dynamic work environment for our employees."
Numerous high-performance features that promote energy efficiency and a modern work environment were incorporated into Two Riverfront Plaza, including advanced building systems to improve indoor air quality, and floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize natural light and embrace the building's river views to the east. Additionally, the building's location just one block from Newark Penn Station will foster increased use of mass transit commuting options among Panasonic's employees.
Situated at the corner of Raymond Boulevard and McCarter Highway, Two Riverfront Plaza features a two-story glass lobby; Panasonic's new Innovation Center, showcasing various technology solutions; a full-service cafeteria; access to a parking garage below the building, as well as a new waterfront parking lot adjacent to the building; and 24/7 manned security. The third and fourth floors of the building are available for lease in their entirety and consist of approximately 29,000 square feet each.
"Two Riverfront Plaza is a great example of our organization's track record in the development of high-performance urban office properties that further the economic development initiatives of the cities in which they are located, and improve the ability of our tenants to retain and attract top talent," said Steven J. Pozycki, CEO of SJP Properties. "More and more forward-thinking companies like Panasonic are choosing to position themselves for long-term success by occupying modern, green buildings in transit hubs that elevate the quality of work life for their employees, reduce their energy consumption, and facilitate more efficient use of space. We are very proud to be able to provide Panasonic with a headquarters that reflects the company's commitment to innovation in all aspects of its business."
Added Joseph S. Taylor, CEO of Matrix Development: "As an investor in Newark for 12 years, Matrix has long believed in the potential of this city to be a destination for top-tier global businesses. From the unparalleled access Newark affords to one of the nation's largest transportation networks, to the highly skilled workforce produced by the city's higher-education institutions, the Brick City offers numerous advantages that will provide Panasonic and its employees with a first-rate work environment now and into the future."
Two Riverfront Plaza is walkable to Newark Penn Station, which serves Amtrak, NJ TRANSIT and PATH trains, and offers direct access to Manhattan — both Downtown and Midtown — in less than 20 minutes. Further enhancing the pedestrian experience for Panasonic's employees is a skyway that connects the building with the Gateway complex, which features additional neighborhood amenities.
The building is located in proximity to the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95), Interstates 280 and 78, the Garden State Parkway, Routes 1 and 9 and Route 21/McCarter Highway. Additionally, the building offers convenient access to Newark Liberty Airport, and Newark entertainment attractions such as Prudential Center and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
About SJP Properties
SJP Properties is a vertically integrated commercial and residential real estate developer, investor, asset manager, construction manager and property manager. The expertise of the company's core in-house team of professionals encompasses the entire development process, from site selection through coordination of tenant move-in for large multi-phase office complexes, as well as for individual tenant build-out projects. The company is a recognized leader in the development of build-to-suit office and mixed-use developments on behalf of a long-list of leading corporations, including Panasonic Corporation of North America, Prudential, BMW, Sanofi, Tiffany's, Ingersoll Rand and Bayer. The company's leadership has established relationships with many of the industry's leading investors and financial institutions, providing unparalleled access to capital.
For 30 years, SJP has sustained an unblemished track record of success, having completed every project on time and within budget. For more information, please call 973-299-9117 or visit www.sjpproperties.com.
About Matrix Development Group
Matrix Development Group is a privately held, full-service real estate investment and development company with offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The company is active in the commercial, industrial, urban, residential, golf and hospitality markets throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. Since its founding in 1979, the company has developed real estate valued in excess of $1 billion and has been recognized for its leadership by numerous charitable, community and real estate organizations.
For more information on Matrix Development Group, please contact the company's Cranbury, N.J., office at 732-521-2900 or visit www.matrixcompanies.com.
About Panasonic Corporation of North America
Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and services for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation, and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. In Interbrand's 2013 Annual "Best Global Green Brands" report, the Panasonic brand ranked number four, the highest ranked electronics brand in the report. (http://www.interbrand.com/en/best-global-brands/Best-Global-Green-Brands/2013/Best-Global-Green-Brands-2013.aspx) As part of continuing sustainability efforts, Panasonic Corporation of North America recently relocated its headquarters to a new facility built to meet LEED certification standards, adjacent to Newark Penn Station in Newark, NJ.
Learn more about Panasonic at www.panasonic.com.