Panasonic Corp. of North America is in talks with New York City officials about relocating the company's headquarters and hundreds of jobs to Brooklyn, according to people familiar with the matter.Panasonic might stay in Secaucus or move to other cities, so it's likely the company is conducting a behind-the-scenes subsidy auction.
The Japanese electronics maker's U.S. headquarters currently is located in Secaucus, N.J. On Tuesday, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority approved as much as $102.4 million in tax credits for Panasonic to move to Newark instead of a possible move to New York City. The plan would keep about 800 jobs in New Jersey.
People familiar with the matter said that Panasonic is eyeing two sites in Brooklyn—the MetroTech Center development in Downtown Brooklyn and the new Atlantic Yards development, which is also the site of a new basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets. Both Brooklyn sites are controlled by Forest City Ratner.
Remember, in March 2009, Mayor Mike Bloomberg complained about New Jersey dangling subsidies to attract New York-based companies across the river. So would this truly be economic development?
Site 5 location?
There are only two building sites in the Atlantic Yards footprint destined for office space, and the flagship building, Building 1, likely would be too big for Panasonic, which needs 250,000 square feet.
Moreover, Building 1 would be extremely complicated to build, involving an Urban Room attached to the arena rather than the plaza currently planned.
Thus, if Panasonic does move to the Atlantic Yards footprint, Site 5, currently the home of Modell's and P.C. Richard (bounded by Pacific Street and Fourth, Flatbush, and Atlantic avenues), might be a more likely spot for that office building,
However, the properties have not been subject to eminent domain and one of the two properties, P.C. Richard, is not within the control of Forest City Ratner.
If so, then we'll see the Empire State Development Corporation taking some new action to accelerate eminent domain.