Home to a diverse array of manufacturing activities—from food, apparel, and chemical production to metal fabrication—the city of Newark’s industrial legacy is widely appreciated. Newark’s Manufacturing industry is positioned for its next boom with a confluence of local and global economic forces and increasing capacity.

Location and Density.

Few, if any, cities in the nation can match Newark’s prime location and density of resources and infrastructure. Indeed, New Jersey has the greatest density of people in the United States, while the New York City-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area has the nation’s highest level of business concentration. Newark’s industrial landscape both reflects, and benefits from, these development patterns: The largest share of New Jersey’s industrial activity (274,399 manufacturing jobs) is in the northeastern part of the state, with Newark as a prime hub.

Scale and Diversity.

Newark is home to hundreds of companies that produce both durable (e.g., metal parts) and non-durable goods (e.g., baked goods) for a varied set of industries and end consumers. According to Brookings research, such a diverse industrial mix is an asset for communities, like Newark, that are located in large, high performing metropolitan areas. Given niche market demand in the region and superior access, Newark has an opportunity to stress “high road” and value-added practices that have the potential to boost innovation and productivity for this group of regionally-savvy suppliers. There is also potential to expand the local and regional manufacturing base to accommodate a broader mix of technologically intensive companies.

Makers Village / Aerofarms, Inc.

This $25 million redevelopment project included a $6.5 million in Grow NJ tax credits to Aerofarms and a $2.2 million ERG grant to Makers Village QALICB, LLC for RBH to redevelop a warehouse in Newark’s Ironbound community into a sustainable “Makers Village”, with Aerofarms as the tenant. Aerofarms is establishing its headquarters and R&D center, not to mention the world’s largest aeroponic farm, at this location. Aeroponic technology is used to grow leafy green vegetables in a nutrient-rich mist, rather than soil, on conveyor belts, maximizing the use of vertical space, and conserving water. This assistance will support the creation of 69 new jobs.

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