Home>Climate>Governor unveils deal with Irish company Applegreen for new Glen Rock headquarters

Gov. Phil Murphy, right, and Applegreen CEO Bob Etchingham in Dublin. (Photo: Joey Fox for the New Jersey Globe).

Governor unveils deal with Irish company Applegreen for new Glen Rock headquarters

Murphy, delegation spent morning pitching New Jersey to a number of Irish businesses

By Joey Fox, April 25 2022 8:09 am

DUBLIN – Gov. Phil Murphy announced today that Applegreen, a Dublin-based company that operates highway service plazas in Europe and the United States, has chosen Glen Rock as the new location for its U.S. headquarters. The governor said that the relocation will immediately come with an investment of $125 million and create 100 new jobs, with another 800 jobs projected to come in future years.

“I cannot wait to see Applegreen settle into its new American home in New Jersey,” Murphy said. “The lease has already been signed and we’re ready to roll out the welcome mat.” 

Murphy added that he was specifically proud to have worked with Applegreen given the company’s focus on green energy and electrical vehicle infrastructure.

“It’s not just any company,” he said. “It’s Irish, and it’s completely consistent with the things that we care about.”

According to Wesley Mathews, the CEO of the privately funded economic development organization Choose NJ, the deal with Applegreen has been three years in the making.

As for why Glen Rock, Choose NJ chief business development officer Cathy Scangarella said that Applegreen’s representatives simply liked Bergen County and the amenities it offers.

Applegreen already operates 21 stations in New Jersey, all of which are soon to be redeveloped, and the company has hundreds more around the United States. One of the New Jersey stations that will be redone, the Brookdale South parkway station in Bloomfield, has drawn controversy for a plan to give retail space to Chick-Fil-A, a fast food restaurant with a history of anti-LGBTQ stances; Murphy had no comment on the plans the last time he was asked.

Prior to today’s announcement, Murphy and delegates from New Jersey’s economic development operation held a roundtable with representatives of ten Irish companies that might be interested in following Applegreen to the Garden State.

“When people ask me to describe our state and say, ‘give us the words we should associate with you,’ I think there are two: talent and location,” Murphy said, noting New Jersey’s diversity, concentration of universities, and frequent nonstop flights to Ireland.

Murphy and his team acknowledged that the state is not necessarily the cheapest to run a business in – something New Jersey Republicans have pilloried for years – but argued that the state’s strong education system and incentive packages make the investment worthwhile.

“Our mantra is good value for money,” Murphy said. “Some states have as their bumper sticker, ‘No taxes, good weather.’ Our bumper sticker is, ‘The #1 state in America to raise a family.’ And that does not come free of charge.”

Murphy’s three-day trip to Ireland has economic, diplomatic, and cultural elements; earlier today, the governor met with U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Claire Cronin, and he will make a trip to his ancestral homeland of Cork tomorrow. 

Everywhere the governor has gone, he has emphasized the connections between Ireland and New Jersey, which has one of the largest Irish-American populations of any state. 

“You look in the mirror in New Jersey and you see Ireland,” he said at today’s roundtable. “And you look in the mirror in Ireland, and I think you see New Jersey.”

This story was updated at 9:48 a.m. to include details about the Chick-Fil-A controversy. It was updated again at 10:47 a.m. with a correction: Choose NJ is privately funded, not state-funded.

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