A business incubator project that municipal officials are hoping will sprout new companies by harnessing the city’s entrepreneurial talents recently received planning board approval.
The South Paterson business incubator, a 30,000 square feet space for entrepreneurs, spearheaded by the Paterson Restoration Corporation, a non-profit organization that issues low-interest loans to city businesses, was approved by the planning board during its February 18th, 2015 meeting.
“I’ve long been a proponent of the commercial kitchen concept, and I’m encouraged to see what was once an idea is going to become reality,” said Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman. Much of the square footage will be devoted to four commercial kitchens, said Ruben Gomez, city’s economic director.
Gomez said approximately 15,000 square feet will be used for commercial kitchen or food incubator and about 5,000 square feet will be used as shared work space or office incubator. He said the aim of the project is to create entrepreneurs and open an access link to the specialty food industry.
He said the shared work space will provide networking opportunities for entrepreneurs as well as connect them to industry experts.
An enterprising individual will be able to obtain membership for a $250 monthly fee to utilize office space. The commercial kitchen space will be rented by three hour blocks for $30 an hour, said Gomez.
All of this will located inside a building on Pennsylvania Avenue, 163 Pennsylvania Avenue to be exact. The building (pictured) which is currently held by a private owner, Claris Holdings, will be purchased by the corporation for $1.3 million.
Gomez said the building, which will bring talent, training, space, and equipment in one place, will be open to entrepreneurs most likely by September of this year.
“This is going to foster small business growth, potentially create jobs, and above everything it will be ratable,” said Sayegh, who chairs the city council’s economic development committee.