NEWARK, NJ - The maker of M&M candies may be coming back to Newark.
The company that got its start in 1941 in Clinton Hill, is looking to open an office in downtown's Ironside Newark building.
Mars Wrigley Confectionary US LLC has applied for 10-year, $31.5 million Grow New Jersey grant to open an office in the seven-story, mixed-use project owned by Edison Properties and slated to open next year. The application is on the state Economic Development Authority's agenda for Nov. 14.
The Ironside Newark building is part of the city's Mulberry Commons project, which broke ground last month.
The $10 million, 22-acre open space development--a private/public project that will connect the Prudential Center to Penn Station--is expected to open up large areas of undeveloped land to residential and office development.
Mars would be the main tenant of the building, according to ROI-NJ.com, which first reported the story Friday. Mars merged with Wrigley in 2016. The company, which has its global headquarters in Chicago and operates in more than 70 countries, would relocate some of its employees from Chicago and some from Hackettstown, where Mars has long been based, according to ROI-NJ.com.
The company's application cites Newark as an urban transit hub, with the project bringing in transit-oriented development and new jobs with salaries in excess of the county average. ROI-NJ quoted a Hackettstown employee as saying the company "wanted to move to an urban setting near mass transit to be in a better position to attract a millennial workforce moving forward."
Mars Wrigley Confectionery includes some of the company’s best-known brands including Snickers, M&M’s, Dove, Lifesavers and Starburst.
Mars first factory was located at 285 Badger Avenue in Clinton Hill. When it outgrew that space, the company moved to 200 North 12th Street, where it was located until 1958, when it moved production to Hackettstown in Western New Jersey.
The company joins a growing number of major corporations who have moved to Newark in the last several years, such as Panasonic and Audible, which are all hoping to take part in the city's renaissance.
Last month Newark was chosen as Governor Chris Christie's top pick for Amazon's second global headquarters.
The online retail giant announced its solicitation of North American regions earlier this year in a highly-competitive selection process for its second corporate headquarters, with Newark winning out over more than 20 competing New Jersey municipalities.
The opportunity could bring 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars of private investment to the state.