By Briana Vannozzi
For Ryan Shearman a subsidized Uber ride to work is hard to pass up. Especially when you’re traveling from places like downtown Jersey City to an off the beaten path re-purposed office park like Kearny Point. Developers are getting creative, using ride share incentives to attract young, cutting-edge businesses to their space.
“It’s a good plus, it’s a nice little piece of icing on the cake for employees who normally would have to factor in all of the transportation costs themselves and pay out of pocket,” said Shearman.
Tenants receive a $50 monthly Uber credit for each employee without a car. The partnership with Kearny Point was announced in March and it’s been picking up speed ever since. The building is part of an ongoing project redeveloping the historic Hudson County Shipyard.
“I think the relationship with Uber was born out of the necessity or the need to provide transportation alternatives for folks who don’t drive. We’re in an industrial area heavily populated by trucks and not very populated with public transportation and means of egress and ingress to the property,” said Ashlee Sullivan, Community Development Manager for Kearny Point.
“So most of us will take the PATH to Journal Square or to Grove Street or to Harrison and then take an Uber from there,” said Shearman.
Does that make a dent in what the cost would be? “It certainly does,” he said. “I’d say it offsets about half of our costs and then the company pays for the difference.”
Shearman owns FUSAR Technologies — one of several new tech companies setting up shop in the building. The 24-hour amenities, rooftop access and lower cost lured him out of his Grove Street office.
“When we first looked at the building here, Kearny Point, we were worried a little about transit options. We have eight full-time employees and about half of us are taking advantage of this Uber program which is great it makes it accessible, whereas the lack of public transit makes it difficult for certain employees,” said Shearman.
“We have about ten to 12 companies that are participating, with probably a total of about 50 employees right now. So I’m sure that number will continue to grow as we add tenancies to the building,” said Sullivan.
The developers at Kearny Point are still looking to draw some larger companies to this space, with employee counts that double and triple those already here, and they’re hoping creative incentives like this could do the trick.
“So we’re also trying to attract the Brooklyn customer, the Manhattan customer, who’s use to much more transient, quick, easy commute back and forth to work. So we said, ‘hey listen, as we work on the improvements to public transportation, why not strike a relationship with a ride share and offer that as an amenity to our tenants and hopefully attract those customers that we’re looking for,” said Sullivan.
And bring top talent from all over the region. Shearman is hoping to grow his head count and as that increases, you can expect the number of Uber cars arriving everyday will too.