Arable Labs Qualifies for State Tax Break

Tulane Street-based farm technology startup Arable Labs was one of 39 companies to be approved for the State’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Program in 2017.

Administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the New Jersey Department of Treasury’s Division of Taxation, this program enables eligible technology and biotechnology companies to sell New Jersey tax losses and/or research and development tax credits to raise cash to finance their growth and operations. The NOL Program offers non-dilutive funding, meaning that entrepreneurs do not have to relinquish a portion of their company in return for funding.

Arable Labs helps farmers keep data that enables them to make informed decisions at their fingertips via a laptop, tablet or smart phone. (U.S. 1, October 4, 2017.) The company’s name comes directly from the word “arable,” meaning “suitable for growing crops.”

Arable Labs’ proprietary smart technology, called Arable Mark IoT (short for Internet of Things), offers farmers real-time, continuous visibility and predictive analytics of more than 40 metrics. These metrics include weather, readiness for harvesting, precipitation, plant health, and disease risk. Data is gathered by a device placed in the ground and is easily accessible via a cloud-based dashboard.

The company started shipping Arable Mark IoT to customers in 2017 and ramped up distribution toward the end of the year. While Arable has clients around the world, New Jersey presents fertile ground for this burgeoning technology, with approximately 9,000 farms and food and agriculture being the state’s third largest industry.

“We believe that arming farmers with meaningful data leads to them spending less time trekking through their fields and helps reduce crop loss and financial risk,” Arable Labs founder and CEO Adam Wolf said. “Arable Mark IoT is ideal not just for small farms, but also for big-name brands that depend on crops for the reliable production of their products.”

Arable Labs had the opportunity to showcase its technology at the Vegetable Growers Association of New Jersey Annual Convention in Atlantic City earlier this month. Throughout the week, Wolf and his team touted the company’s role in the New Jersey ecosystem.

Arable Labs works with scientists at Rutgers University who are developing and improving a variety of hazelnut for chocolate manufacturer and distributor Ferrero Rocher, as well as those at Rutgers striving to improve basil varieties for Shenandoah Growers. Arable Labs also works closely with vineyards, keeping a close eye on their grapes. New Jersey alone has more than 50 wineries.

Arable, 40 North Tulane Street, Princeton 08540. Adam Wolf, founder. www.arable.com.

Commercial Report: Exit 8A Is Booming

Demand for industrial properties in the Exit 8A corridor continues to be strong, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s investment sales group.

“Strong investor interest in new construction, vacant-forward sales, and institutional buying off of I-95 speaks to the depth of demand for all things industrial in New Jersey,” said Gary Gabriel, executive managing director for Cushman.

One indication of the hot market for warehouse space off New Jersey Turnpike Exit 8A was the state’s largest single-property industrial transaction last year. Cushman brokered the sale of Cranbury Station Park in Cranbury from the Rockefeller Group and Alfieri to Clarion Partners for more than $150 million. The recently completed, 1.24 million-square-foot distribution facility sits on 120 acres in the Turnpike Exit 8A submarket and is 100 percent leased to Wayfair, an Internet retailer.

The New Jersey industrial market currently reports an overall market vacancy rate of 3.8 percent and an overall weighted average asking rent of $8.15 per square foot, both figures being large increases over the previous year.

Expansions

New Jersey Community Capital, 16-18 West Lafayette Street, Trenton 08608. 609-989-7766. Robert O. Zelenek, executive director. www.newjerseycommunitycapital.org.

New Jersey Community Capital, a Trenton-based nonprofit group, has acquired 495 mortgages at risk of foreclosure from Fannie Mae’s latest Community Impact Pool of non-performing mortgages.

The group says that while the national foreclosure rate has been steadily decreasing, New Jersey’s rate remains the highest in the nation. Bank repossessions were up 19 percent in New Jersey in 2017, the highest level since 2006 and the highest in the nation. Further, Atlantic City and Trenton topped the list of cities with populations of more than 200,000 with the highest foreclosure rates in the nation.

NJCC, through its asset management subsidiary National Community Capital, will partner with local housing counseling agencies to reduce the principal owed by homeowners and ensure payments represent no more than 35 percent of homeowners’ income.

“In addition to the ‘micro’ effect of preventing families from being displaced by foreclosure and repurposing vacant homes as affordable housing, it also has the ‘macro’ impact of reducing neighborhood decline and stabilizing the value of surrounding homes,” said Wayne T. Meyer, president of NJCC.

NJCC will work to stabilize more than 150 homes across the state, in addition to the 137 homes it is already working to stabilize. The organization will use its “ReStart” model, which involves making load modifications, providing principal reduction, and working with housing counselors.

“The ReStart model is about keeping families in their homes and stabilizing communities, making this program beneficial to both homeowners and their neighbors in a way that is sustainable and scalable,” Meyer said. “We are excited to be able to reach homeowners across the country.”

The group mostly works with homeowners in New York and New Jersey but has some clients in other states.

New in Town

Legacy Treatment Services, 68 Culver Road, Monmouth Junction 08852. www.legacytreatment.org.

Legacy Treatment Services, a nonprofit human service agency, has opened a new outpatient facility on Culver Road. Legacy provides substance abuse treatment, counseling, social work, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other services. It has locations throughout south and central New Jersey.

Leaving Town

Capital One Bank, 1345 Route 1 South, North Brunswick.

The bank has left its Route 1 South location in North Brunswick.

Nextage M3 Realty, 408 Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro.

The real estate company has left its Plainsboro Road office and is now headquartered in Edison.

Princeton Educational Therapy, 134 Nassau Street, Princeton.

The educational therapist has left its Nassau Street office.

Princeton IT Services, 3525 Quakerbridge Road, Hamilton. www.princetonits.com.

The IT services company has moved to New York.

TNT Information Systems LLC, 666 Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro.

The software development company has left its office at 666 Plainsboro Road.

Einstein Lab, 50 Princeton-Hightstown Road, Princeton Junction.

The tutoring service has left its location on Princeton-Hightstown Road.

Deaths

Dorothy Cybulski, 67, on February 11. She was a PBX operator at the Nassau Inn of Princeton, retiring in 2008. Services will be held Friday, February 16, at 9:30 a.m. at the A.S. Cole Son & Co. funeral home, 22 North Main Street, Cranbury.

Josephine “Sherri” K. Cade, on February 10. She was a real estate associate for more than 20 years and later an administrator with the Cade Motor Company in Lawrence. Services will be held Thursday, February 15, at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 3816 East State Street Extension, Hamilton.

Robert “Rube” Speranza, 66, on February 10. He was a superintendent at Ewing Township Parks and Recreation and a part-time bartender at Slocum’s Bowling Lanes.

Dorothy Forconi, 89, on February 7. She was the owner of Forconi Foods in Hamilton and continued to be involved in the business after her son, Eugene, took over ownership.

James Hamilton, 86, on February 2. Together with his brother, Charlie Evans, he founded a scenic design and set-building studio, Design Associates, in a former roller rink in Lambertville. The studio designed sets for the Rolling Stones, Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus, and others. Later he opened an architectural design studio, Hamilton & Company, that designed restaurants, homes, and commercial projects. In 1979 he designed a master plan for Lambertville’s commercial district, and in 1988 he opened his own restaurant, Hamilton’s Grill Room. He also co-founded the annual Shad Fest festival.

John Philip Hartzell, 89, on February 6. He worked for General Motors, the Trenton Potteries, Johnson & Johnson, the Medical Society of New Jersey, and finished his career as controller of chemical technology at FMC Corporation Chemical Research and Development Center in Princeton. He was also a director of the Princeton Chamber of Commerce.

Helen Kosowski, 84, on February 3. She was the director of library operations for Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she was an early adopter of using computers to organize the corporate research library. After retirement she became director of the Lambertville Public Library, which she also organized with technology.

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