NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Almost $27 million in financing for two city Parking Authority projects passed muster during a state review, according to agency documents.
The New Brunswick Parking Authority Board of Commissioners approved two resolutions at its July 26 meeting acknowledging the reviews and positive findings of the state Local Finance Board.
The state panel examined the authority's proposed $23 million in city-backed parking revenue bonds for a 344-space garage that would stand on Bayard Street and connect to the coming 22-story performing arts center. Officials have touted the mixed-use project as a means to enshrine New Brunswick in the state's theater and arts scene, bringing two “state-of-the-art” theaters, office space and luxury residences to Livingston Avenue.
State officials also reviewed the parking authority's plan to issue $3.9 million in notes, which would fund the purchase of two properties near the former site of the Ferren Mall. The buildings would be knocked down to make room for the construction of a parking deck in support of The Hub @ New Brunswick Station, a mixed-use redevelopment project that could result in several towers and connect the city's downtown to Easton Avenue.
Together, the two projects have dominated conversations and headlines related to redevelopment in New Brunswick in recent months.
In reviews of the parking authority's financing for both projects, state monitors wrote that either the city's guarantee or the project cost itself are “reasonable and accepted.”
The state also found that neither project would “impose an undue and unnecessary financial burden” on New Brunswick residents. What's more, the state wrote, the arrangements wouldn't “materially impair” the repayment of the loans.
Finally, the state said the parking authority's plan to borrow $3.9 million to buy the two buildings near the former Ferren site is reasonable, given current market conditions.
State officials didn't provide any additional recommendations.
The Board of Commissioners approved the financing deals at its meeting in June.
The moves will add to the parking authority's debt load, which is several hundred million dollars. Authority officials have said the agency will be able to pay down its obligations.