PATERSON, NJ - “There is a great deal of potential in the First Ward,” Councilman Michael Jackson told a crowd of approximately 25 that gathered at his invitation at his Downtown restaurant in January. “We are on the cusp of breaking it wide open, of getting shovels in the ground and going vertical.”

With Paterson officials working overtime to vet potential projects that can be brought off the drawing board and made reality thanks to $130 million in state issued tax credits, one prominent local property owner wanting to put Jackson’s words into action is taking their case directly directly to Trenton.

According to a statement issued Thursday, Center City Partners, the developer of Center City Mall, is seeking to partner with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to advance a $100 million investment in Downtown Paterson.

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The project, according to the statement, would utilize $40 million of the tax credits to support the construction of a “world class sports and entertainment arena,” hotel, and other amenities.

“We are investing in Paterson because we believe strongly in its future,” Efstathios ‘Steve’ Valiotis, Managing Member of Center City Partners said. By bringing new retail, entertainment, and commercial amenities to a “walkable, transit-friendly, urban environment,” Valiotis continued, the project, which they expect to create 400 new permanent jobs, will also “draw more visitors, workers, and steady revenue to the city.”

The project will also, the statement claimed, generate $1.5 million in revenue for the city of Paterson annually.

“This is a huge win for the people of Paterson, and we look forward to partnering with the city, county, and state to further this exciting new chapter,” Ruben Gomez, the project’s development director concluded.