PATERSON, NJ- By riding a wave of urbanism, focusing on transit oriented development, and utilizing $30 million in Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) tax credits granted by the State earlier this year, Mayor Andre Sayegh hopes to usher in a new era of growth for Downtown Paterson.
“Collaboration is critical to produce positive outcomes,” Sayegh said at a Wednesday press conference pointing out that the plan being unveiled was only possible because of the joint effort of local, county, and state officials, including Christina Fuentes of the NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) who was in attendance.
Flanked by Tony Perez, executive director of the Paterson Parking Authority, and Mike Powell, Paterson’s director of economic development, Sayegh unveiled plans to demolish the aging Ward Street parking garage and replace it with a state-of-the-art 860 spot structure.
The project, also set to include 5,000 square feet of retail space, Perez said, will begin with demolition of the existing structure in mid-February and has a construction timeline of 15 months.
Situated on part of the approximately one-acre lot, Powell told those gathered, the new parking garage will be just one piece of the site’s overall redevelopment, which will, he predicted, act as a catalyst for additional investment not just in Downtown Paterson but across the city.
As a New Jersey Transit train made its way through the station across the street Powell said that the plans call for the new project to be oriented in that direction to make best use of the mass transit option that is vastly underutilized currently. “Imagine,” he suggested, “a one seat ride to Manhattan, mixed use housing, and additional assets to drive Paterson into the 21st century.”
Adding future plans of increasing ride share and bike share options with the project, Powell continued, more and more people will want to live, work, and play downtown.
“Paterson was built on vision,” Sayegh concluded. “We have a vision of revitalization and renaissance for our city, to be a city where people want to be, not where they want to flee.”
The Paterson Parking Authority is expected to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for developers to submit their ideas for best use of the remaining portion of the site on Friday.
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