PATERSON, NJ - Foreshadowing a day in the not to distant future when the area would be “bustling with galleries and restaurants,” Governor Phil Murphy was in Paterson on February 15 to announce a strategy, through the issuance of tax credits, to help breath new life into the former mills that gave rise to the moniker “Silk City.” Under the proposed legislation up to $20 million will be allocated to tax credits to help developers “put (historic) buildings back to work, so that we can put people back to work.”

Developers will be able to seek up to $4 million in tax credits once the project is complete, with a bonus of as much as 20 percent for projects that include affordable housing, incubators, or coworking space.

“50 Spruce Street is one of hundreds, if not thousands, of similar buildings in our state that have vast unfulfilled potential and can be restored to their former glory for modern day use,” Murphy said of the Rogers Meeting Center the former home of the Rogers Locomotive Works, brought back to life by the NJCDC. While states such as Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and even Kansas have used similar tax credits to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in past years, Murphy added, in 2017 New Jersey only supported seven projects, totalling about $1.1 million using the tool, and is “poorer for it.”

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“These beautiful structures are often hidden in plain sight and are waiting for the right investor. We are here to help with that.”

Welcoming Murphy back to the city he now presides over, and reminding him of his campaign promise to “have Paterson’s back,” Mayor Andre Sayegh led off the event by once again detailing its place in the industrial growth of the United States.

“Paterson played a pivotal role in shaping our nation’s history, and thanks to the Governor’s tax credits plan, our city will rise to prominence again,” he predicted saying that the incentives will help turn “legacy assets into legacy projects.”

Also speaking at the event, along with Congressman Bill Pascrell, Senator Nellie Pou, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly was Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Development Economic Authority (NJEDA). The efforts of the NJEDA, Sullivan said, are geared towards helping New Jersey “recapture its edge in the innovation economy.”

“The proposed program’s thoughtful, targeted approach,” which both Sullivan and Murphy promised would include high levels of transparency and accountability, “will help to ensure the kind of innovation-focused investment that will spur sustainable economic activity.”

With investment of the Passaic County Freeholders into sites such as Dey Mansion and Lambert Tower it’s not just the State of New Jersey that is advancing efforts to preserve the past, and realizing a return, John Bartlett told TAPinto Paterson. In 2016 and 2017 Passaic County, the Freeholder Director said, has had the fastest growing tourism economy of any other in the state, resulting in the creation at least 600 tourism industry related jobs.  

While Murphy’s proposal opens projects across the state up to the program, Sayegh was enthusiastic about the local impact it will have.

“We are in the midst of a renaissance in Paterson, and this historic tax credit program will be another catalyst of that,” Sayegh told TAPinto Paterson. “Through these dollars, and additional strategic investment, we are going to make what’s old new again.”


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