PATERSON, NJ – In what could be the most consequential decision he’s made in his first year in office, Mayor Andre Sayegh announced his support Monday for five economic development projects applying for tax credits through the Economic and Redevelopment Grant (ERG) Program.
Applications for the $130 million in tax credits through the program administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority were due on June 30.
“Paterson’s future is precariously hanging in the balance—swinging between budding potential and missed opportunities,” Sayegh said in a statement. “The development decisions made during this administration will undoubtedly impact Paterson’s future for generations to come.
Referring to them as “interwoven projects,” Sayegh recommitted to the redevelopment and revitalization of the area around the Great Falls by endorsing three proposals requesting more than $103 million of the credits.
Put together, Sayegh predicted, the revitalization of the historic Hinchliffe Stadium, the construction of the Alexander Hamilton Education & Visitor Center, and the development of 92 new units of “infill” residential housing in the area around Ellison and Van Houten Streets, Magee’s Alley, and the Argus Mill located on Mill Street will “spur a strong multiplier effect in terms of new investment, ratables, growth in tourism and future development.”
In addition to the interactive and state-of-the-art visitor center, that package also includes funding for a parking garage with commercial/office space on the ground floor, and the creation of a performing arts center spearheaded by the New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC).
The much talked about proposal to replace the Ward Street parking garage with a modern facility that includes commercial space which has already been approved for $30 million in ERG credits, and the substantial rehabilitation of an antiquated 431 space garage known as “the Blue Garage” located at 125 Van Houten Street, rounded out the list of projects supported by the Sayegh Administration.
Missing from the projects to receive Sayegh’s support for tax credits was the proposal by the owners of Center City Mall to build a “sports and entertainment arena” as well as a hotel in Paterson’s downtown.
Sayegh stated that the total tax credits sought were more than the approved allocation, offering additional project options for NJEDA should underwriting or other project components become challenging.
“While this request is above the Paterson ERG allocation, the administration wants to offer additional project options for NJEDA in an effort to ensure that every tax credit available is utilized for New Jersey’s 3rd largest city,” Sayegh concluded. “We look forward to working with the NJEDA to marshal these projects to success and usher in sustainable economic development for the City.”
Under the state legisaltion authorizing the tax credits all projects must be completed by 2022.
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