NEWARK – Economic Development Authority officials said Newark is reinventing itself and the grants the EDA has provided helped bring several projects to fruition.
The area that has seen much of the benefits stretches between the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and City Hall, officials said today.
To get a close-up view of that progress, the EDA held its meeting in downtown Newark, specifically at the Rutgers University Center for Law and Justice on Washington Street.
Some 50 projects have been approved in Newark by the EDA over the years, and the state’s help was coupled by some $1.1 billion in private investment, said Tim Lizura, EDA’s senior vice president of finance and development. The investments helped create 6,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs, he said.
“This really has been an important boom time,” Lizura said.
Among the biggest projects that are either moving forward or are in the works, according to the EDA, include:
- Teachers Village: The first phase of this project, helped through EDA programs, is $140 million. Among the things Teachers Village will include are 205 housing units for teachers, three charter schools and 65, 000 square feet of retail space. The village will be built between Halsey and Broad streets. It will help create 460 permanent jobs and 450 construction jobs. Margie Piliere, a regional director with EDA, described the project as “true community development.”
- Two hotel projects, including a 150-room Marriott Courtyard, a project made possible through a $6.5 million ERG grant. The other hotel planned for construction is Hotel Indigo.
- Panasonic: The electronics company plans to set up shop near Penn Station-Newark. The move will help it prevent going out of state, and help retain 800 jobs, according to the EDA. The company also plans to create 200 new jobs.
- Damascus Bakery: The longtime company will create 180 new manufacturing jobs, according to EDA, helped through EDA’s Business Employment Inventive Program
On a smaller scale, Piliere said Medtech Surgical has invested $500,000, creating a facility at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The move will create five jobs.
“All of these projects are changing the face of Newark,” Piliere said, adding that the city could become an international trade hub.