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New Paterson Arena Included in Development Proposal

Paterson Arena rendering

Center City Mall owners are proposing a new Paterson arena as part of a larger development plan, putting the pitch into a competitive race for New Jersey tax credits.

The existing Center City Mall in downtown Paterson has struggled to build a steady retail base, so mall owners Center City Partners is pushing an elaborate development intended to bring more activity to the site. A 12,000-seat arena would be built on an adjacent parcel, accompanying a 150-bed hotel that would be constructed atop the mall. In addition, a 640-space parking garage would be part of the project.

Center City Partners is requesting $40 million in state tax credits for the project, which it has estimated will cost about $100 million. It has filed an application with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to seek the tax credits, but one major question is whether it can obtain a necessary letter of support from Paterson’s mayor.

Paterson mayor Andre Sayegh is backing a proposal to make the historic but shuttered Hinchliffe Stadium operational as part of a larger development plan, and other initiatives are being considered for state tax credits. More from Paterson Press:

Paterson is in the final stages of picking projects for the tax credits that Mayor Andre Sayegh previously has called a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. The state Legislature created $130 million in tax credits to boost economic development in Paterson, and applications for the funding must be submitted by July 1.

Sayegh already has backed the use of $40 million of the financing for the reconstruction of Hinchliffe Stadium along with an 80-unit housing complex and $30 million of the credits for a new mixed-use parking garage near the Paterson train station.

That leaves $70 million up for grabs, and city officials already have signaled that some of the remainder will go toward the proposed new visitors’ center at the Great Falls national park.

Sayegh said his economic development director, Michael Powell, is reviewing various submissions and will give him recommendations for the final letters of support by June 30.

Center City Partners is proposing to pay the city $1.5 million annually in lieu of taxes, and estimates that the new hotel could bring in up to $200,000 each year in municipal room occupancy taxes. The Hinchliffe Stadium proposal calls for the former Negro Leagues ballpark–which has stood since 1932, but has deteriorated gradually since closing in 1997–to be renovated for local sports, while anchoring a larger development initiative that includes apartments.

Rendering courtesy Center City Partners.

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