NEWARK, NJ-The New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Philadelphia-based Dranoff Properties signed a letter of intent for development of a residential and retail complex on a vacant 1.2-acre site opposite the arts center’s main entrance. The plan calls for 250 residences in low-, mid- and high-rise settings, with 20% of the units set aside for artists. Also part of the plan are a 30,000-sf retail component at street level, and a 750-car parking structure to be utilized by residents, Njpac event attendees and daytime commercial demand.

Njpac officials initially rolled out plans in mid-2005 for the center’s first major expansion since it opened in 1997. In early 2006, the organization issued a Request for Expressions of Interest to begin the process of securing a developer. Estimates at the time put the price tag for the project in the $100-112 million range.

“This agreement is the culmination of a very deliberate developer selection process,” says Lawrence Goldman, Njpac’s president and CEO. “Dranoff is a recognized trendsetter in the revitalization of urban neighborhoods. We knew very quickly that they understood the arts center’s mission to build on its success and create round-the-clock living in downtown Newark.”

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