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NEWARK-The New Jersey Performing Arts Center has been a solid success since it opened eight years ago, and the nonprofit group that owns it is looking to parlay that success into more economic development in this city’s Downtown and into an enhanced revenue stream for its own coffers. What NJPAC has in mind is a mixed-use tower that the organization’s officials say will cost $112 million.

In plans unveiled at a conference at the end of last week at the Yale University School of Management, NJPAC’s project will consist of 250 luxury residential units and somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 sf of retail space. The project is slated to rise just across the street from the performing arts center itself, on a 1.2-acre site that is currently being utilized as a parking lot.”We are fulfilling a basic mission of NJPAC,” Lawrence P. Goldman, the organization’s president and CEO said last week in outlining the plans. “It makes sense to participate in increasing the value of the site.”NJPAC is looking to get the project done by 2010, but will first have to find a private developer for it. Officials of the organization have yet to outline the process for finding a developer, but say they expect to have the process completed and final plans for the site completed by the end of this year.According to the financial game plan outlined by NJPAC, officials of the organization, which attracts more than four million visitors a year for its various performances, say they will spend up to $2.5 million in pre-development costs to get the project moving. According to Goldman, that revenue will be recouped in the first three years of the new tower’s operation, and that for the longer term it’s expected to generate about $500,000 in revenue.The new building will form one border of what’s being called Theater Square, a public plaza. The performing arts center itself forms another border, while the Passaic River water and Military Park, a city park, front the other two sides.

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