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Sean Ryan is associate editor of Real Estate New Jersey.HARRISON, NJ-A $40 million bond issued by the town of Harrison will purchase and remediate the former Spiegel Trucking property, clearing the way for a MetroStars arena. The arena is the centerpiece of a 250-acre redevelopment along Harrison’s Passaic River waterfront. The $40 million is the town’s contribution to the arena. Last month local, state and team officials reached an agreement for the new stadium

This is the first bond of this size that the town has offered. “Harrison is not that big a town. It’s only got 15,000 residents,” says a spokesman for the Harrison Redevelopment Agency. Harrison will get the money back, however. “The MetroStars will use that money to purchase the property, and then they will pay the town back.”

Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the MetroStars, will put up $15 million and take out $60 million in bonds as its share of the project. “It’s going to be approximately 25,000 seats,” the spokesman tells GlobeSt.com. “It could go down a bit, but that’s what I’ve been hearing. They’ll be using it as an entertainment venue as well. There’s no way they’d make money off of just a soccer season.”

A second $40 million bond–one that will not be reimbursed by AEG–is scheduled to be taken out by the Hudson County Improvement Authority for construction of a 1,500-space parking deck that will service the arena, as well as other traffic. “There’s a PATH station into Manhattan, so Harrison gets a ton of cars every day. That’s where they’ll be making their money,” the spokesman adds.

Plans for the total 275-acre development area include 3.5 million sf of office space, 1.2 million sf of retail space, and 6,000 residential units. The first of the residential units are currently under construction and a 166-key Hampton Inn and Suites is already completed.

Hopes are for the stadium to be completed in time for the 2007 MLS season. “Right now, as long as everything stays on course, AEG plans to begin construction this winter,” the spokesman says.

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