HARRISON, NJ-The Hudson County Improvement Authority has announced that $39.4 million in revenue bonds have been sold to finance the land acquisition for the new 25,000-seat Red Bull Park, which will be the new home of Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls. The team, until last year known as the MetroStars, currently uses Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ as its home venue.

The sale clears the way for entertainment conglomerate AEG, which owns the team, and Red Bull, the Austrian beverage company that bought the naming rights to the team and the stadium, to start construction. Ground is expected to be broken in September, with completion slated for 2008. As reported by GlobeSt.com, the stadium has been in the works for several years, but has been delayed by funding issues. Total cost of the stadium has been estimated in the $100 million range.

The stadium is part of a larger multi-billion-dollar redevelopment of former industrial land along the Passaic River opposite downtown Newark, being done by the Bedminster, NJ-based Advance Realty Group. Called Harrison MetroCentre, the project involves several mid- and high-rise office towers, 3,500 residential units, 300,000 sf of retail space and 10,000 decked parking spaces to be built out in multiple phases.

“This bond sale, and the subsequent construction start-up, continues the positive forward momentum of the Harrison MetroCentre project,” says Peter B. Higgins, chairman of the Harrison Redevelopment Authority. “When completed, it will be a city within a city. It’s exciting.”

The bond sale itself consisted of more than $30.5 million in tax-exempt and over $8.8 million in taxable bonds rated AAA by Moody’s. The bonds have a final maturity date of 2038 and a true interest rate of 5.08%, and repayment will be made from future payments in lieu of taxes. MBIA provided bond insurance, the bonds were guaranteed by Hudson County and annual debt service payments of approximately $3.1 million per year begin in 2010.

Key players in the sale included McManimon & Scotland, bond counsel; NW Financial Group, financial advisor; and William Netchert, general counsel. The bonds were purchased by Roosevelt & Cross, PNC Capital Markets and Powell Capital Markets, with DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole and Wisler serving as underwriters’ counsel.

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