Christie, Booker to Cut Ribbon for Teachers Village Housing and School Project in Newark
Tom De Poto | The Star-Ledger
Just a week after Gov. Chris Christie cut the ribbon to welcome Panasonic into its new offices in Newark, Mayor Cory Booker is expected to join him this morning at the grand opening of Teachers Village in the heart of the city’s downtown district.
Booker, who is running for the U.S. Senate, missed the Panasonic celebration because of a scheduling conflict, a spokesman said last week. Christie is running for reelection and today’s event marks at least the third such ceremony in as many weeks.
Teachers Village is the $150 million project that brought three charter schools, a day care center and about 200 apartments marketed toward teachers to a neglected business district just steps away from the city’s main intersection at Broad and Market streets. Ground was broken in February 2012.
The first two buildings of the eight-building neighborhood – which will house charter schools were completed in June. They are leased to TEAM Academy, Discover Charter School, Great Oaks Charter School which are already open and operational and the Council for Higher Education in Newark.
The three newest buildings will include 60,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floors and 250,000 square feet of studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments. Rents are expected to be between $700 for a studio apartment and $1,400 for a two-bedroom unit.
Several retail outlets have "Coming Soon" signs in the windows, including a fitness center, floral shop, cafes, Provident Bank and several eateries.
The final buildings are expected to be completed by the spring.
The project received nearly $40 million in tax credits from the state Economic Development Authority and $60 million in federal New Markets tax credits as well as Qualified School Construction bonds. It also received public funding from Newark and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
Goldman Sachs, Prudential Financial, TD Bank, Brick City Development, New Jersey Community Capital and others provided private equity, as well as billionaire investor Nicholas Berggruen.
At the groundbreaking, Goldman Chairman Lloyd Blankenfein said the project is “exactly the type of opportunity we look for in an investment – an effective and thoughtful solution to support economic growth and opportunity.”
Ron Beit, managing member of the RBH Group, has overseen the project since its inception. His group also has plans to redevelop the historic Four Corners neighborhood around Broad and Market streets with residential and retail mixed-use buildings and a boutique hotel.