At left, former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean. Right, Larry Goldman, founding CEO of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center — Courtesy: New Jersey Office of Information Technology
By Joshua Burd
A project that is 10 years in the making — at least, one as high-profile and potentially transformative as One Theater Square in Newark — requires buy-in from a long list of stakeholders.
You can bet they were all on hand to share in the gratification of a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday.
“It’s one of the happiest days I can remember,” said former Gov. Thomas Kean, who helped conceive the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in the mid-1980s. “Very few people live to see their dreams come true. This is mine.”
Below is a sampling of quotes and statements from Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony in Newark for One Theater Square, a $116 million residential tower across from NJPAC.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka:
“I think that this project is going to turn this area completely around. It is the first step of many steps to make Newark the place that we finally want it to be.
“I have to thank former Mayor Sharpe James, I have to thank former Mayor Cory Booker for passing the baton on and making sure that, first, we had a performing arts center (and), secondly, that we begin to get this project into people’s minds.”
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno:
“I hope you all enjoy this as we go forward, because we know that the arts is the lifeblood of this city. For every nickel you put into this project, we will get a return on investment of a dollar. It’s an objectively knowable number.
“It’s a dollar that you can’t really, really understand until you look at what will happen to the children who will be able to come here, the families who will be able to engage here, the people who will ultimately live in this building. You can’t put a price tag on that.”
Tim Lizura, president and chief operating officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority
“One Theater Square will be a terrific encore to NJPAC. We are pleased to have played a supporting role in its development.”
John Strangfeld, chair of NJPAC board of directors and chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial Inc.
“We are delighted to complete this important step toward the development of One Theater Square. These additional high-quality housing options complement other residential and commercial development projects under way, which are boosting the vitality of the entire city.
“When completed, this project will mark another important milestone in the city’s development, while bolstering the strength and presence of NJPAC and the thriving retail, entertainment and business community in Newark’s downtown.”
Frank Giantomasi, member of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC:
“NJPAC was a major cultural milestone in Newark’s revitalization, and One Theater Square is an important residential component in this process. Clearly, Newark is attracting strong interest from top developers and investors, and will continue to do so as wider recognition of the city’s assets grows.”
Carl Dranoff, founder and CEO of Dranoff Properties:
“It took almost 10 years to get here. It hasn’t been easy, but we have had a rock-solid public-private partnership, which has overcome all obstacles. And thanks to everyone on the dais today for this partnership.”