Tim Lizura, the former president and chief operating officer of the state Economic Development Authority, spoke in late April at a groundbreaking event in Camden. — Photo by Avi Steinhardt/Courtesy: Camden County
By Joshua Burd
Tim Lizura, a former longtime top executive with the state Economic Development Authority, has joined the New Jersey Performing Arts Center to oversee the development of the land around the downtown Newark venue.
NJPAC announced Monday that it hired Lizura as its senior vice president of real estate and capital projects. He will report to John Schreiber, the center’s CEO and president, as the organization ramps up its focus on transforming the acreage around the 21-year-old facility.
“Newark’s economic development has been a focus of our mission since the idea of an urban performing arts center was conceived three decades ago by Governor Kean and Ray Chambers,” Schreiber said. “Tim’s extensive experience guiding real estate development through public/private partnerships is just what is needed to enhance NJPAC’s role in the ongoing revitalization of the city, as well as ready us to explore opportunities to expand the Arts Center’s impact throughout the region.”
The new role for Lizura comes just a few months after he stepped down from the EDA, where he spent a combined 22 years during two stints. He rose during that time to become the president and chief operating officer of the influential state authority, working alongside several CEOs and serving under multiple administrations.
The announcement also comes less than two weeks after NJPAC unveiled One Theater Square, the long-awaited, 23-story luxury apartment tower just across Center Street from the venue. The mixed-use project brought the city its first new upscale residential building since the 1960s and marked the first major piece of the center’s efforts in real estate development.
NJPAC touted Lizura’s role in shepherding funding for a host of Newark projects, including the 20-story Prudential Financial tower on Broad Street, Boraie Development’s Rector Street residential building, Rutgers-Newark’s 15 Washington St. project, the Hotel Indigo and Teachers Village, among others.
The organization also cited the EDA’s role in financing One Theater Square, which NJPAC developed in partnership with Dranoff Properties. He has other ties to the state’s largest city, having earned a bachelor’s degree at Rutgers-Newark before earning an MBA at Rutgers New Brunswick.
Lizura’s career also includes time as the director of the World Trade Center redevelopment for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“In many ways, joining NJPAC is like a homecoming,” Lizura said. “Having gone to school here, having championed and supported so much of its recent development, I’m thrilled to be able to use my knowledge, experience and contacts to expand and enhance the economic impact of Newark and the state’s signature cultural institution.
“I could not be more excited to join a unique organization like NJPAC and help expand and continue the revitalization of the Newark community — a community with so much pride and history.”
Schreiber, meantime, alluded to “bold plans” after One Theater Square, noting that Lizura “will serve as an unprecedented change agent in spearheading NJPAC as a major player in Newark real-estate development.”
“No one knows better than he what it takes to keep the revitalization of Newark moving forward,” Schreiber said. “Lizura’s hiring raises the curtain on NJPAC’s next act.”