A $105.5 million tax credit was approved earlier today by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for the construction of a hotel near the campus of St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center on Main Street by the Medical Missions for Children, a charity closely allied to the hospital.
The hotel which will have two towers: one will be 17 storey high and another will be 7 storey. “It’s going to be a convention and banquet center,’ said Frank Brady, the charity’s chairman in October. “It’s still going to be a Hilton Hotel.”
“The first tower, a 153,200-square-foot structure, will consist of a 132-room hotel, a 40,000-square-foot conference center, and a parking facility with 189 spaces,” according to the State. “The second tower will be a 104,874-square-foot medical teaching and office facility that includes a parking facility with 40 spaces.”
Two months ago, Brady was in front of the city council, asking officials to pass a resolution endorsing the development, so he could take it to the State to obtain incentives offered by the State through its Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Program. Brady managed to quickly receive an endorsement from the council; however, obtaining a letter of endorsement from Jeffrey Jones, the city’s mayor, was much more difficult.
Almost a month after he had received the council’s endorsement the mayors was yet forthcoming. In November, Jones said he was reviewing documents from Brady’s organization to see whether he would be on board. Hardly surprising considering Brady wanted to build the hotel using money raised through the sale of municipal bonds when he initially proposed it, “on the back” of the city, as Jones put it.
“The first proposal was the city guaranteeing a $54 million bond, had we gone down that path we would have been just like Detroit,” said Jones. “Even the State said that was the wrong move.”
Jones said, he told Brady’s organization, to go find the funding from elsewhere, and that he was happy to see that they did find funding elsewhere. “It’s about time we’re able to get tax credit from the State,” said Jones. The mayor, at the end, did not write a letter of endorsement for Brady’s project.
On Tuesday morning, Brady received approval from the State that his organization will receive $105.5 million in tax incentives to begin construction at the site. “We’re quite excited about it,” said Brady Tuesday evening. “I’m happy for the people of Paterson and I’m happy for the charity.”
It is estimated the construction will create 665 jobs to build the massive structure. And after the complex is built it is set to generate 300 new jobs for the city. When asked what sort of jobs will be created, Brady said they will be mostly “mid-range jobs” with a number of low-paid ones as well. “It’s going to be across the board,” said Brady. “We of course are going to give Patersonians the first opportunities.”
Brady said he hopes to break ground on the project by June or July of 2014, and thereafter construction to be completed within 18 to 24 months. “It’s going to be a linchpin for a lot of good things to come,” said Brady.
Jones said the hotel presents a great deal of opportunities for the city. The mayor said, with hotels, people who are traveling to New York City and paying exorbitant rents on hotel rooms, can easily use Paterson as a stepping stone to commute into the financial capital of the world, without spending a fortune on hotel accommodations. “With New York being the financial center, people are traveling for holidays and vacations and just sightseeing — and it’s expensive: we need to provide options,” said Jones.
Jones congratulated Brady, and said, “Getting the tax credit from the State — Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!”