Downtown Newark isn’t just a business district anymore. It’s a business, residential, arts, entertainment and education community that’s rising up.

Tim Lizura
NJPAC Executive Vice President, Real Estate & Capital Projects

Long before the first brick was laid at NJPAC, we made a commitment to the economic development of Newark. NJPAC was not meant to be a one-time construction project, or a shiny new building isolated in the middle of downtown. Opening our performing arts center was only the first step in an ongoing process of joyful community revitalization. We continue to invest in Newark’s growth, and we’re making big moves to bring that vision to life:

A first step towards a new NJPAC

NJPAC has begun redeveloping the land surrounding its theaters. Ultimately, by 2027, the Arts Center’s campus will become an arts-infused neighborhood filled with 350 residential units, restaurants, stores and cultural venues including the new Cooperman Family Arts Education and Community Center. 

Step one in advancing the evolution of our campus is a redesign of Chambers Plaza and Essex County Green, NJPAC’s “front yard,” which will become a four-season urban park where performances, markets and more can be held year-round.


You might remember Joni Mitchell’s famous lyric: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Well, we’re doing the opposite, by transforming NJPAC’s current Parking Lot A into the centerpiece of a vibrant new neighborhood, ArtSide. This open, welcoming public realm will be for both Newark residents and visitors to enjoy. Mayor Ras Baraka calls this project “a game-changing step forward for the evolution of Newark’s downtown, creating an ideal live-work-play environment in the city’s heart—and making more affordable housing available for families of all kinds.”

The development includes a midrise residential building (seven stories) and a high-rise residential building (approximately 25 stories) on  Center Street, totaling 350 residential rental units with 70 affordable housing units and 15 townhome-style units.

There will be a focus on pedestrian-friendly public spaces, arts and food-related businesses and street-level retail. 



Slated to open in fall 2026, The Cooperman Center will serve as a neighborhood hub for performing arts classes, the creation of new performance work, arts and well-being programs, free community activities, academic research, and professional development for educators. 

Designed by architecture firm Weiss/Manfredi, the 58,000 square foot building will sit in NJPAC’s front yard, at the corner of Center and Mulberry Streets. This new facility will allow us to expand our already extensive array of performing arts education programs for Newark and New Jersey youth as well as free arts programming for our entire community, from babies to seniors.


a new front yard for njpac

Chambers Plaza, NJPAC’s front lawn, is being redesigned as a new, four-season urban park space. The rearchitected Plaza will include the new Essex County Green, a rain garden, upgraded lighting and flexible seating. All of this will enable programs including performances, markets and classes to be held here year-round. Brooklyn-based landscape architecture studio Future Green designed the new Chambers Plaza.

Construction on the Plaza began in April 2024 and will continue through December. NJPAC’s long-running and popular Horizon Sounds of the City free summer concert series will continue this summer, thanks to a phased construction schedule.



Continuing to position Newark as a center for creativity, arts, entertainment and industry, NJPAC will collaborate with Lionsgate entertainment company, The Studio Group and the city of Newark in opening a new 270,000 square foot TV and film production studio. Lionsgate Newark will feature five soundstages, a set construction facility, postproduction editing, crew trucks and catering services.

The studio will be built on the former site of Seth Boyden Court, the long-abandoned public housing complex. The 15-acre compound will also include housing, led by Newark Housing Authority. 

An economic impact study estimates Lionsgate Newark will create 500–600 permanent on-site jobs and generate up to $800 million in economic activity. We are grateful to Governor Phil Murphy and the legislature for championing New Jersey’s new tax credit program for Film, Television and Digital Media.



In 2018, we threw open the doors of One Theater Square, the first new construction market-rate high-rise residential tower to be built in Newark in 60 years. A symbol of our downtown revival, it sits right across from NJPAC on Center Street. The apartments have sweeping city views and luxury amenities, with 24 units reserved for low-income residents, prioritizing those currently living in Newark.