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 Senior 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 venue 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. Look around the NJPAC campus and you’ll see energy and activity. We believe Newark’s golden age is not behind us—it is happening right now.

TRANSFORMING A PARKING LOT INTO A NEIGHBORHOOD

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 a vibrant new neighborhood. 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 for-sale townhomes and condos.

There will be a focus on pedestrian-friendly public spaces, arts and food-related businesses and street-level retail. Restaurateur and entrepreneur Marcus Samuelsson will open Mulberry Market, a food hall with a Newark flair.

 

THE COOPERMAN FAMILY ARTS EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY CENTER

Slated to open by the end of 2025, 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.

The 53,000 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, which currently includes jazz, hip hop, poetry, theater, musical theater and band. We will add two rehearsal studios where NJPAC and artists from the region can develop new work.

SUPPORTING THE FILM INDUSTRY WITH LIONSGATE NEWARK

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 350,000 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 200 units of housing for older people and as many as 200 market-rate apartments nearby.

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.

WELCOMING RESIDENTS TO ONE THEATER SQUARE

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.