|By John Brennan, The Record, Hackensack,
N.J.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
February 5, 2010--The first new hotel in Newark in 38 years will be a Courtyard Marriott connected to the Prudential Center, the arena that is home to the New Jersey Devils hockey team, city officials said Thursday.
The 150-room hotel also will offer 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. No opening date for the hotel was announced.
Mayor Cory Booker hailed the plans as evidence that "Newark is a city on the rise."
The city spent $210 million toward the $380 million arena that opened in October 2007, using 30 years' worth of future revenue from an increase in the rent paid by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in its lease for Newark Liberty International Airport and a neighboring seaport.
Former Mayor Sharpe James touted the arena as an economic engine for the city, but the recession has contributed to a dearth of new development in the area at Broad and Lafayette streets.
Tucker Development Corp., based in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, will lease and manage the retail space. Tucker mainly develops shopping centers and mixed-use properties in the Midwest.
"We are confident that this new hotel and retail development will help foster further development and business activity downtown," said Chief Executive Officer Richard Tucker.
Stefan Pryor, the city's deputy mayor, said the goal is to transform the downtown area into a "vibrant, mixed-use, 24/7 community."
Marriott Vice President Ray Bennett said a groundbreaking is planned for later this year. Bennett added that the hotel would offer a fitness center, swimming pool, lounge and business meeting room.
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