PASSAIC, N.J., Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Mayor Hector Carlos Lora officially cut the ribbon to open 663 Main Avenue, also known as the People's Bank Building, in downtown Passaic. The project was developed by the Hanini Group.
"We stand here today in a building that has so much history and significance for downtown Passaic. The redevelopment of the area around 663 Main Avenue benefits our community, our residents and our families. We are upgrading our community, creating good jobs and planning for a brighter future," said Mayor Lora.
The building had been vacant for decades and was an eyesore in the downtown of Passaic, requiring an investment of over $25M to complete.
"The Hanini Group and I are proud to have been a part of restoring the People's Bank Building to its previous distinction," said Samer Hanini, principal at the Hanini Group. "A truly collaborative effort was required to bring this 30-year vacant building back to its place as the epicenter of the City of Passaic and we would like to thank New Jersey Community Capital, Low Income Investment Fund and US Bank for helping realize our vision for this landmark structure."
"By breathing new life into this iconic structure, Mayor Lora and the City of Passaic are making an investment in community, preserving and repurposing this downtown asset for the benefit of residents, families, and visitors," said Wayne T. Meyer, President of New Jersey Community Capital. "We were honored to partner with the Hanini Group to create an inspiring space that is a catalyst of business and economic development for the community of Passaic." NJCC provided $7 million in New Markets Tax Credits to fund the project and a portion of the debt alongside the Low Income Investment Fund.
"Economic development is important to the future of our city, and it is also something that takes years of careful planning and implementation. I believe a good starting point is our business district, and / am excited about the opening and official ribbon cutting for 663 Main Avenue, a former gem within our City that had been left to decay for too long, and now is an important step in a brighter future for our downtown business district," added Mayor Lora.
The ceremony also included a dedication of the Dr. Joseph Buga Parque in the plaza adjacent to the building. Dr. Buga, whose grandfather was a carpenter that helped build the People's Bank Building in 1929-1930, was recognized for his contributions to the city over the past five decades. "This is history coming together full circle and I am proud to name the park after Dr. Joseph Buga," added Mayor Lora.
The Hanini Group specializes in restoring underutilized buildings in emerging downtown areas into community assists. Over the past fifteen years they have been involved in numerous transformative projects in Northern New Jersey, including the Hotel Indigo, Hahne's Building and Rock Plaza lofts in Newark, NJ.
Mayor Lora expressed appreciation to City Council President Gary Schaer and the City Council for their support; the Passaic Enterprise Zone Development Corporation Board; Business Administrator Ricardo Fernandez; Joseph Buga; Members of the City of Passaic Board of Education; and importantly, Samer and Thafer Hanini.
"I especially want to thank the Hanini Group for believing in my vision for redeveloping our downtown and putting their investment dollars behind it." Mayor Lora
Contact: Amer Hanini, (917) 371-1984, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Hanini Group