Tri-State briefs


New Haven’s Downtown Crossing gets green light

100 College Street in New Haven

A plan first proposed six years ago that will pave the way for New Haven to transform nearly 11 acres of underutilized land into a medical hub cleared its final hurdle last month when it was unanimously approved by the Board of Aldermen. The rezoning allows the city to build streets and pedestrian sidewalks above Route 34, which cuts through New Haven. The construction will reconnect the two sides of the city that have been controversially divided for decades. Preparation for the first phase of the so-called “Downtown Crossing” plan — the construction of a 10-story, $140 million biotech building at 100 College Street — will get underway in January. Construction on the actual building, which is being developed by Carter Winstanley, is scheduled to begin in May 2013, according to the New Haven Register. The project will receive $35 million in state and federal funding. Gov. Dannel Malloy is also kicking in $51 million through the state’s First Five program to help anchor tenant Alexion Pharmaceuticals relocate to the building.



Shaq’s project gets loan; Kushner acquires two residential buildings

Shaquille O’Neal

Basketball great Shaquille O’Neal is taking on another real estate project in his hometown of Newark, N.J. The New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, which provides funding to revitalize urban areas in the state, approved a $2.5 million loan for the construction of a Newark apartment building proposed by an investment group that includes Shaq. The $64 million, 25-story building will include 169 apartments and 7,650 square feet of retail space, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

The Star-Ledger also reported that the project was approved for up to $20.6 million in tax credits over the next 10 years through the Urban Hub Tax Credit Program. Last year, Shaq and Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced a $7 million deal to expand a movie theater in the city’s struggling Central Ward section.

Kushner Companies acquired two New Jersey apartment buildings — Skyline Apartments and Boulevard Apartments — in late July. The buildings, which are in Hasbrouck Heights, have a combined 338 units. A source with knowledge of the deal, Kushner’s first in New Jersey since 2007, told TRD that Kushner paid $57.5 million. The buildings include studios to two-bedrooms priced between $1,150 and $1,550 per month.

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Capital Theatre to reopen in Port Chester

Capital Theater in Port Chester

With a lineup of musical performances from the Roots to the Steve Miller Band to Bob Dylan, Port Chester’s legendary Capital Theatre will reopen after a 15-year hiatus this month.

Brooklyn Bowl founder Peter Shapiro leased it last year, and on Sept. 4, the theater — which has been used mostly for private events in recent years — will host its first show since 1997.

Shapiro has spent over $2 million renovating the 1,800-seat facility, installing a new lighting system, 10 high-definition projectors and a state-of-the-art sound system. The goal, he told the New York Times, was to create a “psychedelic rock palace.”

“This is a queen. This is not a princess,” he said of the theater. “That means giving her the best sound available in the world.”

Ticket prices are expected to range from $20 to $200, depending on the show.