Officials with the New Jersey Institute of Technology hope to attract private-sector investment for the next phase of a plan to redevelop its Newark campus. But the university — like other institutions — also is keeping an eye on state programs aimed at spurring development in New Jersey's cities and higher education system.
Near the top of that list is the Urban Transit Hub tax credit program, which offers tax credits to mixed-use and commercial projects in return for large capital investments in nine New Jersey cities. Demand for the funding has swelled in recent years, and it's unclear whether state officials will replenish the program past its $1.75 billion cap.
"We hope Urban Transit Hub is a reality for phase two," said Monique King-Viehland, NJIT's director of area development, referring to the next piece of its multiyear, 23-acre Gateway Development Project in the Brick City.
NJIT had hoped the program could help finance the project's first phase, which is under way and will raise the university's housing stock by 600 beds. But its application was shelved in February amid rising demand, forcing NJIT to bond for the project.
Academic leaders also are fixed on a referendum question that will appear on the November ballot, asking voters to approve $750 million in bonding for expansions and upgrades at higher education institutions.
The bond issue will be the first for the state since 1988.
Greg Gamble, director of economic development for Rutgers University's Camden campus, said the referendum is "extremely important" to colleges and universities across the state.
"If that passes, that will allow all of us to have dollars that are specifically designed for capital projects and building," Gamble said.
For Rutgers-Camden, the biggest needs include a new business school and additional student housing.
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