Now, 10 years after he cut the ribbon on the $187 million arts center, Mr. Goldman, its president, is selling another dream: a shimmering tower opposite the arts center that would bring downtown Newark its first new residential construction in at least four decades.
On Thursday, Mr. Goldman and a Philadelphia developer announced plans for a $150 million mixed-use project that would include retail space, indoor parking and up to 300 market-rate rental apartments, 20 percent of them reserved for artists whose rents would be subsidized.
The developer, Dranoff Properties, a company with a reputation for breathing new life into low-end neighborhoods through high-end apartments, says the proposed building, 2 Center Street, would include a lap-swimming pool, wine storage, “private dining salons” and the kind of luxuries that might lure wealthy suburbanites into urban centers.
“If you build it, they will come,” said Carl E. Dranoff, the company’s president, who recently converted a boarded-up RCA factory in Camden into a rental building with 340 apartments, almost all of which are spoken for, he says. “This will not be some run-of-the-mill project,” he said. “It will be highly visible, and when you approach Newark, it will be a vivid icon on the skyline.”
The project still needs bank financing and public subsidies to get started. Also on the drawing board are a hotel, a condominium residential building and a Venetian-style pedestrian plaza that would be built once 2 Center Street proved viable.
“Newark is on the edge of a great leap forward,” Mr. Goldman said, standing by a window of his office, which overlooks the twin parking lots he hopes will one day be replaced by brick-and-glass high-rises. “It’s going to happen. It’s just a question of when.”