Lesniak Attends Ribbon-Cutting Of Montclair University’s ‘Heights’ Project

Student Housing Complex Made Possible through Public-Private Partnership in New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act

TRENTON – State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak today attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at Montclair State University for the dedication of “The Heights” student housing complex, the first public-private partnership development completed at a State college under the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act which Senator Lesniak authored.

“Today, we’re seeing validation that, working together, businesses and public entities can create jobs, boost our economy, and inject needed capital investment into our public infrastructure,” said Senator Lesniak, D-Union. “The Heights complex fills a need for new residential housing on Montclair University’s campus, and helped to put many local construction workers back to work. I’m proud that our Economic Stimulus Act was able to bring public and private partners together to benefit our workforce, our economy and our higher education system in the Garden State.”

The Heights complex will allow Montclair University to accommodate nearly 2,000 additional residential students in 568,000 square feet of living space. The complex also contains a 24,000 square-foot dining facility. Completed over 14 months, the facility was financed by $211 million in tax exempt bonds issued by a Georgia nonprofit corporation, and facilitated the employment of 1,350 local construction workers during the building phase.

Senator Lesniak said that he sponsored the Economic Stimulus Act – and subsequent legislation designed to boost the effectiveness of the act – because he realized that during tough economic times, private businesses and the State could not make the necessary investments to grow the economy out of crisis. He said that public-private partnerships would allow projects to be completed that are both publicly and privately beneficial, filling infrastructure needs, expanding capital improvements and new construction, and putting out-of-work New Jerseyans back to work.

“Without being able to work together, Montclair University and their private partners in the Heights complex probably would never have even ventured to make an investment in this economy,” said Senator Lesniak. “The Heights is proof positive that public-private partnerships work, and I look forward to new projects, not just at our State’s colleges and universities, but around the State.”