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The Star Ledger 2002

Date: 2002/07/03 Wednesday Page: 068 Section: BUSINESS Edition: FINAL Size: 412 words    

Faiella leaves politics, but not city development

By GEORGE E. JORDAN
STAR-LEDGER STAFF

Alfred Faiella yesterday ended his three-decade reign as Newark's most powerful development official to pursue work as a consultant and lawyer.

The first step toward Faiella's exit from public life came when Newark Mayor Sharpe James did not reappoint him as deputy mayor for economic development and housing. James has nominated an official from the Washington, D.C.-based Congress of National Black Churches to replace Faiella.

As deputy mayor and director of the now-defunct Newark Economic Development Corp., Faiella had the first and last word on all development projects. He personally brokered big deals as architect of the city's policy of doling out land, cash and tax breaks that fueled downtown office construction during the 1970s and 1980s.

Faiella, a noted political fund-raiser, could not be reached for comment.

Despite his departure from City Hall, Faiella remains a major player in Newark development.

He serves as president of a series of nonprofit and private for-profit corporations he created at NEDC that own two huge downtown parking garages worth $21.1 million and a $9 million warehouse in the South Ward.

The entities also own valuable land near Newark International Airport, the Passaic River waterfront downtown and the proposed arena site across from Penn Station, according to state and city records.

Earlier this year, Faiella said he was weighing offers from major law firms and considering working as a private consultant.

Faiella's most important contribution to Newark development was his role in a half-dozen high-rise glass and steel towers, mostly around Newark Penn Station.

But Faiella also was criticized for his inattention to planning in the surrounding city neighborhoods.

James could not be reached for comment and his press secretary, Pamela Goldstein, did not respond to telephone messages left at her office.

James has nominated Niathan Allen, the Congress of National Black Churches' program director, to serve as deputy mayor for economic development and housing, overseeing development, land use and housing policy.

This week, the Newark City Council tabled Allen's nomination, but is expected to confirm his appointment next week.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________ George E. Jordan can be reached at gjordan@starledger.com or (973) 392-1801. Home