NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The 23-story performing arts center is now under construction n the city's downtown for more than $172 million and New Brunswick will own a chunk of it.

Earlier this month city leaders approved the first allocation of $316,701 towards its payment for the center that will be home to two playhouses, a ballet company and outlet for the Rutgers University Mason Gross School for the Arts.

This payment is part of the $17.7 million commitment the city made towards the financing of the building, which will also have 30,000 square-feet of office space.

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick's contribution is designated to fund the theater portion of the building.

In August 2017, just months before the official groundbreaking for the building, formally called the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center or NBPAC, the city sold over $17 million in bonds to fund its contribution to the project, according to a spokeswoman for Mayor James Cahill's office.

The city is just now allocating monies from those bonds for the project and paying the New Brunswick Development Corporation or DEVCO. Additional allocations will be made as construction continues, all in accordance with a timeline that was established for funding the project, city officials said.

This is only one portion of the contribution New Brunswick made for the PAC. When state, county and municipal elected leaders broke ground for the project, city officials announced that New Brunswick would provide an $18.5 million tax abatement. 

Once completed, the 450,000-square-foot project will house the Crossroads Theater and George Street Playhouse, the American Repertory Ballet and a portion to house programs of the Mason Gross School.

There will be two proscenium-style theaters. The larger venue will have 462 seats, an 86-foot long stage and orchestra pit for up to 70 musicians.

An adjacent playhouse, designed mainly for smaller productions, will have seats for 252 patrons in front of a 60-foot stage. The center will also house three rehearsal studios that would be available for small performances, classes and workshops.

The ambitious project also includes 207 apartments. Middlesex County will own two floors of offices in the building, which is tentatively slated for completion later this year.