JERSEY CITY, NJ - Already with a monthly price tag of more than $10,000 per month, the former Public Service building in Journal Square will continue to be maintained by the city until the site can move ahead to turn it into a possible arts center.
Called Pathside – because of its location next to the Journal Square PATH station – the building was purchased from Hudson County Community College in early 2020 with plans to convert it to an arts center and possibly serve as the long-sought after city museum.
The project was delayed last year because of the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, although city officials had planned to set aside money for additional work.
While the project has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the site is hardly ready for anyone to move into quite yet, city officials have moved forward on demolishing the first floor and are now asking for additional funding to continue demolition on the upper floors of the four-story structure.
The purchase of the property came at a time when the city was still engaged in a legal dispute over the Loew’s Theater – which was originally meant to serve a similar purpose. Earlier this year, the city settled its legal issues with Friends of the Loews which controlled the old theater, leaving some question as to the future use of Pathside.
Councilman Richard Boggiano, who has been advocating for the establishment of a city museum since the former one was closed more than a decade ago, said he assumed that Pathside would be used for this purpose.
“When the council approved the purchase of the building, I was told the museum was going to be located there,” Boggiano, who added that he only found out this week that the museum might not be located there after all, said.
Councilman Rolando Lavarro, however, disputed this claim, saying that there was no agreement for the museum to be placed there. The city simply suggested that the site might serve as a possible location, he said.
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