Middlesex County News

City breaks ground for $172 million performing arts center

9cae80f9cf25701dfd9b_Groundbreaking_NBPAC.jpg
Groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 4 for the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center on Livingston Avenue. Credits: Daniel J. Munoz
9cae80f9cf25701dfd9b_Groundbreaking_NBPAC.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The City of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO) broke ground on Oct. 4 for a 22-story, $172 million project in the center of the downtown performing arts district.

Known as the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), the impressive 450,000-square-foot project will house the Crossroads Theater and George Street Playhouse, the American Repertory Ballet and a detachment of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

To make it possible, the project is a public-private partnership between a host of organizations, including DEVCO, the city, Rutgers, Middlesex County, the state Economic Development Authority and the New Brunswick Parking Authority

Sign Up for E-News

Funding is coming from a patchwork of sources, including a $18.5 million tax abatement from the city and $23 million in bonds issued by the city parking authority.

In attendance at the Oct. 4 ceremony were State Senate President Steve Sweeney, New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill, Rutgers President Robert Barchi, DEVCO President Chris Paladino and Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald Rios.

The project would “usher in a new era,” for the city’s cultural center, Cahill said, and “bolster New Brunswick’s legacy as a place where the arts grow and thrive.”

NBPAC will add to a slew of other projects in downtown New Brunswick, including The Hub @ New Brunswick Station, a potential Amazon headquarters that most major cities in New Jersey are vying for and 90 Bayard Street, a 20-story mixed use development on Bayard Street.

“This is an extraordinary example of a public-private partnership and a resource that will offer so much for students, artists, theatergoers, local businesses, the city, and the region,” Barchi said.

NBPAC will hold two proscenium-style theaters. The Lyric Theater will seat 462 patrons, feature and 86-foot stage, 75-foot fly tower and a trap system, and an orchestra pit for up to 70 musicians.

The smaller adjacent playhouse, designed mainly for smaller performances, will seat 252 patrons and feature a 60-foot stage. There will also be three rehearsal studios, which will replicate the two main stages on the complex and support rehearsals, small performances, classes and workshops.

“The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center is a long-cherished dream fulfilled and will usher in a new era for George Street Playhouse,” said David Saint, the playhouse's’ artistic director.

NBPAC will also include 30,000 square feet of office space on the two floors above the theater complex, to be owned by Middlesex County and used by arts organizations and private businesses.

Additionally, NBPAC will have 207 apartments, owned and operated by Penrose, and featuring amenities such as an outdoor roof deck and workout room. In the rear off Bayard Street will be a 344-space parking garage connected to the structure.

Once NBPAC is complete, the American Repertory Ballet will partner with the New Brunswick Public School District to create “Dance Power,” which will serve 1,500 area students each year.

Mason Gross would also be partnering with the NBPAC to use the facilities for year-round educational programs.

Demolition began mid-July and construction has been ongoing, Paladino said.

Though Saint maintained he was excited about the changes, and that the NBPAC was a “long-time coming.”

For now, the George Street Playhouse has relocated to its temporary location at the former site of the Agricultural Museum of New Jersey on College Farm Road. The first show scheduled there is  “I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change” on Oct. 10, according to the Playhouse.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Milltown/Spotswood

67-Unit Six-Story ‘Mid-Rise’ Apartment Building Proposed

May 23, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - A development company affiliated with two apartment complexes near Neilson Street is now seeking approval for 67-unit, six story apartment building for a vacant lot on the Street that would cover the entire lot and would exceed the four-story limit permitted in the zone.

The Community Builders, a Boston-based company doing building as Stirlingside Urban Renewal LLC, is seeking ...

Amazon’s Career Choice Program Wins “Community Excellence” Award

May 23, 2018

EDISON, NJ - Amazon’s Career Choice program recently received the “Community Excellence” award from the New Jersey Community College Consortium for its impact on the local community.

Steven Johnson, Amazon’s Director for Associate Development, was on hand to accept the award and lead a panel discussion on how the program provides trained, motivated employees for ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, May 29, 7:00 PM

The Heldrich Hotel, New Brunswick

New Jersey's Environment - A Pivotal Moment: an ...

Sat, June 2, 8:00 PM

East Brunswick

Casino Night & Tricky Tray

Sun, June 10, 9:00 AM

Nomahegan Park, Cranford

Strides4Strength - A Walk to End Domestic Violence

Allegany Alumni Band & Friends on June 10th

May 24, 2018

The Palmer Event Center Presents the Allegany Alumni Band & Friends on June 10th from 2-4 PM at The Palmer Event Center on Flag Day Observance in conjunction with the Cuba Chamber of Commerce. Admission by Donation. Over the years the band has grown to include many local friends who also share a passion for music. AAFB plays every year, but mostly busy in summer months,entertaining audiences ...

TAPintoTravels’ Resident Haeringer Set to Judge World Championship of Salami Making in France Next Month

May 23, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Many in Chatham know Jean-Eudes Haeringer for his work as a handyman around town, as well as the set he built for the Chatham Middle School's production of Willy Wonka Jr.

But Haeringer is now adding a new skill that few can claim: Judge for the 2018 World Championship of Artisan Salami Making.

Haeringer, originally from Strasbourg, France, ...

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...