Middlesex County News

Middlesex County Eyes Buying 2 Floors in Cultural Center Tower for $12 Million

17ad40eeb36295cbcc87_cultural_center_may_3.jpg
An architect discusses on May 1 plans for a downtown performing arts center in New Brunswick.
17ad40eeb36295cbcc87_cultural_center_may_3.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — If all goes as planned, Middlesex County will own two floors of office space in the performing arts center that’s slated to sprout in downtown New Brunswick.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders introduced an ordinance last week that would take $17.5 million from previously issued bonds to buy the real estate on Livingston Avenue and pay for various road improvements and engineering services throughout the county, according to the document, which TAPinto New Brunswick obtained yesterday.

The purchase of office space in the New Brunswick Cultural Center redevelopment project is projected to cost $12 million, County Administrator John Pulomena said during the board’s May 4 meeting.

Sign Up for E-News

“The investment we’re making there is directly related to having ownership of two floors to put our people there for many years to come,” he said.

Middlesex officials have already committed $6 million to fund the $167 million project, which stands to yield a 22-story tower with two performance theaters, multiple rehearsal spaces, office space and 207 apartments. A conjoined parking garage would also crop up on Bayard Street, according to the New Brunswick Development Corporation, better known as Devco.

County staffers who work in art and culture would relocate to the building after construction cedes in July 2019, Pulomena said.

Business-development and communications employees might also move to the performing arts center, Pulomena said.

When questioned by a resident about the price tag, Pulomena said the acquisition will save taxpayers money by avoiding the need to lease office space. Over 20 years, he said, leasing could run double the cost of buying property.

“It’s more effective to own our own facilities than to lease space and get no value to that,” he added.

Freeholder Charles Kenny said the board considered buying just one floor in the building. But because Middlesex officials “don’t know the future needs” of the county, they thought it best to not limit themselves to one floor, he said.

Should some office space wind up vacant, the county could use it to make money, Pulomena said.

“Where we are not going to use the space, we have the ability to lease that space out and use that money to fund the day-to-day operations,” he said.

The remaining money covered by the proposed ordinance would finance capital improvements in the majority of the county’s municipalities. That list includes upgrades to Ryders Lane and Clifton Avenue in New Brunswick.

A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for the freeholders’ 7 p.m. May 18 meeting in the county administration building on Bayard Street, New Brunswick. Residents may ask questions about or comment on the move at that time.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Milltown/Spotswood

North Brunswick Man Charged with Supplying Fentanyl that Led to Fatal Overdose

June 16, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - A Trenton man has been charged with providing the drugs that resulted in the fatal overdose of a Middlesex County man.

Eric Laster, 21, was arrested Thursday and charged with a single count of “strict lability for drug induced death,” Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey in a statement he released jointly with North Brunswick police director Kenneth ...

Somerville Elks Epitomize Patriotism and Respect for the American Flag

June 15, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ - They are perhaps the most patriotic Americans you’ll find in any community.

See for yourself on Friday, June 15, when the Somerville Elks Lodge #1068 hosts a Flag Day Festival and Country/Western music concert on the lawn surrounding the historic Somerset County Courthouse on East Main Street from 5-8:30 p.m.

Look for a guy wearing a shirt emblazoned with the American ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 14, 10:00 AM

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood

Bag-of-Books Sale - Friends of Maplewood Library

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Girl Scout Seeks Donations of Craft Items Tomorrow

June 7, 2018

Hi, EB Community, 

 
I am Alexandra Gonzalez. I am currently a Junior at EBHS. I am as well a Girl Scout and working on my Gold Award. I am in search of donations and would like to inform you on the issue my project will address, how you can help, and why this is important. 

The project I am working on will be impacting the Special education students in East Brunswick Public ...

Rutgers Equine Science Center Annual Summer Showcase Scheduled for July 11

June 17, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — The Equine Science Center at Rutgers University is hosting its annual "Summer Showcase" from 10 am to noon  on Wednesday, July 11 at the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory on College Farm Road on the George H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick. The Summer Showcase, similar to an open house, is a FREE event that is open to the public and perfect for any and ...

Third-annual Juneteenth Parade and Heritage Festival in New Brunswick this Weekend

June 13, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Vulcan Pioneers of New Brunswick, comprising the city's Black Fire Fighters Association, will host the Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 16 to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth celebrations are held across the country to mark the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865. That state was one of the last locations to learn of ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...