Redevelopment

Parking Authority Inks Deal for Ballet Space at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center

New Brunswick's incoming performing arts center, as seen from across Monument Square Park. Credits: Devco

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — When the much-anticipated New Brunswick Performing Arts Center rises from the rubble of two old theaters on Livingston Avenue, the city Parking Authority will control a greater portion of the project than first thought.

The authority's Board of Commissioners approved a resolution last week, at its Aug. 23 meeting, that will ultimately secure its ownership of a 4,200-square-foot ballet rehearsal space. The authority did this by striking a development services, purchase and sale agreement with the redeveloper, a subsidiary of the New Brunswick Development Corporation, better known as Devco.

Mitchell Karon, head of the parking authority, said this will allow his agency to rent the ballet area to the American Repertory Ballet, which intends to move to the Hub City once the building goes up. That income is poised to cover $1.5 million in additional debt taken on by the parking authority for the purchase, he said.

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In June, the parking board approved a similar resolution with the Devco subsidiary. But it only promised a multistory, 344-space parking garage and a covered access path to the authority, according to city documents.

Plans call for a ballet rehearsal studio to take shape in the same building as the parking garage. Renderings have shown it as a sort of centerpiece, adding an aesthetic to the structure that's unlike those of other parking decks in New Brunswick.

Right now, Karon said, the city owns the Bayard Street land on which the garage will be built. Devco will build the garage and ballet space and then hand it over to the parking authority, he said.

“They sell it to us,” Karon said, “for a dollar or so—because we're actually paying as it's being built, on a monthly basis.”

Last week's resolution overrides the one from June in which the parking authority wasn't promised ownership of the ballet rehearsal area, according to the document. The resolution took effect immediately.

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