The Washington DC / Philadelphia / New York / Boston megalopolis spreads.
Note: There are at least two other (taller) towers on their way to New Bruns. - one is the Gateway which has the green light to start construction next summer (2008), which will be 330 ft tall; the other is the NJ Stem Cell Research Tower, which is still in the planning stages and will be 16 stories tall. Both will be adjacent to the NJ Transit NE Corridor rail line.
In addition, emporis.com lists two more towers planned for construction near the one discussed in the article below, in place of one of the theaters (one of the towers is supposed to have a new performing arts theater within)
(And for those interested, about a month or so ago, I posted photos of the construction site discussed in the below article in the "New Brunswick" thread).
City downtown to gain new high-rise
By: Stephanie Wynalek / Metro Editor
Residences in downtown New Brunswick are on the rise - literally.
Soon to join the landscape of Rockoff Hall, the Heldrich and the upcoming Gateway project is the high-rise New Brunswick Arts Building, to be constructed at the corner of George and New streets.
Currently, the construction site is home to only a large hole, but a 14-story, 150-foot residential tower will rise out of it. When finished, the New Brunswick Arts Building will contain 104 apartments and 3,285 square feet of retail space.
"The motivation for this particular project was to provide additional new retail and housing opportunities for the people of New Brunswick," said city spokesman Bill Bray. "At the same time, it will provide the added benefit of additional revenue to pay for public services and improve the aesthetics of the streetscape."
The developer for the project is Pennrose Properties, also involved with several other New Brunswick high-rises, including Rockoff Hall.
The original concept for the arts building called for artist-style lofts but was later redesigned, Bray said. Twenty percent of the apartments will be set aside for low to moderate-income residents.
"New Brunswick's population is expanding, so we build at all income levels," Bray said. "While a lot of our high-end retail gets a lot of attention, the city also does a considerable amount of low to moderate-income housing."
New Brunswick residents had mixed reactions to the plan for the new high-rise.
"I think it's an excellent idea," said the Rev. Zola T. Finney. "It will be an opportunity for people who are low-income to have really nice housing, which is needed. There's been a lot of things done for the upper end, so this is something positive."
Reese Gillespie, who also lives in the downtown area, gave a different perspective.
"The plan for the new building is good - it's nice. But most of the people that come and live in those, they're not from around here, and they've got money," Gillespie said. "The people who live here, they just watch the city build these places and they're still struggling trying to find somewhere to stay. They don't have the funds that most of these new places are charging."
Still others are ambivalent.
"It doesn't really matter to me," said Brian Person, a New Brunswick resident. "It might make the street look nicer though."
Bray also emphasized the effect the location of the building will have on residents.
"By putting it at a downtown intersection, it encourages people to rely upon mass transit. So people who might not necessarily want to have a car can live here where they don't need one."
Construction for the project has been delayed due to groundwater contamination issues stemming from a dry cleaning business, Town Cleaners, which was previously located on the site.
"If this project seems idle, it certainly is not," Bray said. "But the site has some contamination that will be cleaned up before we begin construction. That's why there's a big hole in the ground and the old foundations are still there."
Collectively, Bray said, the projects represent a turnaround for the city.
"New office, new residential, new retail and the Heldrich reinforces New Brunswick's position as a destination," he said.
Sandra Estrickik, a North Brunswick resident who works in New Brunswick, noted the overall evolution of the downtown area.
"I think it will be good for the economy here," she said. "The new building, when it's finished, will help make the environment nicer for doctors and businesspeople to work in too.
"I guess with the new high-rises the only way the city can go is up."
© Copyright 2007 The Daily Targum
Last edited by tbal; September 29th, 2007 at 06:56 PM.
The Washington DC / Philadelphia / New York / Boston megalopolis spreads.
This is the last straw in making way for constructin of the 30 story Gateway Center tower on the corner of Easton & Somerset. "New Jersey Books" refused to submit to the New Brunswick Devco, but have accepted a new location around the corner on Easton Avenue (in a space currently used by Rutgers maintenence department), to be constructed over the next few months by New Brunswick Devco. As soon as the new location is built, the store will move and the current block of buildings on the construction site will be demolished to make way for construction of the city's signature tower.
From todays Rutgers Daily Targum:
N.J. Books finally begins move to Easton Ave.
Stephanie Wynalek / Metro Editor10/12/07
New Jersey Books, long situated in a small space near the corner of Somerset Street and College Avenue, is upgrading. At least that's how owner Ed Mueller feels now that an 18,000-square foot new store is in the works.
Demolition of an old University maintenance garage, which is currently standing at the store's new site at 39 Easton Ave., is set to begin within the next 30 days.
"We expect to apply for and receive site plan approval by the end of the year," said Christopher Paladino, the president of New Brunswick Development Corporation. "We're on schedule."
The relocation is in preparation for the highly anticipated Gateway Project, which will be constructed on the site where the bookstore currently stands, in addition to several other small businesses.
"There's a reasonable amount of what you can ask for and what you get," Mueller said. "You have to figure out what's best for everybody, and I feel like we've reached a good understanding."
Mueller said he expects the construction of the new store to span until next year.
"I guess they're going to do demolition first. Then they do groundwork," he said. "They expect to start actual construction around Dec.1. They're supposed to be working on it like July, August of next year and be finished next fall."
"I don't know about the timeline, I do know construction is going to start almost immediately following demolition of the maintenance garage," said city spokesman Bill Bray. "There will be a little break between the two during the winter, because construction can sometimes be difficult during the winter if the weather's bad."
Bray added that the move is scheduled to accommodate Mueller's business.
"I can tell you the new New Jersey Books store will open prior to any demolition of the old store, the idea being to close down one operation and open up the next seamlessly," he said. "When we move will depend on when the new building gets done," Mueller said.
Bray said the new site was selected due to its close proximity to the store's previous location.
"Mr. Mueller felt this area was a great area to be in due to its closeness to students living both on campus and off campus," he said. "And the difference between the new site and the old one is insignificant in terms of where his customer base is."
Bray said that the garage site has long been seen as a hole in a retail streetscape on Easton Avenue. "This allows us to fix that by removing the blank wall that is the garage and filling in a gap along the street with the new store," he said.
"I think it's a good new site, because it's still where all the student activity is," he said. "Everything's really within a couple blocks, so the new site isn't out of the way, and it's on a main street. You can't put a business away from where everybody else is because it makes it harder for customers to go there. It's still the hub area and that's very important to me."
Mueller said he feels the employees are satisfied with the move. He believes the space will provide for better working conditions with more employees in the new store.
"There'll be water fountains and a couple bathrooms instead of just one little tiny one. We'll be able to give better service, and it'll be nice to work in. Before, I think everyone felt like we were trapped in this little area," Mueller said.
With regards to students buying textbooks, Mueller said the new store provides more counter area for purchasing books and less crowding.
But, Mueller admits the store won't actually be as big as it may seem. Although the store is 18,000 square feet, a loading dock area and a few staircases will detract from the amount of usable space.
"That's not to say it isn't going to be a nice store. But you just can't imagine the total number as all usable space," he said.
Both Mueller and Bray feel the close proximity of the Gateway, which will house a new University bookstore, and Mueller's new store will be good for customers.
"I can't speak to what New Jersey Books feels, but obviously having a center where you have different retailers selling the same type of items is great because that just provides more options for the consumers," Bray said.
NJ leaders break ground on stem cell research facility
by Kitta MacPherson Tuesday October 23, 2007, 7:28 PM
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, joined by relatives of the late "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve, state legislators, scientists, patient activists and university leaders, today broke ground at the site of the future, multi-million-dollar stem cell research center at a dirt lot in New Brunswick.
The state Economic Development Authority approved $9.1 million in June for design and pre-development costs of the facility, to be called The Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey -Christopher Reeve Pavilion, a $150 million research institute expected to take about three years to build. The center will occupy five floors of a 16-story University Research Tower to be built by Rutgers University, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in the city's downtown on Little Albany Street. The institute will also run satellite facilities in four other locations including Newark and Camden.
Corzine, a staunch supporter of embryonic stem cell research, described his excitement at the prospect of the state hosting such an advanced scientific facility with such promise for curing and treating some of mankind's most hopeless maladies. "This may be one of the most exciting moments since I've been Governor," he said. "This is about humanity writ large."
He described Reeve, a Princeton native who became one of the country's most visible and memorable stem cell activists after an accident left him paralyzed, as an "heroic New Jerseyan. He was truly a Superman."
In what was perhaps the event's emotional high point, Benjamin Reeve, a Massachusetts attorney and younger brother of the late star who bears a striking likeness to him, took the microphone. He spoke of his brother's struggle with his disability and his wish that he could switch places with opponents of stem cell research, if only for a moment, so they could see things from his perspective. And he spoke of how moved he was that the people of New Jersey wanted to fulfill his brother's dream by building a place that could give rise to cures for maladies like spinal cord injuries.
"We appreciate that you 'get it," Reeve said. And, referring to the slogan of both his family and the Summit-based Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which is "Move Forward," he added: "This is exactly what we mean. This is forward."
Many speakers urged passage of the $450 million bond referendum up for public vote Nov. 6. The money would fund the salaries of the scientists that will conduct the pathbreaking work.
Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, did not find the speeches nor the ceremony uplifting. She is opposed to the bond issue on the grounds that it will support research on embryonic stem cells which she says is immoral.
Very good news to hear. And wow, that happened quick. The last article I read about this tower seemed to suggest that construction was years away. Well, I guess it wasn't-
This is one of three buildings of 14+ stories that will be U/C in New Bruns come Summer 2008. Man, that tiny little city is BOOMING (there is also that 9-story medical office building under construction along French Street).
I'd find it easier to celebrate the stem cell building if it wasn't necessary solely to comply with Bush's moronic order blocking the use of federal facilities for this. As in California, my sense is we'd be better off spending that money actually curing disease than addressing idealogical workarounds for a bad president. But hopefully this problem will go away in 2009, and we'll just have an expanded medical lab that we can use to the fullest.
The Stem Cell site is still being used as a parking lot, but there is new signage around the site declaring it as the future site of the Stem Cell Research Institute (with a nice rendering of the tower too). If I had to guess, I'd say it will probably break ground by Spring or Summer of this year.
Anyway, the Rutgers School of Nursing buildings have made decent progress in the last few months:
And the French Street midrise office building is nearing completion (and is a really SWEET addition to this area IMO):
...And a few last notes:
1. It looks like NJ Books might be moving just across the street from its current site rather than to 39 Easton. Two small buildings across the street were demo'd a few months ago, and there is a large new foundation for one building taking up the two lots there. Meanwhile, there are no signs at all of imminent demolition work at 39 Easton Ave, and demo work was to have taken place (or at least been well underway) there by now.
2. The New Brunswick Arts Building site remains vacant of any heavy equipment, so I have a feeling that this site won't see any activity until at least the Spring or Summer.
3. Surrounding the Gateway site are fresh markings for underground utility locations. I think the last thing I read about this project was that it would be U/C by the Summer. I have no doubt in my mind that this will go through as scheduled. Since it's funded in part by a government entity (as is construction of the Stem Cell Institute), I can't see any reason why they wouldn't go ahead with it at this point (and also considering how much trouble the city has gone through to acquire all the buildings currently occupying the site).
Last edited by tbal; January 21st, 2008 at 11:58 PM.
Rutgers to lead research efforts to heal soldiers
by Wayne Woolley/The Star-Ledger Thursday April 17, 2008, 1:30 PM
Rutgers University will be a top recipient of an $85 million Pentagon grant to find ways to help severely wounded troops regrow skin, bones, nerves, muscles and blood vessels, Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker announced today.
The Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine will include efforts from some of the nation's top research institutions including Harvard University and the Mayo Clinic. One group of researchers will be led by Rutgers and a second by Wake Forest University.
Joachim Kohn, a biochemist who has led pioneering research in medical implants, will lead the Rutgers team. Kohn is hoping to achieve medical breakthroughs within the next five years that will help to repair the kinds of massive trauma caused by bomb blasts in Iraq.
"To alleviate the pain and suffering of these very severely injured people requires a truly national effort and it requires the synergy of a very diverse group of expertise," Kohn said in an interview before the Pentagon announcement.
The researchers will focus their efforts on regenerative medicine, a relatively new field that relies on man-made materials and biologically grown materials to help the body repair, replace and restore damaged tissues and organs. The researchers will also use stem cells as part of their effort, although Kohn said the studies do not require embryonic stem cells, a practice that has become controversial.
The creation of the regenerative medicine institute marks one of the broadest Pentagon efforts to use private and public research institutions to solve medical problems from the ongoing wars.
"This is the first time this has happened on this kind of a scale," said George Muschler, an orthopedic surgeon and biomedical engineer at the Cleveland Clinic. "Wars throughout history have encouraged people in medicine to make advances. This is one of those opportunities."
Kohn said getting the Pentagon to fund the initial research will lead to breakthroughs that would not have been possible otherwise because private industry tends not to pour much money into finding treatments for trauma and instead focuses on broader treatments for common ailments.
"We are right now at a critical moment," Kohn said. "The investment of $85 million will have a noticeable impact on the rate in which tissue regeneration products will hit the market."
In the end, he said, new medical products and treatments discovered by the Pentagon project will benefit everyone.
"We have enough car crashes or God forbid a major terrorist attack with people with severe burns," he said. "These are the kinds of inventions that will come in handy."
Hot off the press, the cover story of yesterday's Daily Targum:
Project set to break ground after store relocates
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Published: Thursday, February 19, 2009
Updated: Thursday, February 19, 2009
The Daily Targum
New Jersey Books, whose former residence was located at the corner of Somerset Street and Easton Avenue pictured above, will be moving to a new location at 39 Easton Ave. come March.
Ground breaking on the Gateway Project will begin sometime during the spring, said Jean Holtz, vice president of communications for the New Brunswick Development Corporation.
The parking authority has acquired all the property, all the relocation issues have been settled and demolition will begin in the next couple months, Holtz said.
She said DEVCO worked hard to relocate the stores affected by the construction, including New Jersey Books.
“With New Jersey Books, there was a lot of discontentment in the beginning but Ed Mueller’s new store is on Easton Avenue,” Holtz said. “It’s four times as large as the store he was in and it is brand new, and he should be in there this month.”
The project is anticipated to finish by the end of 2011 after about 30 months of construction, Holtz said.
Everything with the project is still on time since the negotiations with NJ Books were included in the original schedule, she said.
“We knew how long the construction was and we knew we couldn’t start demolition until they were moved,” Holtz said.
The reason why it seems like it is taking such a long time to begin construction on the Gateway Center is because they needed to delay it for 18 months until they could build owner Mueller a new store and move him in, she said.
Now that NJ Books is nearly relocated, building can begin on the project, Holtz said.
NJ Books Manager Joe Barbanti referred all questions to Vice President Tom Ebert, who was unavailable at press time.
Signs outside of the Somerset Street store state the store is moving to 39 Easton Ave. on or about March 1, 2009.
Holtz said there are many benefits to the new building, including a Barnes and Noble bookstore that will feature a large community room where book readings and other events can take place.
“The cache of having a Barnes and Noble will help us to develop better retail for the students and people who live here,” Holtz said.
The building will connect College Avenue to the platform of the New Brunswick Train Station, Holtz said, and will contain about 200 condominiums, which will be affordable for middle-income residents.
“They are not affordable housing for lower-income people, nor are they maxed out,” Holtz said. “DEVCO, as a non-profit entity, will own them and keep the price well within the reach of middle income owners.”
Students had mixed reactions about the Gateway Project and what it will mean for students and city residents.
“People who live off campus can live in those places so it’ll still be University housing officially. But it’s weird that it’s happening [with] tuition going up,” said Lijo John, an Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy junior.
School of Arts and Sciences senior Rose Arackathara said she thinks the Gateway Project will ultimately help the city, but is worried it may have adverse affects for residents who can’t afford the housing.
“I’m just concerned about the cost of it and what that means to New Brunswick and Rutgers,” Arackathara said.
—Heather Brookhart contributed to this article.
Project to bridge New Brunswick train station to Rutgers University clears legal hurdle
By Brian Whitley/The Star-Ledger
October 22, 2009, 6:51PM
Nawal Qarooni/The Star-Ledger
A 2007 photo of models of the new Gateway project in New Brunswick. The project will connect the train station with Rutgers University's College Ave. campus.
NEW BRUNSWICK -- The $150 million Gateway development project, which will bridge the downtown New Brunswick train station with the Rutgers University campus, cleared its last legal hurdle today.
With a vote from its board of governors, Rutgers ceded the title of an Easton Avenue property to the New Brunswick Development Corporation. That completes a three-way deal between the university, the city and a private bookstore currently located in the planned construction zone.
New Jersey Books, which supplies many Rutgers students, will move from Somerset Street to a new, larger building constructed by the development corporation at 39 Easton Ave. The property was previously the site of a Rutgers public safety garage, which the corporation demolished.
Once New Jersey Books relocates — which its owner, Ed Mueller, said would happen within a week — the last phase of demolition will begin. New construction is set to begin by early next year.
Ed Mueller, owner of New Jersey Books, said he’s pleased with the arrangement. Although Mueller will lose rental income from tenants at the Somerset property, his 18,000 square foot new store is several times larger than the old one.
"The project will help the city. New Brunswick has improved tremendously over the years," he said. "I certainly came out with a fair deal with my new store."
The Gateway project includes a larger home for the official Rutgers bookstore, Barnes and Noble, as well as the university’s press. It also involves 200 condominiums, retail stores, and a 650-space parking lot to be run by the New Brunswick Parking Authority.
About 3,000 direct and indirect construction jobs will result from the project, according to a joint statement released yesterday by Rutgers and the city of New Brunswick.
After breaking ground in June, the project should be completed by 2012, according to Rutgers.
From the Daily Targum:
Gateway moves toward completion
By Colleen Roache
Associate News Editor
Published: Monday, April 12, 2010
Updated: Monday, April 12, 2010
Bonnie Chan / Staff Photographer
Construction of the Gateway building, located on the corner of Albany Street and Easton Avenue, continues to move forward. The building will house a new location for the Rutgers University Press.
The New Brunswick Development Corporation, more commonly known as DEVCO, is moving toward completion of the new Gateway project.
The building, to be located at the corner of Albany Street and Easton Avenue, will include a new parking deck scheduled to open next summer as well as a Barnes & Noble bookstore and a new site for the Rutgers University Press.
The redevelopment project will bring more than 600 new hourly parking spaces to New Brunswick, which will help make it easier to get around for those who shop in or commute to and from the city, said Mitch Karon, executive director of the New Brunswick Parking Authority.
“On that side of Albany Street, there’s very little parking,” he said. “This will help alleviate the need of people having to drive around looking for a parking space.”
City Spokesman Bill Bray agreed, saying the project will help decrease traffic around the city.
Bray also said the Gateway project will bring additional revenue and jobs to the city, as new retail space and accommodations for shoppers will increase business and help the many merchants already on Easton Avenue.
“With all of that additional economic activity, there’s a multiplier effect in that if the businesses in New Brunswick have more customers, they’re generating more money, they’re generating more jobs,” he said. “Those jobs are filled by New Brunswick residents.”
The additional jobs could benefit students at the University who may need employment, Bray said.
The Gateway project will bring in an estimated $1 million in new revenue for the city, a figure 10 times what the building has generated prior to redevelopment, he said. Such funds will help cover the cost of public services, like police and fire protection, garbage collection and pothole repair, he said.
The project will benefit the people of New Brunswick without costing them, as DEVCO has used $12.3 million in state and federal funds — not tax dollars — to support it, Bray said. Otherwise, property taxes in the city would increase 50 percent.
“We’re able to generate more revenue to cover costs without having to dip into the pockets of taxpayers,” he said.
New housing units in the building will also bring a set of permanent residents to the community, Bray said.
In the long term, the building will accrue traditional property taxes, which will also spur economic development in the city, he said.
“It’s just going to be a really dynamic place,” Bray said.
Marlie Wasserman, director of the Rutgers University ress, now in its 76th year of existence, said the move from its current location on Livingston campus would benefit the company.
“It will give us increased visibility at the University,” she said. “It will also allow us to participate fully in the cultural life of the University and the community. … We’re looking forward to it.”
The location will give authors a public space for book readings at Barnes and Noble and in the company’s conference room, Wasserman said. She hopes both faculty and community members will attend the events.
The more modern, larger facility for Barnes & Noble bookstores will house a café and include a wider array of selections for purchase.
John Cusick, general manager of Barnes & Noble bookstores, could not be reached for comment.
Last updated: April 26, 2010 09:40am
Mayor Unveils $114M Redevelopment Plan
By Paul Bubny
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ-A $114-million proposal to build a hospital-run health and wellness center was unveiled Thursday evening by Mayor James Cahill in his annual state of the city address, according to published reports. The proposed New Brunswick Wellness Plaza would also include a supermarket, a 1,200-space parking facility and 80 loft-style apartments, including 16 affordable housing units.
A partnership among the city, the New Brunswick Development Corp., the New Brunswick Parking Authority and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the 625,000-square-foot project would occupy a 1.6-acre site between Joyce Kilmer Avenue and an extended Kirkpatrick Street adjacent to the Ferren Mall on French Street. Cahill said the project would be located within the city’s transit village zone and would offer walkway access to the nearby train station, published reports say.
The hospital would run the health facility, to be known as the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Fitness and Wellness Center. The first floor would include a 45,000-square-foot grocery store, a footprint that Cahill reportedly said "will allow this supermarket to offer a wider variety of food choices than the 15,000- to 25,000-square-foot size typically found in urban areas." A spokesman for Cahill was unable to provide GlobeSt.com with a copy of the mayor’s prepared speech by deadline.
Also on the first floor of the facility would be an aquatic center, featuring a competition-sized swimming pool and two smaller therapeutic pools that could be used for exercise classes or hospital physical therapy sessions. The main pool would also be made available free of charge to the city’s public schools for swimming lessons during physical education classes. The remainder of the facility would occupy the 12-story project’s second floor and offer exercise equipment and classes, occupational and physical therapy, community health education classes and lectures and meeting space for use by community groups, according to the New Brunswick Home News Tribune.
The project would require the city to acquire properties within its proposed footprint. According to the Home News, these would include two private residences, the former Gallen Furniture Plaza, law office and office space currently used by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Cahill reportedly said the parking authority would begin acquiring the needed properties immediately and that preliminary discussions with some property owners have been positive.
The parking authority would own all of the structure except for the housing component, which would be owned by the development corporation, also known as Devco. Christopher J. Paladino, Devco’s president, told the Home News that the parking authority would issue general obligation bonds for much of its portion of the project, while Devco would utilize state and federal tax credits to finance the construction.
The project is expected to go before the city’s planning board this summer. Construction would begin the following spring, with an estimated completion date of September 2012.
In his annual speech, given at the newly completed New Brunswick High School, Cahill also reportedly charted progress on the city’s other redevelopment and revitalization projects. "There is no doubt that the New Brunswick of today, by any standard of measurement, has far exceeded any expectation of our city's visionaries from the beginning of our revitalization," he said.
I personally don't see how they think they will be able to push through property acquisition, environmental approval, and the rest of the permiting process in just one year with this project...but time will tell.
What I'd really like to know though is what the status of the Arts Building approved for the site across from Rockoff Hall is...the site had some environmental issues but last time I passed by it looked like no progress has been made in at least 2 years...of course, that was a private venture, unlike the other projects that we are reading about (in which a government agency has at least a minority stake).
Any updates on New Brunswick? Any large scale projects planned , i know theres a light rail line in the works....but nothing else..
The relatively massive Gateway Tower is rising next to the New Brunswick train station. This is a mixed-use residential/commercial/retail building. The structure consists of a precast concrete parking deck and facade, and steel skeleton for the residential tower/commercial/retail space.
Hmmm...maybe I will try to swing by there tomorrow for some photos since I'm in Central NJ for a few days.