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Thread: New Brunswick Rising

  1. #331

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    Awesome development! Exciting start

  2. #332
    Forum Veteran West Hudson's Avatar
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    Thumbs up More on The Hub

    From NJbiz (the site looks enormous in the aerial...I didn't realize the site is that massive):

    Perfect together: How Rutgers is helping to drive interest in The Hub @ New Brunswick

    By Mario Marroquin and Tom Bergeron, March 28, 2017 at 12:27 PM

    A rendering of the planned Hub @ New Brunswick Train Station project. - (NEW BRUNSWICK DEVELOPMENT CORP.)

    The Hub @ New Brunswick Train Station is not officially a part of Rutgers University. But as New Brunswick Development Corp. President Chris Paladino explains it, the project is nothing short of an extension of the state university.

    “The biggest driver of this site is the university,” he said. “Eighty percent of the potential tenants we speak to, that’s the main reason they are considering New Brunswick.

    “There’s mass transit, there’s the fact that there’s an urban infrastructure that’s proven, there’s the fact there are housing opportunities, but it’s the access to relationships with not just the research that’s going on but access to quality employees that they’re used to hiring that’s bringing them. We’re talking to a lot of tech companies that are used to hiring Rutgers kids.”
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    Paladino said Devco isn’t the only one doing the recruiting, giving a nod to Rutgers President Robert Barchi.

    “We’ve found President Barchi to be a great partner,” he said. “He’ll get on the phone with a CEO and be very convincing. He has an entrepreneurial spirit.”

    Paladino, the mastermind behind so many of the upgrades to the city, said the site will house 1.7 million square feet of redeveloped mixed-use space across from the New Brunswick train station.
    The project will encompass multiple buildings and include high-rise residential units and promenade at street level.

    JLL, led by Dan Loughlin and Scott Lesh, managing directors; Peter Ladas, senior vice president; and Scott Stange, vice president, will make up The Hub’s exclusive marketing team.


    The future site of The Hub @ New Brunswick Train Station. - (NEW BRUNSWICK DEVELOPMENT CORP.)

    Loughlin said getting in at the opening stage will be a plus for tenants.

    “Since we are in the early stages of development at The Hub, a prospective tenant can participate in the design and specifications of the buildings,” he said.
    And while residential will be a part of the project, Paladino said it is by no means the driver.

    “That’s probably the least important, because we have other residential sites in the city,” he said. “If we get some office users or research users, we’ll use that to fill in the retail that we want and then infill it with no more than 200 to 300 residential users.

    “We’d like to kick the site off with at least a 300,000- to 400,000-square-foot office building.”

    A rendering of what The Hub @ New Brunswick Train Station would look like when completed. - (JLL)

    The Hub will be linked by a sky bridge to the city’s Amtrak and NJ Transit commuter rail station.
    That connection, Paladino said, is key.

    “Companies are finding it more difficult to convince employees to work in a Holmdel or a Matawan because there’s nowhere for them to live,” he said. “Or, they’re living in Hoboken or New York City, so commuting from there to here makes sense.”

    The goal, Paladino said, is to make The Hub the center of it all.

    “The Hub will become the region’s most exciting 24/7 mixed-use neighborhood, right in the heart of downtown New Brunswick,” he said. “It will be New Jersey’s center for innovation and collaboration — a space where patent-pending technology is a daily occurrence.”

    The ultimate goal? Follow the blueprint that has worked so well in Boston with Harvard.

    “I’m totally willing to become Kendall Square Light,” he said.

    Link:
    http://www.njbiz.com/article/20170328/NJBIZ01/170329810/perfect-together-how-rutgers-is-helping-to-drive-interest-in-the-hub--new-brunswick

    Last edited by West Hudson; March 31st, 2017 at 09:47 PM.

  3. #333
    Forum Veteran West Hudson's Avatar
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    Default Cultural Center Tower FINALLY Happening; Aiming to Break Ground in August

    I think plans for the tower were first announced back in 2004 or 2005, so this one has been a long time in the making. One more step forward toward becoming a substantial city!

    Two interesting things that jumped out at me:
    1. The residential component is targeting empty nesters, which is quite a contrast to the millennials that most new buildings are marketed to.
    2. The building is getting some financing in the form of air rights, so I'm wondering who bought them and how tall they will seek to build.

    From NJBiz:



    State-of-the-art, $190M arts center coming to New Brunswick

    By Tom Bergeron, April 4, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    A rendering of the planned New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. - (NEW BRUNSWICK DEVELOPMENT CORP.)

    The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, a world-class facility that will host four companies in a state-of-the-art 22-story building that features two theaters, three rehearsal stages and 240 apartments in the heart of the city, is close to becoming a reality.

    The project, which has been on the drawing board for more than a decade, will break ground this summer with a goal of opening in the summer of 2019, developer Chris Paladino, the president of New Brunswick Development Corp., told NJBIZ.

    The project, which Paladino calls the “biggest public-private partnership in state history,” will cost $190 million.

    The building will go up across the street from the Heldrich Hotel, on the spot that currently houses the George Street Playhouse and the Crossroads Theatre. Those two companies will be joined at the new facility by the American Repertory Ballet and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, Paladino said.

    Paladino said two meetings in the coming days will finalize the project. Rutgers University is expected to announce the move of Mason Gross performances following a meeting of its Board of Governors on Thursday. And a final planning board meeting in New Brunswick is expected to give the final municipal land use approval April 10, he said.

    Paladino said a demolition of the area will begin June 5, with a formal groundbreaking scheduled for August.

    Paladino compared the building’s design and concept to arts centers in New York City and elsewhere. He said it will be “totally state of the art,” and built in a way to maximize the number of performances — and, thus, visitors — to the area.

    “On the ground floor, we’re building a lyric theater and a second stage, with a residential lobby, office lobby and theater lobby,” he said.

    One of the keys, he said, is to have a shared lobby for two theaters, which will seat 485 and 300 people, respectively.

    “From a design standpoint, we’ve got one lobby, because you want those audiences mixing,” he said. “You want people saying, ‘Hey, what’s going on over there, maybe we’ll go to that next weekend.’ A lot of theaters in New York do that, where they have several theaters off one lobby.”

    Paladino said there will be plenty of nights of audiences because of what’s on the second floor, where there will be three rehearsal spaces, two of which copy the layouts of the theatres below.

    “The thing that’s going to really make this work is that we have another floor of studio space,” he said. “Since these rehearsal studios match the size of the stages, you don’t have to waste time allowing people to rehearse on the stage. They rehearse there until they are ready to do tech and then they move to the main stage. We figure we pick up 80 performance nights because of the building layout.”

    A rendering of one of the two theaters at the planned New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. - (NEW BRUNSWICK DEVELOPMENT CORP.)

    The fly space, or the area well above the stage, is another factor enabling the center to have more live performances, he said.

    “We have an 80-foot fly and an orchestra pit that can have 50 players in it, so you can do opera,” Paladino said. “The huge fly space also allows you to have scenery that you can take up and put down. If you’re not performing on a Monday night, you can take up the stage and do a comedy performance or something else.

    “What happens with older theaters is, you build a set on the stage and it’s always there and then you can’t do anything else.”

    Paladino estimates that the building’s design will encourage another 40,000 people to annually attend performances.

    Some of those visitors may never leave. Some 240 one- and two-bedroom apartment units are being built to help pay for the building.

    To serve the residents, the third floor will be amenities, with a fitness room, yoga studio, demonstration kitchen, massive communal living room space and a co-working space, Paladino said. A pool will be on the roof, he said.

    Paladino said one-bedroom units figure to go for approximately $2,200 a month, with two-bedroom units going for $3,000.

    Paladino said he expects to attract a lot of empty-nesters to the units. The biggest draw, however, will be the design elements of the arts center.
    “It’s totally tripped out from a technological standpoint,” he said. “Totally state-of-the-art technical grid and catwalks.”

    There appear to be plenty of companies eager to use the facility.

    “This is going to be a new performance venue for both George Street Playhouse and Crossroads Theatre,” he said. “The American Repertory Ballet, which currently does not have a home, is going to make this their home. In fact, in the parking garage, we’re building studio space so they can expand.”

    And then there’s the tie to the university. Paladino said having the Mason Gross School of the Arts as a partner is win for all involved.

    “Getting Rutgers to have its performances based downtown is great for the city, but it’s just as important for the students to be working in a professional theater alongside professional actors and stagehands,” he said. “That opportunity to be in a professional environment is priceless.”

    And while Mason Gross will perform in the spaces quite often, it will not be abandoning its current performing, exhibition and rehearsal spaces at Civic Square and over at 85 George St. on Douglass Campus. The school’s administration also will not relocate.

    Paladino was quick to note the Rutgers programs will be able to perform at the same high level as the others.

    “Mason Gross has an extraordinary reputation,” he said. “So, we’re not doing them a favor; they are doing us a favor in being here.”

    Related Story
    Take a look at the plans for the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (slideshow)

    Paladino, who has envisioned the project for more than a decade, credited the willingness of so many to work together to make it a reality.

    In total, the project is receiving support in the amount of $90.5 million: $40 million in Economic Redevelopment & Growth funds from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, $17 million from Rutgers University, $15 million in redevelopment area bonds, $6 million from the County of Middlesex Cultural Arts Fund, $6 million from New Market Tax Credits, $4.5 million from The New Brunswick Cultural Center and $2 million in air rights payments.

    Additional money for the project will come from developer equity, debt raised by the private-sector partner, and bond proceeds from the New Brunswick Parking Authority.
    Elkus Manfredi will serve as the architects.

    “It really is probably the biggest public-private partnership in New Jersey, when you think of who is involved in it,” he said. “It’s Middlesex County, it’s the city of New Brunswick, it’s the state. Everybody has been involved in it. And with the help of the governor and the Senate president, we were able to get special additional ERG allocations added to EDA for this project, which really made this thing work.

    “That’s really the formula. You get everybody to get engaged.”

    Then build a center that’s the center of it all, he said.

    Paladino said the design of the bottom floors will bring a new ambiance to New Brunswick.

    “The studios will always be lit,” he said. “Kind of like Alvin Ailey in New York with a little bit of Lincoln Center and the newer buildings there.

    “It will really make this an exciting place.”

    Link:
    http://www.njbiz.com/article/20170404/NJBIZ01/170409959/stateoftheart-190m-arts-center-coming-to-new-brunswick
    Last edited by West Hudson; April 6th, 2017 at 11:30 PM.

  4. #334
    Forum Veteran West Hudson's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Updates: The Hub & Cultural Center Tower

    Based on images from the webcam, it looks like soil testing is taking place at the Hub site. You can see it here:
    http://www.thehubnewbrunswick.com/live-camera.html


    And, demo started last month at the Cultural Center Tower site:

    As Theater Demolition Progresses, New Brunswick Looks Toward the Future

    By JACK MURTHA
    August 12, 2017 at 9:25 PM



    Workers tear down the Crossroads Theatre this week, as seen from Bayard Street. Its longtime neighbor, the George Street Playhouse, is all but gone.


    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Walk around downtown New Brunswick during any workday and you'll hear it: the sounds of a changing city.

    Workers, perched on cranes and manning excavators, tear into buildings and rubble off Livingston Avenue. Heavy machinery roars, and tumbling building materials rumble. The scatterbrained noise tells passersby that something is going on here.

    And that something is the demolition of two heralded New Brunswick venues, the George Street Playhouse and the Crossroads Theatre. The Playhouse is now all but gone. The Crossroads still stands, but its facade is compromised, parts of it resembling a jagged shark bite.

    The two buildings are coming down to make way for the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. The 22-story high-rise will feature two top-notch theaters, rehearsal spaces, offices, more than 200 luxury apartments and, in the rear off Bayard Street, a connected parking garage.

    What officials and arts leaders have dreamed of for more than a decade is now coming to fruition. And demolition, which officials said began roughly one month ago, is the first concrete step toward what they hope will be an even better New Brunswick arts scene.

    “With every project we do, we think it's going to be the project with the greatest impact—because so many are transformational, and others have had an extraordinary impact on the city,” Christopher Paladino, head of the New Brunswick Development Corporation, or Devco, the redeveloper for this initiative, told TAPinto New Brunswick. “I certainly feel the same way about this project.”



    The George Street Playhouse once stood here, its marquee flanked by the trees.

    But before anything new goes up, the old must come down.

    Devco expects demolition to be completed by the end of this month. Immediately afterward, it plans for workers to begin digging the foundation of the new performing arts center. By mid-September, Paladino said, the project should enter “major construction mode,” with a groundbreaking ceremony targeted for early October.

    That fast pace is no accident.

    “We have no choice. We have deadlines with respect to our financing,” Paladino said. “We're going to build almost half a million square feet in 22 months.”

    Because the mixed-use project uses state tax credits, amid a web of other financial arrangements, the building must be opened by summer 2019, according to officials. That means, in just a couple of months, the area near Livingston Avenue and George Street will become a breathing, buzzing construction site, teeming with masons, bricklayers and iron workers, Paladino said.

    Just a few months ago, the Crossroads Theatre was busy putting on shows here.

    And in just 12 days, on Aug. 23, he added, the partners in the sprawling project—from Devco and the city itself to Rutgers University and the New Brunswick Cultural Center—expect to close on the financing.

    Nearly all of the construction documents are completed. The design work that remains touches mostly on cosmetics, like the look of the theaters' shared lobby, and which colors and fabrics to use, Paladino said.

    But the big-picture stuff is in the books.

    David Saint, George Street Playhouse's artistic director of 21 years, wasn't exactly sad to see his company's former home destroyed. The old theater—a former YMCA building—offered more problemsthan it did charm, he said.

    The coming performing arts center, meanwhile, could prove a world-class home for Saint and his theater company—and whomever else chooses to host shows there. The American Repertory Ballet, for instance, already announced that it will move into the tower. Rutgers' Mason Gross will also hold performances there.

    The remains of the George Street Playhouse.

    Given New Brunswick's proximity to New York, it's quite possible that top talents in theater will choose to host early openings of plays bound for Broadway right here, in the Hub City, Saint said.
    “It's been a long time coming, and I'm more than excited,” he told TAPinto New Brunswick. “I'm really walking on air about it.”

    This point in time reminds Saint of when a top architect flew over New Brunswick many years ago at the request of John Heldrich, a legendary Johnson & Johnson executive who has since died. The architect pointed to a triangle carved out by three roads—Livingston, George and New Street—and declared it a magnet that should house the city's arts center, Saint said.

    Decades later, and that arts center remains in the precise spot. But after just a month of demolition work, it's clear that its future won't look much like its past.

    Link:
    https://www.tapinto.net/towns/piscataway/articles/as-theater-demolition-progresses-new-brunswick-l-4

  5. #335
    Forum Veteran West Hudson's Avatar
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    Thumbs up More on the Cultural Center Tower + New Renderings

    Some great renderings here, presumably the latest. Looks like they replaced the plain masonry wall on the side of the tower with alot of glass:

    New Brunswick Invests In The Arts


    By Gary Wien


    For decades, New Brunswick has been one of the most vibrant arts towns in the state, but the city is just getting started. Construction has begun on the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, an exciting project which will help cement the city’s “theatre row” as a premier destination for the arts.

    The new arts center will be home to George Street Playhouse, Crossroads Theatre Company, American Repertory Ballet, and Mason Gross School of the Arts. Additional organizations may locate there in the future as well. The facility will feature two theater spaces, including a 465-seat lyric proscenium theater, designed to accommodate musical theater, dance, opera, and dramatic theater, with an 86-foot stage and an orchestra pit. It will also include a tower for suspended stage scenery and equipment and a trap system below the stage used for scenery effects. The smaller theater will seat 253 people and is designed for theatrical performances, smaller dance performances and lectures, as well as community and musical events. A new 344-space parking garage on an existing parking lot on Bayard Street, currently owned by the New Brunswick Cultural Center and TD Bank, is also part of the project.

    The $60 million project is being run by New Brunswick Development Corporation (Devco). In addition to the theatres, 207 residential units will be created in an 18-story apartment tower. With the State Theatre (and its 1847 seats) located next door, Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick will be home to great events nearly every night. Devco sees that as a great marketing angle for the apartments.


    According to Chris Paladino, Devco President, 80% of the apartments will be listed as market rate and 20% are listed as affordable. The latter will be marketed to the arts community.

    “We’re working with the Actors Guild with the goal of marketing the 20% affordable units towards people involved in the arts,” said Paladino. “Not only actors and musicians, but choreographers, poets, playwrights, visual artists, and people who work behind the scenes. We’re hoping to be able to rent about 40 of those apartments to people who are actively involved in the arts professionally.”

    Paladino says you only have to look as far as New York City to see a public/private partnership like this with the arts; noting projects like Carnegie Tower (which helped generate revenues for the major renovation of Carnegie Center) and apartments built on land owned by the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) which aided an expansion of its gallery space.

    One of the most exciting aspects of the project from an arts organization perspective is the creation of five rehearsal spaces that are the same size as the actual stages for the arts center.

    “All of our organizations will not have to use the actual stage for rehearsal time - valuable time - until they do tech and dress rehearsal,” explained Paladino. “And they’ll be able to rehearse on a stage in a space that replicates where the performances will be. What used to happen is George Street Playhouse would rehearse on the stage, do their tech, do their dress rehearsal, do their run, break it down, and start all over. Well, we pick up several weeks in between when they’re not rehearsing in that space and are able to drop in two weeks of the ballet or opera or two weeks of something else.”



    Paladino estimates the setup will allow for about 80 additional performances to take place in the arts center and lead to somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 additional arts patrons annually.

    Another exciting aspect of the project is the inclusion of Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts. The arts center will give their students an opportunity to perform in a world-class setting in the downtown area and continues the school’s plan to update its facilities to match those of its Big Ten peers.

    “I think a lot of things that happened over the last couple of years have reenergized the university,” said Paladino. “Rutgers entering the Big Ten - both with its impact on athletics and academics, but also its impact on the City of New Brunswick and the amount of people who come to visit. At the same time, we’ve got a new president in Bob Barchi who was able to consummate the integration of the University of Medicine and Dentistry. So, there’s a general era of good feeling at the university. I think this administration has reached into the city wanting to be engaged. Taking Mason Gross, which has always been a high profile school and making it part of this redevelopment project, was an easy call by the administration.”

    Mason Gross has long wanted to launch a musical theater program, but lacked the production space to do so until the arts center opportunity was introduced. The new program will be launched in the fall 2019 semester with performances in the new arts center.

    “We’ve had great demand for musical theater over the years from prospective students, and we’ve regretted telling them we don’t offer it,” said Mason Gross School of the Arts Dean George B. Stauffer. “Several of our peer Big Ten universities, most notably Michigan, Northwestern and Penn State, have thriving programs. It’s time for Rutgers to end this shortcoming and create our own program.”

    Rutgers will provide $17 million towards the construction of the arts center. Other project partners include the City of New Brunswick, Middlesex County, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Pennrose Properties, and the New Brunswick Parking Authority. Together they combine to be one of the biggest public/private partnerships in New Jersey history.

    “I’ve been doing this a long time,” said Paladino. “And I’ve never seen more not-for-profit — Pennrose being our for profit partner — and governmental entities all rowing in the same direction to be able to pull off something that is transformational to the city and hopefully to the arts. Not only in New Brunswick, but in New Jersey.”


    Last edited by West Hudson; September 12th, 2017 at 09:19 PM.

  6. #336
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    Default Financing Set for Cultural Center Tower

    This article pegs the tower's height at 22 stories, not the 18 mentioned in the previous article.

    Financing for New Brunswick Performing Arts Center secured in $171M deal

    By NJBIZ STAFF, September 14, 2017 at 1:43 PM

    A rendering of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. - (RENDERINGS PROVIDED BY PENROSE/ELKUS MANFREDI ARCHITECTS)

    Financing for the hotly-anticipated New Brunswick Performing Arts Center has been secured.

    Penrose LLC, New Brunswick Development Corp., as well as the City of New Brunswick and County of Middlesex have finalized financing for downtown redevelopment at $171 million.

    The project will add 207 apartments, as well as update New Brunswick’s Theater Arts Community to modern facilities, among many other renovations as reported by NJBIZ earlier this year.

    CEO and Chairman for Penrose, Richard K. Barnhart, said in a release that 20 percent of the new units have been set aside to be marketed as affordable and are intended for people involved in the arts.



    Inside one of the NBPAC's theaters.

    “Our goal is to be able to provide to people who work behind the scenes to produce these performances the opportunity to live in some amazing apartments with connected access to where they work,” Barnhart said.

    Construction of the project is ongoing and units are expected to be available by Summer 2019.

    Upon completion, the development will deliver a 22-story, mixed-use building, a 462-unit theater, a 252-seat theater, 37,000 square feet of office space to be purchased by Middlesex County and Rutgers University.

    “This will be an iconic development for New Brunswick and New Jersey adding a rich cultural center to an already established hub for the performing arts,” Barnhart said. “The cultural spaces and mixed-income apartments will expand Pennrose’s commitment to New Brunswick. Pennrose has developed more than 700 market-rate, student and affordable units that to date in New Brunswick.”

    The development was also a New Jersey Economic Development Authority ERG tax credit recipient. Pillar Financial/Fannie Mae, Citibank, Investors Bank, Aegon and Rutgers University participated in the financing.


    Link:
    http://www.njbiz.com/article/20170914/NJBIZ01/170919917/financing-for-new-brunswick-performing-arts-center-secured-in-171m-deal

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