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.