To New Brunswick Development Corp. President Christopher J. Paladino, the city’s arts-driven cultural rebirth and economic growth was like an unfinished symphony.
On Sept. 5 when the $64-million New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC) opens to the public to the first time with a 4 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony and then Crossroads Theatre Co.’s production of “Paul Robeson,” that masterpiece will be completed, he said.
“The arts always have been central to the revitalization of New Brunswick going back to the purchase and renovation of the State Theatre,” Paladino said. “If you follow the history, George Street (Playhouse) started off in a grocery store on George Street and moved into a renovated YMCA. Crossroads was in the King Block building on what was then Memorial Parkway and now is Route 18 and moved to a new building in the 1980s. This was the next logical step.”
Like George Street and Crossroads, DEVCO, the city’s nonprofit redevelopment agency, was founded in the mid-1970s. Paladino has led the organization for half that time, overseeing $1.6 billion in redevelopment.