The recent opening of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center has transformed the city’s downtown cultural arts district. And with people who work in the arts likely to join professionals from the city’s health care industry and commuters who want to be within walking distance to the train station, New Brunswick is a place many would like to call home.
Pennrose, one of the nation’s largest producers of mixed-use and mixed-income multifamily housing, in a joint venture with DEVCO and other nonprofits, co-developed the $172 million, state-of-the-art performing arts center. Since its opening in September, the complex has brought new life to the already social city.
In addition to two proscenium-style theaters and five rehearsal studios, the 450,000-square-foot, 23-story project features Premiere Residences — 207 residential rental apartment units on 19 floors above offices and theater space. The building includes both market rate and affordable luxury apartment units with conveniences immediately outside the front door and direct access to New Brunswick’s Amtrak/New Jersey Transit train station. Tenants will also benefit from New Brunswick’s central location, the presence of Rutgers University and proximity to Robert Wood Johnson and Saint Peter’s University Hospital. Pennrose will manage the building that it hopes will further its mission to create “exceptional experiences.”
In addition, Pennrose has designated 20 percent of the residential units as affordable housing as a way to support local actors and performers. By partnering with The Actors Fund, Pennrose is able to market the affordable units to graphic artists, actors, musicians, dancers and theater support personnel who work in the industry and contribute to the performances right next door.
“The growing amount of development that is happening is a solid by-product of New Brunswick’s ability to thrive as a cultural hub,” said Richard Barnhart, chairman and chief executive officer of Pennrose. “The whole complex is testament to the positive impact that development can have on a community.”
The modern studio, one- and two- bedroom units, range from 439 to 1,095 square feet. Many of them feature floor to ceiling windows that offer panoramic views overlooking the city’s skyline, and include top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances, in home washer and dryers, spacious closets and movable kitchen islands. The Marketing Directors is acting as the exclusive marketing and leasing agent. The views of New York City, the Raritan River, and all across Rutgers are impressive.
Residents have access to a host of amenities such as a resident lounge, billiard room, outdoor fire pit, a karaoke room, demonstration kitchen and co-working spaces. The building also includes a rooftop pool and deck, state-of-the-art fitness center, a yoga studio and private meeting rooms. For residents with furry companions, the building is completely pet friendly and even has a pet wash station on the ground floor.
Located above the theater complex is 30,000 feet of office space for arts organizations and potential private sector groups. There is also a 344-space public parking garage to accommodate residents, staff and theater patrons.
Probably the largest benefit to residents and visitors is the building’s location. The residential building connects directly to NBPAC and is just steps away from the city’s cultural hub.