A city-owned property that has sat vacant for several years could soon be getting a significant renovation designed to help the surrounding arts community, which is slated to grow significantly in the coming months and years.
During their May 26 meeting, Jersey City’s council voted 8-1 to introduce an ordinance bonding for $86 million for various improvements. While many of the proposed projects have already received significant attention, one endeavor involving a post-industrial building at 335 Washington Street has flown under the radar.
The brick building, located across from the Powerhouse and next to the Modera Lofts, was acquired as part of a development deal. The city is looking to invest $2 million to transform the property into the Washington Creative Center, which would create a new workspace and rehearsal venue for local nonprofits.
Jersey City has not released any specific plans for the building, which is in a booming neighborhood that is slated to welcome over 1,400 residents in the near future. The area surrounding the building is home to the recently-opened Nimbus Dance Works and several other theaters will soon be coming to the neighborhood.
Silverman’s MGM Blvd project, slated to wrap construction later this year, will house a 125-seat theater for Art House Productions on the ground floor. A separate 550-seat theater is included in the upcoming third phase of Toll Brothers’ Provost Square, which started preliminary demolition work last year and will partially reuse the former A&P Annex Building.
The spending on the Washington Creative Center is part of a much bigger investment that includes $15 million for the Pathside museum near Journal Square. The bonds would additionally cover $7 million towards the Skyway Park buildout and set aside $8 million for new police precincts for the city’s south and north districts.
The ordinance’s remaining funds would be spent renovating various public buildings including City Hall, plus the acquisition of various equipment and vehicles. The ordinance will need to be approved on a second reading before it is finalized, with the council’s next meeting set to be held on June 16.