Jersey City Advances Plan for “Creative Center” in Powerhouse Arts District

335 Washington Creative Center Jersey City
Site of proposed redevelopment: 335 Washington Street in the Powerhouse Arts District, Jersey City. Photo via Google Maps/Street View.

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.


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  1. Pretty run of the mill structure but worth preserving. I’d be curious to see the proposal of what the City intends to do with the taxpayer’s $2 million. Is that supposed to cover the cost of demo, interior renovation, roof, acoustics, lighting, seating, stage, etc?

  2. JC is putting much, too much, emphasis on “feel good” projects, with limited money coming in from them, but BIG taxpayer expenditures going into them, with no guarantee of a “return on investment” from this taxpayer outlay.

    Maybe projects like these would work well in Rhode Island, but not in a city dependent on the overflow of NYC, which itself is becoming a welfare state, homeless conclave, and crime capital of the nation, with businesses…and their employees…leaving en masse.

    On top of that, three major residential construction projects in JC have been abandoned by a developer who went belly-up, leaving the skeletons of the projects wanting.

    Maybe its time for the city administration to stop thinking about themselves, personally, and re-elections, and making hard choices, rather than attempting to paint a picture of “all’s well” in JC with “museums” and “rehearsal halls.”

  3. I understand the sentiment. However, at the end of the day, what’s a city without spaces for its residents?

    Some might have called the pedestrian plaza a “feel good” project, but I can tell you firsthand it brought people to the area, both to live and to visit. And at the end of the day if the city doesn’t build these spaces, who will?

    As for the rest –

    Which three projects in Jersey City were abandoned by a developer? I assume you’re referring to the recent Katerra shutdown. Katerra is not the developer (owner) but the GC (builder) of these projects. It’s also a national company, so I’m not really sure how this relates to something Jersey City can do or whether JC should be investing money in cultural projects. And as Katerra is a GC, not the developer, the developers will find someone else to finish the projects (same thing happened in Harrison with Harrison Yards and while it took time, the project is slowly back on track).

    And as for the doom and gloom, “NYC is dead” type of info – let’s just say those fears are just a tiiiiiiiiiiny bit overblown. The pandemic hit everyone and everywhere, expensive cities most of all. But based on both first hand and empirical evidence, “NYC is dead” is quite far from reality.

  4. Not sure what’s the deal with the Powerhouse but Fulop announced today that City will partner with the Pompidou Center in Paris to create an arts center in the Pathside Museum building purchased a few years ago. As one of the most prestigious modern art collections in Europe the PC will give Jersey City instant art world cred. As JC will pay a $6 million licensing fee (for 5 years) we’ll have to see as all this shakes out. Does not include the cost of the Pathside rehab which is said to be between $10 and $30 million.


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