University Performing Arts Center Gets Height Increase, Doubles Unit Count

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University Performing Arts Center Njcu Jersey City Rendering
View from across University Place Blvd. Rendering by studio hillier.

Jersey City’s West Side is developing quickly and yet manages to fly under the radar compared to the mega-projects downtown.

New Jersey City University’s (NJCU) ambitious 22-acre University Place project was first announced back in 2016 and is now well underway. Already, the area has welcomed Rivet, a 163-unit apartment community, as well as a 400-student residence hall for NJCU.


University Performing Arts Center Njcu Jersey City 1
Aerial view. Rendering by studio hillier.

As the master plan progresses, the larger parts of the project are now taking shape. The anchor for the whole master plan is a massive performing arts center. Plans for the center were announced last fall. At the time, the plan was to build a 500-seat performance space along with 160 residential units housed in a six-story structure.

University Performing Arts Center Njcu Jersey City Sudio Hillier
View from University Place Blvd. Rendering by studio hillier.

The developer, however, is now doubling up on the project. Last week, Strategic Development Group released renderings for the updated version of the project. An increase in height brings the new building to 10 stories and doubles the residence count to 320 units.

Njcu Upac Rendering Update
View from corner of University Place Blvd and Hernandez Way. Rendering by studio hillier.

One reason for the upsize, NJCU and Strategic Development attracted world-renowned Joffrey Ballet School to relocate to the new performing arts center from their current Manhattan digs. Not only will Joffrey Ballet run the programming for the performing arts center, but they’re also teaming up with NJCU to offer their ballet students the option to obtain a bachelor of fine arts degree through the university.

A groundbreaking date hasn’t been released yet, though, in a release, Strategic Development said the ballet school will relocate by 2021. They’ve also released a teaser UPAC schedule for the 2022-2023 season.

Jersey City Performing Arts Center Schedule
Teaser 2022-2023 schedule of events.

When finished, the 22-acre University Place will feature retail, commercial, and residential components, as well as university facilities including a residence hall. The goal of the $400 million plan is to create a “college town” atmosphere, according to Strategic Development Group.

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