NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ-Officials this week unveiled plans to build a new $275-million, 34-story Downtown tower that would bring commercial and residential uses to the square-block area that currently houses the city’s cultural center. The new building would rise on the block bordered by George and Bayard streets and Livingston Avenue, currently occupied by such venues as the State Theatre and the George Street Playhouse.

“What’s truly exciting is the realization that we’ve come full circle,” says Christopher J. Paladino, president of the New Brunswick Development Corp., who unveiled the plans with Mayor Jim Cahill. “A generation ago, the renovation of the State Theatre and creation of our other theaters set the stage for the incredible economic revitalization that New Brunswick has experienced. We now have the opportunity to use that success to reinvest in the arts.”

The centerpiece tower of what’s being called the New Brunswick Culture Center would have theater- and arts-related uses on its lower two floors, including new 499- and 250-seat theaters that would replace the George Street Playhouse and Crossroads Theatre, which would be demolished. The 87-year-old State Theatre, originally built for vaudeville and silent films, would be renovated.

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