New Brunswick plans $650M mixed-use development

New Brunswick officials unveiled plans yesterday for a $650 million development that eventually would include 760 residential units, office space, a four-story hotel and a supermarket at the southern end of New Street, adjacent to the downtown train station.

The project, which the developers dub "The Pinnacle at New Brunswick Station," would be built on 5.2 acres in phases based on changes in the real estate market. Construction is not expected to start for at least two years. The developer is still in negotiations to obtain part of the tract.

"This is another stage in our downtown redevelopment - a pedestrian-friendly use that takes advantage of our mass transit hub," said Mayor James Cahill. "It will function as a gateway to the health care campuses on the other side of the tracks."

Voorhees-based developers Thomas Moore and Larry Levy, who created New Street Area Development LLC for the project, said they began negotiating with property owners in the neighborhood about five years ago and have acquired about two-thirds of the land they need.

They are in negotiations with most of the other property owners, both residential and commercial.

Moore said his firm has talked to businesses outside New Jersey that want to place offices in New Brunswick. "There is a lot of interest in relocating into New Brunswick," he said.

The residential units would include condominiums, apartments and townhouses and loft offices designed for lawyers who "want more than regular floor-space units," said Martin Santini, the lead architect on the project.

Santini said a 28-story building would be designed in almost a semicircle, with the other buildings on either side to "create a sense of place." New Street would be widened and end at the complex. Pedestrian walkways would be added along the road.

Part of the project includes creating a road that connects New and Bayard streets, leading to the Middlesex County government buildings and the courthouses.

The Joyce Kilmer House, where the famous poet of "Trees" lived, will remain where it is but may be restored as part of the project, Cahill said.

The mayor said the plans are a work in progress. "What is finally adopted may look very different than this proposal," he said.