municipalprojects

Transformational Two-Acre Municipal Park Planned for Woodcliff Lake

Transformational Two-Acre Municipal Park Planned for Woodcliff Lake 150 150 DMR Architects

A $500,000 grant from Bergen County and two anonymous donations totaling $1 million – $750,000 from a private person and $250,000 from a local corporation – have given a strong start to the construction of a park in Woodcliff Lake that is unlike any in New Jersey and will transform how residents interact with its downtown.

Previously home to the Galaxy Gardens Nursery, the municipality acquired the site at the intersection of Werimus Road and Woodcliff Lake Avenue in 2018. By connecting the two-acre parcel to the Westervelt-Lydecker House and the municipal pool and athletic fields, DMR’s designs for the site creates a recreation, cultural and civic corridor featuring a passive great lawn, water feature, dog park, picnic areas, pergolas for shaded seating, a playground, as well as an amphitheater with a stage for concerts and other public venues.  Other elements of the municipal park include walking paths with an approximately quarter mile loop, lighting, and landscaping.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to provide our residents with a central gathering place in our Borough,” said Mayor Carlos Rendo.  “Woodcliff Lake’s history, athletics, entertainment, and outdoor living will all come together in one place, creating a community asset that will be unique to our extraordinary community.”

“We only get to do this once, and by patiently reviewing a wide array of concepts and then meticulously planning this use, we’ve arrived at something we can all be proud of – and something that already has drawn spectacular support from the private sector. The construction of this park will provide an integrated home to the resources and activities in Woodcliff Lake that not only will serve and delight our residents but become a focal point for the arts and sports communities in Bergen County,” said Council President Jacqueline Gadaleta.

“Meaningful and vibrant outdoor spaces like this one are essential to residents’ health and quality of life and will have a positive impact on the community for generations,” said Francis
Reiner, PP, LLA, Director of Planning & Redevelopment, Partner for DMR Architects. “DMR has a long history of designing green spaces that have profoundly transformed the surrounding
neighborhoods and how they are used. The design of this park is one of the more unique opportunities we have been involved with and we are excited to be part of such an important project with the Borough and its residents.”

“We want to congratulate Woodcliff Lake on creating a productive collaboration with a broad array of constituencies and stakeholders to arrive at this wonderful plan,” says County Executive James Tedesco. “Woodcliff Lake has found impassioned and motivated partners, including Bergen County for a project that will be a benefit to everyone.”

The borough continues to seek corporate and foundation donors for the $3.7 million project and is offering individual and family sponsorship opportunities that will be commemorated in the park.  Woodcliff Lake collects between $210K and $225K per year through its open space tax which will go toward paying off any potential bond for the project.

Here’s What’s Coming in 2022

Here’s What’s Coming in 2022 789 444 DMR Architects

DMR will deliver more than $500 million in public and educational facilities this year, providing a window into a robust development cycle that is largely fueled by public sector work.

School renewal is an on-going challenge as facilities and districts contract and expand, but perhaps the most telling insights come from the expanse of challenges facing communities as they evolve and variety of redevelopment solutions that are being deployed to resolve them.

“While there are many notable downtown redevelopment stories, we are just at the beginning of a cycle that will re-create the way New Jersey lives and works,” says Lloyd A. Rosenberg, AIA, President & CEO.  “Hundreds of municipalities are awakening to the need to update infrastructure, grow their tax base, or otherwise address activating their downtowns, and the pace of new programs will only continue to grow.”

Among the projects coming this year are:

 MUNICIPAL FACILITIES

When the Montgomery Municipal Center opens this spring, it will be a physical representation of the Township’s rich history and the result of a planning process that included the input from more than 200 residents and Montgomery Township and Somerset County Improvement Authority officials.

DMR’s planning and design teams knew that its representation of Montgomery’s identity was equally as important as the functionality of the 62,500 SF facility as the new home for municipal offices, the police department and council chambers and library.

“It is refreshing to work with a group of elected and civic leaders who take such pride in their community, and we’ve enjoyed creatively interpreting their functional and aesthetic needs,” said Pradeep Kapoor, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Chief Operating Officer and Partner. “Being able to work with so many of the project’s end users made presenting the final product particularly rewarding.”

Following a feasibility study to assist the Borough of Ridgefield in site selection DMR designed a 27,000 SF municipal complex to accommodate the municipal court, council chambers, police department and borough offices. When the facility opens this spring, the new building, located in the Shaler Boulevard commercial zone, will facilitate economic development and provide proximity to the community center, as well as provide a safe facility to municipal operations, once housed in an aging facility that was often forced to close.

“Ridgefield’s governing body has long recognized that it made economic sense to develop and construct a new municipal complex rather than continuing to put tax payer money into a facility that has outlived its useful life,” said Charles H. Sarlo, General Counsel and Partner.  “Our diversified expertise allows DMR to formulate targeted delivery methodologies that meet the goals and objectives of our clients.”

 EDUCATION

This September, Carteret teachers and students will move into the new Carteret Junior High School, the first new educational facility in the municipality in 40 years, the result of a successful $37 million referendum. The new school will accommodate approximately 600 seventh and eighth grade students and alleviate overcrowding through reassignment and realignment students in grades K-12.

The 60,000 square foot school will be arranged in a departmentalized environment, with 24 classrooms, enhanced art and music education spaces, a think tank and a STEM lab.

“We’re working with municipalities that recognize upgrades to facilities that improve quality of life for its current residents is a critical first step to placemaking initiatives designed to attract new residents, visitors and economic opportunities,” said Kurt Vierheilig, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Director of Design and Partner.  “We anticipate seeing more and more municipalities reviewing their administrative, law enforcement and educational needs to ensure that they can serve the people that choose to live there with the most forward-thinking options while still remembering the importance of meaningful gathering spaces.”

Borough of Ridgefield Breaks Ground on DMR-Designed Municipal Complex

Borough of Ridgefield Breaks Ground on DMR-Designed Municipal Complex 960 540 DMR Architects

On Jan. 29 the Borough of Ridgefield and many local dignitaries broke ground on the new DMR Architects-designed municipal complex to be located on Shaler Blvd.

The 27,000 square foot building will be across from the Ridgefield Nature Center and adjacent to the Ridgefield Community Center and will house the borough’s administrative offices, municipal/court chamber, and the police and building departments. The new municipal complex was designed to symbiotically coexist with its natural surroundings, incorporating the land’s topographic gradation and maintaining the nearby Wolf Creek tree buffer.

The complex will be constructed with energy efficient materials and technologies and will include a new streetscape and a pocket gathering spot at the corner of Shaler Blvd. and Slocum Ave. The new location strategically anchors the project to the Shaler Blvd. commercial zone, facilitating economic development and providing proximity to the community center.  This facility will replace the existing Borough Hall, which is plagued by inefficiencies.

“This project will address the borough’s needs for a modern, safe and ADA-compliant facility, gratify residents with a new asset to the community, and serve as a bookend anchor of the Shaler Ave. downtown that we are seeking to improve and expand,” said Mayor Anthony Suarez.

“Ridgefield’s governing body has long recognized that it made economic sense to develop and construct a new municipal complex rather than continuing to put tax payer money into a facility that has outlived its useful life,” said Charles H. Sarlo, Esq., partner and general counsel of DMR Architects.  “The mayor and council directed us to be creative in the procurement process so that quality entities could submit proposals to redevelop the borough-owned property for a public use. We’re now witnessing the commencement of the last phase of this process and the next milestone will be to celebrate the opening of this asset with the public.”

Pictured above, Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez was joined by local and state officials to break ground on new DMR-designed municipal complex. From left to right: Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese; Bergen County Commissioner Ramon M. Hache, Sr.; Bergen County Commissioner Mary J. Amoroso; Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton; Bergen County Commissioner Germaine M. Ortiz; Ridgefield Borough Administrator Ray Ramirez; Ridgefield Councilman Hugo Jimenez; Ridgefield Councilman James Kontolios; Ridgefield Council President Russell Castelli; Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez; Ridgefield Councilman Ray Penabad; Ridgefield Councilwoman Lauren Larkin; Borough Attorney Stephen F. Pellino, Esq.; Bergen County Board of Commissioners Chairman Steven Tanelli; Bergen County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairwoman Tracy Zur; Bergen County Improvement Authority Executive Director Mauro Raguseo; DMR Architects Project Manager Janet Pini; and DMR Architects General Counsel and Partner Charles H. Sarlo, Esq.

With aid of Library Construction Bond Act, $24 Million of Library Projects Are Set to Begin

With aid of Library Construction Bond Act, $24 Million of Library Projects Are Set to Begin 789 444 DMR Architects

Aided through a 50% funding match by the first round of funding of the Library Construction Bond Act, authorized in November 2020, library projects in Roselle, Freehold and Montgomery, improvements that represent a total estimated construction cost of $24 million, are set to begin in 2021. The projects will address critical building upgrades and support modern technological improvements to these community fixtures.

In the Borough of Freehold, funding will support a nearly $2 million project at the Freehold Public Library, an original Carnegie Library. Since its construction in 1904, the building has gone through minimal renovations, with many of the original design elements now aging and in need of repair or not suitable for the library’s current needs. As part of this project, a wheelchair accessible ramp and lift and ADA-accessible bathrooms will be added, and aging building elements such as a new roof and improved HVAC systems will be addressed.

In the Borough of Roselle, $5.5 million of funding will help fuel an $11 million renovation and addition. While the resources and needs of the library have expanded greatly since it was constructed in 1938, the limited size and antiquated design of the facility has made it difficult to keep up with modern demands. The 15,400 SF, two-story addition will allow the library to expand its programs and resources, and will include a new youth services section, with both teen and children’s zones, a program room and study rooms. The renovations to the existing facility will address ADA improvements.

In the Township of Montgomery, a new library branch, part of the Somerset County Library System, will be part of the new municipal center, also designed by DMR. $5.4 million from the bond act will support the 20,000 SF library which will include small study rooms, a conference room, a children’s section, a lounge area for parents and casual readers, a sound proof studio for podcasting and recordings and lockers outside for after-hours pick-up of books via a code sent to a mobile phone or device.

DMR assisted each municipality in the grant application for these projects.

Township of Montgomery Breaks Ground on New Municipal Center Which Reflects Rich History While Addressing Current and Future Needs

Township of Montgomery Breaks Ground on New Municipal Center Which Reflects Rich History While Addressing Current and Future Needs 789 444 DMR Architects

On Oct. 15, the Township of Montgomery broke ground on the DMR-designed new municipal center, designed to reflect the history and identity of Montgomery Township residents while addressing its current and future civic needs.  It will be the new home for municipal offices, the police department, council chambers and a branch of the Somerset County Library System.

DMR’s plans for the 62,500 square foot municipal center were created after a unique collaborative approach that included input from more than 200 residents in addition to Montgomery Township and Somerset County officials, and embrace a contemporary style with spaces for community artwork and items of historical and cultural importance.

“It is exciting for the entire Montgomery community to begin construction on a new municipal center and library that will serve our community for generations to come,” said Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer, speaking on behalf of the Twp. Committee.  “I am so thankful to all the elected officials, professionals, and community members who worked on this project and ensured that it will be a beautiful representation of our diverse history and community.”

The new facility will offer seamless transitions between the interior and exterior through aesthetic touches such as the utilization of the same wood materials for columns supporting the exterior colonnade inside the library, glass wall dividers where appropriate to allow for transparency and emphasize connection, and stone floors and counters inside that reflect the zinc cladding used on the building’s façade.

“It is refreshing to work with a group of elected and civic leaders who take such pride in their community, and we’ve enjoyed creatively interpreting their functional and aesthetic needs,” said Pradeep Kapoor, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Partner at DMR Architects.  “It continues to be an honor to work with The Somerset County Improvement Authority and Montgomery Township.”

The entire building is ADA accessible and will be built to LEED standards with a roof that allows for the future installation of solar panels.  The grounds of the 45-acre complex will preserve the view from Rt. 206 with multiple green spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy, out-of-doors meeting places, a rain garden and an outdoor event space.  Additionally, the parking lot will feature multiple EV charging.

“This project shows how well local and county government can work together, providing state of the art municipal offices and innovative library services that will benefit the community for decades,” said Freeholder Melonie Marano, who serves as a liaison to both the Somerset County Improvement Authority (SCIA) and Somerset County Library System.  “This is truly a joint effort, with Somerset County Improvement authority financing helping build a municipal complex for Montgomery businesses and families that will house a library for residents here and in surrounding communities to enjoy.”

Monmouth County breaks ground on new DMR-designed West Wing Security Vestibule

Monmouth County breaks ground on new DMR-designed West Wing Security Vestibule 789 444 DMR Architects

Construction for the West Wing Security Vestibule addition to the Monmouth County Courthouse, designed by DMR Architects, began last month following a groundbreaking ceremony in Freehold Borough.

DMR Architects designed the 3,400 square foot screening area to address modern security equipment and measures that the existing facility, built in 1954, could not accommodate.  It will be used as the lone entryway for all employees and visitors to the building, replacing the courthouse’s previously- used East and West wing entrance hallways.

DMR’s design supports easy sightlines, an intuitive and efficient queuing system, ample space for machines including metal detectors and up to four x-ray machines, and technological upgrades with access to restricted areas and video monitoring systems.

“By investing in the space and technology required to support the most sophisticated safety protocols available today, Monmouth County is demonstrating its commitment to the safety of all those who work in the County courthouse and the hundreds that visit daily,” said Lloyd A. Rosenberg, AIA, President & CEO of DMR Architects.  “We’re honored to provide the infrastructure that will allow Monmouth County’s judicial machine to continue running effectively.”

In addition to the construction of the West Wing Security Vestibule, the project provides for the reconstruction of the East Wing main entrance stairs, landing and handrails, along with the restoration of additional exterior entrance stairs throughout the building. All improvements will comply with standards enumerated in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It was important to address the practical needs of the county while seamlessly integrating the new addition with the aesthetic of the original Courthouse,” said Kurt Vierheilig, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Director of Design and Partner at DMR Architects. “The new security Vestibule will be the new public lobby to the Courthouse, expressing an appropriate Civic presence with its modern exterior design, while improving the efficiency and safety of security screening and interior circulation.”

The Monmouth County West Wing Security Vestibule is one of hundreds of municipal buildings that DMR has designed in New Jersey, and one of ten municipal projects either recently completed or currently underway.

DMR’s Culture of Collegiality and Use of Technology Keep 150 Projects Valued at Nearly $1 Billion in Construction on Track During Pandemic

DMR’s Culture of Collegiality and Use of Technology Keep 150 Projects Valued at Nearly $1 Billion in Construction on Track During Pandemic 789 444 DMR Architects

Despite the challenges we are all facing due to COVID-19, today we are happy to share some good news: nearly all of the 150 projects that make up our nearly $1 billion pipeline have remained actively under development or construction throughout the pandemic.

These projects include significant progress in projects across all sectors. Construction is near completion on The Residences at 30 Court, a luxury apartment building in Morristown and the design of Wyndham Place at Ridgefield Park is underway, bringing our rental unit count to 4,500. The DMR team is also currently working at 80 schools, including renovation projects at 44 facilities in New York City, and new schools in Carteret, Plainfield, and Paterson in New Jersey. Our team also continues to marry functionality and aesthetics at public facilities throughout New Jersey and is currently working on municipal building projects for Monmouth County and the municipalities of Montgomery, Ridgefield, and Red Bank. DMR’s municipal planning team is now working as the municipal planner in Dunellen and Roselle.

“I’m very proud that across all our practice areas we’ve maintained our culture of collaboration despite our staff being physically separated by shelter-in-place directives,” Lloyd Rosenberg, President and CEO, said.  “Each of our team members are trained in the most innovative planning and communication tools available, and take personal pride in each project to ensure that the long-term goals of our clients are met in the same way they would without a quarantine and its complications.”

Hackensack Mellone – Mariniello Recreation Center Opens

Hackensack Mellone – Mariniello Recreation Center Opens 789 444 DMR Architects

Today marks the first day of programs at the Mellone – Mariniello (M&M) Recreation Center in Hackensack, giving residents access to a recent redesign and expansion that addresses the community’s need for current athletic, meeting and activity space.

The project took an existing 8,000 square foot building and renovated and expanded the facility into a 22,000 square foot facility that now includes an expanded 400-seat basketball arena, a new senior center, a new lobby and three multipurpose rooms.

“DMR’s plans will allow us to host more athletic team practices and games, offer parents an after-school program for their elementary and middle school-aged kids, and give retired seniors a better location for classes and activities,” Mayor John Labrosse said.

“The 21st century community center is a destination where people can often spend several hours meeting with friends, learning new skills, and enjoying team sports all in one place,” Lloyd Rosenberg, AIA, President and CEO, said. “Places like Hackensack are rethinking their current recreation spaces, not just for its residents’ needs now, but with flexibility to continue to meet these needs over the next generation of users.”

The facility also offers community meeting and classroom spaces, new restroom facilities, a snack bar, storage area, and an office for the center’s administration.

New Hackensack Performing Arts Center opens Saturday

New Hackensack Performing Arts Center opens Saturday 960 540 DMR Architects

by Jim Beckerman

The Center, which Jane Monheit and Tony DeSare will inaugurate with a pair of weekend concerts, is seen as a linchpin of a revitalized downtown.

“If you build it, they will come.” That’s true—so far—for the newly completed $3 million Hackensack Performing Arts Center, opening its doors on Saturday.

The gala inaugural event at 8 p.m., a jazz-pop two-fer featuring the vocalist Jane Monheit and the singer-pianist Tony DeSare, sold out quickly. A second show had to be added the following day, 3 p.m. Sunday.

The theater at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center, located at 102 State St. Monday October 30, 2017. (Photo: Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

But the key thing, says Edward Decker, is that they’ve not only built it — they’ve also built it right.

“You hear that?” says Decker, an officer of the Main Street Business Alliance.

He claps his hands. “That’s dead,” he says.

Dead, in acoustical terms, is a good thing. No reverb. No echo.

“The acoustics, as you can hear, are really wonderful,” says Decker, whose group is co-sponsoring the venue’s flagship series, PAC the House. It’s five events, through June; the Monheit-DeSare jazz program is the first.

(left to right) Hackensack Deputy Mayor, Kathleen Canestrino, Hackensack Mayor, John Labrosse, Vice Chairman of the Main St. Business Alliance, Edward Decker and Chairman of the Main St. Business Alliance, Jerome J. Lombardo pose at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center. The center, located at 102 State St. will officially open on November 11. Monday October 30, 2017 (Photo: Wexler, Kevin, Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

Decker knows from acoustics. He’s the owner of Musically Yours, a Hackensack shop that specializes in DJ and musician’s equipment.

“You don’t want a lot of echoes in the room,” Decker says. “Here, it’s like a pin dropping. You can hear the softest tone of the guitar in the back row.”

It helps that the new auditorium, designed by DMR Architects, is carpeted from top to bottom, with sound baffles in strategic places to help deaden the noise.

That’s part of what gives the auditorium — officially, the Hackensack Meridian Health Theater—its striking look. That, and the decor. The venue’s 224 seats are done up in red, with the outer seats of each row in gray fabric. The lighting, too, is distinctive. Dangling from the ceiling are four Tiffany-ish vintage chandeliers that look like upside-down glass umbrellas.

Details from the top floor lobby are shown at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center, located at 102 State St. Monday October 30, 2017. (Photo: Wexler, Kevin, Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

“They add distinction,” says Greg Liosi, artistic director of HACPAC (as the venue has inevitably been dubbed) and the Hackensack Cultural Arts Department.

“There’s a simplicity to the chandeliers,” Liosi says. “It’s a beautiful aesthetic, but the design has simple lines. It’s very powerful at the same time.”

The chandeliers are a holdover from the 168-year-old building’s earlier career as a Masonic lodge. The imposing red-brick Gothic revival structure was built, in 1849, as the First Methodist Church. By the late 19th century, the Masons had taken it over.

It was purchased by the city in 2011, and became the designated successor to the Hackensack Cultural Arts Center at 39 Broadway, the city’s arts headquarters since 2001. (Hackensack Meridian Health got the naming rights for the auditorium in exchange for contributing a fancy marquee, which has yet to go up).

The Hackensack Performing Arts Center, located at 102 State St. Monday October 30, 2017 (Photo: Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

“It’s like moving from one home to another,” Liosi says. “You’re sad to say goodbye to the old place, but at the same time you’re so excited to start a new life. In this case, we’re very excited to have the arts start a new life, to be reborn in this space.”

The Broadway site—another old, repurposed church—sat only 117 people in a makeshift black-box auditorium. And it was eight blocks from the center of town. This new venue is a big improvement, Liosi says.

“We were very successful in the other space, don’t get me wrong,” he says. “But this is double the size, and so much closer to downtown. It’s a perfect marriage.”

The drama and dance events, art shows and niche programming that the old arts center was known for will continue to thrive in the new location, Liosi promises. A large downstairs gallery space (currently, 21 pieces by a local artist, Ruth Bauer Neustadter, are on display) can become a multipurpose room. There’s even a large adjacent kitchen—another Masonic holdover—for any wine-and-cheese parties or gala dinners that might come up. It may also be handy for stocking the refreshment bar in the lobby (alcohol will be available for some events).

The lower level gallery of the Hackensack Performing Arts Center, is shown, Monday October 30, 2017. (Photo: Wexler, Kevin, Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

But with the larger venue comes a larger mission: to fill the 224 seats, on a regular basis, with name artists that will appeal to all elements of Hackensack’s diverse population. Among them are many African-American, Hispanic, and Caribbean residents.

“The decision was made to represent the diversity of the city and the county,” says deputy mayor Kathleen Canestrino. “The committee decided to have Hispanic, African-American, Broadway, comedy and mainstream pop [events].”

A lot is riding on this, says Mayor John P. Labrosse Jr.

The new arts center is being fêted as a crown jewel of the new, revitalized Hackensack downtown. As Hackensack rebuilds and upscales, the city fathers have been looking at other cities that have reinvented themselves. Always, it seemed to come back to the arts.

“As you know, we’re going through a major redevelopment phase in Hackensack,” Labrosse says. “We have at least 2,500 new units on Main Street. We went to see what other towns were doing. One developer had a great phase: ‘I’ll bring ’em here, but you’ve got to keep ’em here.'”

Arts and green spaces, he decided, were both key. That’s why Hackensack invested in Atlantic Street Park, a smallish commons area, built for roughly $750,000 on the site of a former parking lot, that opened in July 2015 (there were concerts there all last summer). The Hackensack Performing Arts Center, on an adjacent parcel of land, is a companion project: mayor Labrosse can imagine the whole street, park and arts center combined, being closed off for day-long arts festivals.

The Hackensack Performing Arts Center, located at 102 State St. will officially open on November 11. Monday October 30, 2017 (Photo: Wexler, Kevin, Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

“We kind of got a feel for what was going on in these other towns,” Labrosse says. “Whether it was murals, arts shows, a music or concert venue, a small theater, clubs with music, it was the arts that really helped to keep a town successful.”

But in order to help make Hackensack successful, HACPAC will have to be successful itself.

The trick will be to find the sweet spot: artists big enough to draw an audience, but not so big — and expensive — that the venue can’t possibly make its money back. This is a built-in challenge for all arts venues, whose programming is to a great extent dictated by their size.

For instance, tickets for the PAC the House shows, the venue’s flagship series, range from $40 to $60, with the house split evenly between the two price points. At those admission prices, the venue could not—even if it sold out—break even on an act costing more than $11,200. Less, if you factor in operating costs.

All of which is just to say that Hackensack Performing Arts Center, like any other, has a limited pH range from which to select its marquee attractions: a Goldilocks zone of artists who are not to big, not too small, but just right. Some examples from later in the PAC the House series: a jazz night featuring Alyson Williams with the Nat Adderley Jr. trio (Jan. 27), a pop rock program with John Waite (Feb. 3). a comedy night with Roy Wood Jr. and Michelle Wolf (March 3), and a pop/Broadway event with “Hamilton” star Mandy Gonzalez (June 2).

Vice Chairman of the Main St. Business Alliance, Edward Decker, speaks with Hackensack Mayor, John Labrosse, Chairman of the Main St. Business Alliance, Jerome J. Lombardo and Hackensack Deputy Mayor, Kathleen Canestrino at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center. The center, located at 102 State St. will officially open on November 11. Monday October 30, 2017 (Photo: Wexler, Kevin, Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

But there is also a possible wild card here, Liosi points out. A trend of the moment, it happens, is big stars playing small venues.

The prime example is Springsteen’s current Broadway show. There are others: including Ringo Starr’s appearance last year at the 1,367-seat bergenPAC in Englewood. These top names are sometimes willing to trade a big-stadium paycheck for the pleasure of playing a small venue. Audiences, meanwhile, have been known to pay more to see their idols up close. All of this could work to HACPAC’s advantage.

Especially given those pin-drop acoustics.

“We could use the intimacy of the facility as a selling point,” Liosi says. “Some artists are dying to scale down their show. And there are some audiences that just want to see an artist and a guitar.”

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com.

South Toms River Opens DMR-Designed Municipal and Public Safety Building

South Toms River Opens DMR-Designed Municipal and Public Safety Building 789 444 DMR Architects

Today South Toms River police and other municipal workers are beginning operations in their newly renovated, 10,000 square foot Municipal Building, Police Department and Municipal Court, designed by DMR Architects.

DMR’s plans retrofitted a vacant daycare center into a modern building that addressed the borough’s need for the police to have a separate entry, two holding cells, a processing room and interview room. It will also house all municipal offices and a municipal court with advanced technology for closed circuit court proceedings and governing body presentations. The new location will also provide for a community room with an interactive smartboard for enforcement training, and space for the Borough’s Office of Emergency Management.

“DMR helped us see that a vacant building was the best solution for our needs, not just today but many years into the future,” Oscar Cradle, Mayor for South Toms River, said. “We were also able to complete a redevelopment agreement with other parcels in the Borough so the new building helps us serve our residents/taxpayers better at no cost to them.”

“Projects like South Toms River are very exciting for us because they allow us to creatively address multiple issues in addition to the need for a new building, and ultimately help the township run more efficiently,” Lloyd Rosenberg, AIA, President and CEO of DMR Architects, said.