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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—University officials confirmed they will move forward with plans for a parking deck near the nexus of Mine and Union Streets in the Hub City, and that at least one building will be torn down to accomodate the facility.
Coincidentally, that building is home to the main offices of the official Rutgers student newspaper, The Daily Targum, which has the largest ciruculation of any newspaper based in New Brunswick.
Last summer, Daily Targum leadership said they expected their building would be knocked down within a year.
“We’re weighing a lot of options right now and nothings set in stone… All we know is that its getting knocked down next summer,” said former Editor-in-Chief Skylar Frederick on August 6, 2013.
That did not happen, and the paper continues to operate out of its 26 Mine Street office. But Rutgers officials say the Targum building will be taken down to facilitate the development of a parking structure set to open in 2016.
“Yes, 26 Mine Street is part of the parking structure project,” confirmed university spokesperson EJ Miranda.
Current Editor-in-chief Alex Meier declined to comment on the parking deck plans that will likely force the newspaper to relocate for the second time in less than a decade.
“We’re still on Mine Street, so I can’t really comment on this story,” Meier told New Brunswick Today.
The original proposal announced last September including a piece of literature that showed the Targum office intact and the “Rutgers University Parking Garage Site” occupying only the existing surface parking lot.
But Rutgers says the details of the parking garage are still being figured out.
“Design of the parking structure is in process so decisions about its configuration, locations of entrances/exits, etc. have not been finalized,” said Miranda.
University officials said the new deck will serve as a nearby replacement for the parking lot that once housed the famous grease trucks. The project will itself replace another Rutgers parking lot, located on Union Street.
“The construction of the facility is on schedule for completion in 2016 and it will be used by members of the Rutgers community as a replacement for the former Lot 8 (where a 500-bed student housing project is now under construction),” Miranda said.
It’s unclear at this point which of the surrounding buildings would be taken down with it. There are three other residential buildings nearby that are privately-owned, and may survive.
Mine Street is one of several blocks in the Sixth Ward that has seen at least one major development proposal, sparked by an initiative that teamed up some of the largest institutions in New Brunswick.
Residents have thus far successfully fought off a controversial apartment building project proposed for the other side of Mine Street, but the “designated redeveloper,” Construction Management Associates, is once again pushing the Planning Board for a needed variance.
As we reported earlier, that land was owned by Rutgers until about a year ago, when the university sold it to a shell corporation set up by DEVCO for just $1.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.