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New Brunswick City Market Relocates Office to Church St.

With Ferren Mall Set For Destruction, Downtown Commerce Organization Moves to Kilmer Square Near Panico's
NBCM Office
New Brunswick City Market's new office is located in Kilmer Square near Panico's. Charlie Kratovil

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick City Market, an arm of the city government that deals with commerce, has relocated its offices to 109 Church Street, in a space that is shared with the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Previously, City Market rented space from the New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA) in the Ferren Mall, but their new landlord is KMS Development, the firm which manages a large complex that includes establishments like Old Man Rafferty's and Steakhouse 85.

Over the years, the NBPA had gradually been phasing out the usage of the Ferren Mall and Parking Deck.  The building closed for good earlier this year and is slated to be demolished before the end of the year. 

Pamela Stefanek, Executive Director of New Brunswick City Market, said the only downside of the relocation is that the new office is smaller.

Due to the smaller size, the quasi-governmental organization will save over $9,000 on rent and utilities in their annual budget, approved by City Council on August 6.

"We were in the parking deck on the third level, you had to walk through the actual parking lot to access one of the doorways", Stefanek said.

Stefanek said the new space was advantageous in many ways.

"We are right in the heart of the downtown where we should be, street level... It's easier access, it's more convenient because we're right off George Street."

In addition to the money saved by the office downsizing, the City Market expects to gain several thousand dollars more this year from the Special Improvement District (SID) program that created it.

Also known as a Business Improvement District, a SID designates an area within municipal boundaries that the city government hopes to bolster with additional services.  That program provides NBCM's funding through additional taxes on property owners in the downtown area.

During the past year, the organization saw a $10,000 increase in its revenue, which comes from properites located between the Raritan River, Morris Street, Kirkpatrick Street, and the Northeast Corridor railroad line.

Despite gains by the organization, money has been transferred out of the Marketing & Promotions department to various other services.

Salary, benefits and administration saw a $5,000 increase, helping to cover salaries for the Executive Director, Program Manager and several of its part-time staff.

City maintainence had also led to an increase in expenditures, ultimately taking money away from Marketing & Promotions. New Brunswick City Market cited maintainence fees, such as "gum removal,  grafitti removal, powerashing, landscaping services".

"Our marketing was really our only discretionary fund that had left after all of our other services were done," Executive Director Pamela Stefanek told New Brunswick Today. 

In the new budget, City Market intends to scale back funding for events such as the Raritan River Festival, its fireworks programs, and "Cultural Arts initiatives."

According to the budget, NBCM will also scale back funding for the Summer Afternoon Live Music Series and some of its radio promotions.