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Art & Culture

Centre Pompidou x Jersey City Project Paused Indefinitely Due to Financial and Political Issues

  • Marilyn Walters
  • |
  • July 4, 2024
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  • 3 minute read
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Centre Pompidou x Jersey City Project Paused Indefinitely Due to Financial and Political Issues

Due to financial concerns and political challenges, the New Jersey Centre Pompidou x Jersey City project will be paused indefinitely.

Key Takeaways
  • Rising costs, supply chain issues, and political shifts have led to the indefinite pause of the Centre Pompidou x Jersey City project.
  • The New Jersey State Legislature initially allocated $24 million, but concerns about the total cost and recurring expenses have halted further support.
  • Jersey City's officials express frustration and are searching for alternative paths to keep the project alive.

New Jersey Defunds Centre Pompidou x Jersey City Project

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) recently announced that the Centre Pompidou x Jersey City project has been paused indefinitely.

EDA CEO Tim Sullivan explained that the decision stems from the “ongoing impact of COVID and multiple global conflicts on the supply chain, rising costs, an irreconcilable operating gap, and the corresponding financial burdens it will create for New Jersey’s taxpayers.

Originally planned to open in 2026, the Centre Pompidou x Jersey City was meant to be the French museum’s first location in North America.

However, this summer, New Jersey Republicans raised concerns about the museum’s construction and running costs.

On June 29, Sullivan informed Centre Pompidou President Laurent Le Bon about the decision to stop funding the project.

Rising Costs and Legislative Concerns

Jersey City’s Centre Pompidou was slated to occupy the Pathside Building, a 58,000-square-foot structure acquired by the city in 2017. In 2021, it was announced as the museum’s future site.

The New Jersey State Legislature had allocated $24 million for the project in Fiscal Year 2022.

However, on June 29, Michael Greco from the Department of State informed the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) of the cancellation of $18 million previously set aside and demanded the return of $6 million already received.

Concerns about the museum’s financial viability were raised, with estimates suggesting it could cost over $200 million to open, including more than $50 million from taxpayers.

This led to re-evaluating the project’s feasibility, which was exacerbated by supply chain issues and rising costs due to the pandemic and global conflicts.

Political Shifts and Frustrations

Jersey City’s Press Secretary, Kim Wallace-Scalcione, expressed frustration over the decision.

She said the project’s details had not changed and blamed political shifts and the First Lady’s failed candidacy for the sudden change.

Wallace-Scalcione pointed out that despite Sullivan’s claims of financial worries, the Governor had approved over $500 million for other legislative items, suggesting that financial responsibility was not the main issue.

We need to discuss this with our partners abroad and see if there is a path forward,” Wallace-Scalcione said, showing that efforts to continue the project are still ongoing.

A Project Paused but Not Forgotten

Even though the project has been paused, it has not been entirely canceled.

The Centre Pompidou’s spokesperson acknowledged New Jersey’s decision and confirmed ongoing talks with Jersey City’s Mayor to explore future possibilities.

This project first gained attention in 2018 when OMA was chosen to design the museum.

The Pathside Building’s ample space and proximity to the Journal Square PATH Station made it a suitable location.

Undoubtedly, the museum would have been a major cultural addition to Jersey City and a significant expansion for the Centre Pompidou, which also has locations in China and Belgium.

Finding a Way Forward

Despite the challenges, Jersey City officials are determined to find a way to continue the project.

They are in talks with international partners and exploring new options to keep the dream of the museum alive.

The project’s future may be uncertain, but the commitment to bringing world-class art to Jersey City remains strong.

Marilyn Walters

Marilyn Walters

Marilyn is a seasoned journalist known for her investigative reporting and insightful analysis. Her relentless pursuit of truth and dedication to journalistic integrity have established her as a respected voice in today's dynamic news landscape.

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