JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency today
announced that a total of four bids were received for the restoration and management of the historic Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Journal Square.
The respondents included:
1) AEG Live/Mana Fine Arts/NJCU
2) Ace Theatrical group/ NJPAC/ NJCU
3) Catch Holdings LLC
4) Live Nation/Jones Lang LaSalle
Live Nation and AEG are the two largest music venue management companies in the world, ACE Theatrical Group is currently designated by the City of New York restoring the Loew’s Kings Theatre in Brooklyn and is a nationally-renowned theatrical management and development firm, while NJ Performance Arts Center in Newark, Mana Fine Arts in Jersey City, and NJCU in Jersey City have all responded for the community programming component of the RFP. Each respondent provided in addition 20 designated performance days to be administered by the Friends of the Loew’s in Jersey City
Additionally, the Mayor and the JCRA announced the formation of an RFP Review Committee that includes members of the community to analyze the proposals.
“The RFP process is proceeding exactly as we had hoped with world renowned companies responding while partnering with terrific community organizations to make sure that Jersey City residents have a top notch facility for everyone.” said Mayor Fulop. “The restoration of the Loew’s Theatre is one of the most important projects we are undertaking as an administration, as it is both central to the revitalization of Journal Square and the expansion of our cultural arts community.”
The renovations to the Jersey City Loew’s will restore the aesthetic and historic appeal while also allowing the maximum operating capacity and acceptable level of safety for all patrons.
First opened in 1929, the Loew’s seats 3,021 and features an ornate lobby. In 1986, the theatre was closed and sold to a developer who planned to demolish the building, however local preservationists led by the Friends of the Loews ultimately saved the theatre, which is listed on the National Historic Register. The City of Jersey City purchased the Loew’s Theatre in 1993 and the Friends of the Loew’s was granted the task of restoring the theater. Currently, the Friends of the Loew’s shows a few dozen events annually which includes mostly silent film screenings and other private events.
Earlier this year, the JCRA announced a public, fair and open solicitation of proposals for companies for the management and restoration of the facility, with RFP submissions being due April 9, 2014. The JCRA and the administration have formed a committee that will represent the interests of the City and the community.
The seven-member committee includes two JCRA representatives, two city officials, and three community members. The committee members are: Chris Fiore, Acting Director of the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, Diane Coleman, Ward F Councilwoman and JCRA Board Member, Brian Platt, Policy Analyst to the Mayor, Bob Sommer, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and former Prudential Center executive, Mike McNamara, President of Fourth Street Arts, Heidi Turko, a teaching artist in the Jersey City Public Schools, and Romana Jaroff, a Jersey City resident and Senior Vice President with IMG Artists.
“We are excited to advance this project and are committed to an open and transparent process that engages the community,” said Mayor Fulop. “The committee we have comprised includes community stakeholders with both an understanding of Jersey City and the arts, culture and entertainment industry.”
The committee will begin reviewing the paper proposals this week and will then arrange for all qualified respondents to provide an in-person presentation and question and answer session in order to gather all necessary information from each qualified respondent. The committee hopes to complete the analysis of all proposals and submit a recommendation to the JCRA Board by the end of May.
The City of Jersey City’s is aligned with the mission of the Friends of the Loew’s which is to complete a full historic restoration of the facility and return the energy, excitement, and glory to the Theatre and Journal Square. The City will maintain ownership of the theatre, but lease the facility and the respondent designated as the redeveloper for the facility would complete the full historic restoration.
The RFP calls for the expansion of the current community programming lineup to include a higher volume and greater diversity of programming such as national and international touring music, theater, comedy, dance, and other stage performances.
“We hope to maintain a relationship with the Friends of the Loew’s so they can continue the community programming they have provided, such as the silent film screenings and local community performances,” said Mayor Fulop. “We commend the Friends of the Loews for the work they have done to date to save the theatre from imminent demolition and for their countless volunteer hours, recognizing their work for the facility and the community.”