New Jersey Withdraws All Funding For Pompidou Center’s Planned Jersey City Outpost

Lawmakers in New Jersey have cut funding for the outpost of Paris’s Centre Pompidou, after concerns were raised that the project was not financially viable, leaving the future uncertain for the first North American location of the famed museum.

“While the door on this particular project has now been closed, we are eager to explore possibilities of opening new doors, with our partners in France, in the years to come,” Tim Sullivan, the chief executive of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) said in a letter to the Centre Pompidou in France.

The Centre Pompidou x Jersey City was originally set to open in 2024 in a redeveloped Journal Square and be housed in the historic Pathside Building across the river from Manhattan​.

New Jersey had earmarked nearly $58 million in state funding for the museum, including $34 million from the NJEDA and $24 million from the Department of State. In March, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA), which is coordinating funding for the project, informed the NJEDA of a projected operation shortfall of about $19 million.

The two agencies exchanged letters questioning and defending the funding for the Centre Pompidou x Jersey City in May.

The JCRA submitted a possible five-year operating budget that anticipated the state’s fiscal support to be $2 million annually, New Jersey State Department deputy executive director Michael Greco revealed in a letter to the JCRA provided to Artnet News.

“There is no longer any state support available for this project,” Greco said, blaming the decision on state lawmakers.

New Jersey legislators made their cuts in an appropriations bill for the 2024 fiscal year, introduced by state Democrats on June 26. The budget item was listed as grants-in-aid to the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency for its “art museum project.” It passed through both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature.

“The enacted Fiscal Year 2024 ‘omnibus’ supplemental appropriations act de-appropriates the prior $24 million appropriation to the [NJEDA] for the project,” Greco said.

Greco said that the Department of State has cancelled the remaining $18 million in funds allocated during 2022 for this project, which has been returned to the State General Fund. The state also asked the JCRA to return $6 million it had already distributed to the local agency but that had not yet been spent.

“While we are honored that Jersey City was selected as the first North American location for a Centre Pompidou facility, we have decided to pause this project indefinitely,” Sullivan wrote in his letter. “Here in New Jersey, we take great pride in our unique and unwavering connection with the people of France.”

Sullivan said that the lawmakers had rescinded the financial support because of concerns surrounding the impact that 2020 lockdowns and global conflicts have had on “the supply chain, rising costs, an irreconcilable operating gap, and the corresponding financial burdens it will create for New Jersey’s taxpayers.”

“The Centre Pompidou acknowledges the State of New Jersey’s decision,” Clotilde Sence of the Centre Pompidou said in an email. “It remains committed to ongoing discussions with the Mayor of Jersey City to jointly determine the project’s future direction.”

The JCRA could not be reached for comment.

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