A small, two-screen movie theater, night clubs, and ground-floor retail space for entertainment-related businesses could build upon the foundation provided by the Union County Arts Center.
Consumers expressed a desire for more arts and entertainment retailers and events, specifically entertainment, recreation and activities/events. Consultants recommended a strategy of recruiting entertainment-related businesses to the Entertainment District, which would run along Irving Street from East Milton and Central avenues. First-floor retail space could house photography studios, dance studios, ticket agencies, a costume store and arts supplies, among others. Upper floors could be home to theatrical agencies, advertising agencies, public relations firms, production companies, acting schools and the like.
As for more recreation-related businesses, most are not well suited for the downtown area because they require large spaces at minimal rents, according to the survey. A billiards hall or arcade center might be exceptions, and if located downtown, would be best suited in the Entertainment District, but could work better along Campbell Street where “some of the older industrial buildings could be adapted for reuse.”
Consultants noted a “distinct absence of downtown green space and leisure areas” and expressed the need to explore opportunities for creating parks and leisure areas downtown. If not possible, consideration should be given to activate the waterfront and create parks and recreation areas in proximity to downtown.
Previous Rahway Survey posts:
Retail demands of new growth