The future James Kennedy Arts Complex?

The proposed 200-seat black box theater is often referred to as the Bell building simply because it was once a Bell Telephone facility. Eventually, the arts facilities planned on Hamilton Street within the Arts District will need a real name.

During a discussion and presentation about the projects to the Redevelopment Agency tonight, Redevelopment Director and City Administrator Peter Pelissier suggested that commissioners consider naming the facility in honor of former Mayor James Kennedy.

“At some point we need to name the building and refer to it as a complex,” he said. The former mayor would be a good tribute since he “has been behind this from the beginning,” Pelissier said, and continues this passion as executive director of the Rahway Arts District.

Kennedy served five terms as mayor, from 1990 until 2010, declining to seek re-election a year ago. “It was his vision to make Rahway an arts destination,” Pelissier said. “It would be a really appropriate facility to name for Jim Kennedy.”

Redevelopment Agency Vice Chairman Courtney Clarke said the agency would give it serious consideration.

The presentation to the Redevelopment Agency included approvals for change-orders to the black box theater construction bids, an update on the parking situation and a revised financial overview. A complete blog post on the presentation is forthcoming.