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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the June 12, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

New Hope’s New Arts Patron

Union Square is more than just the satellite location

of the Michener Museum. The $24 million, 140,000-square foot project

will also have retail shops, office facilities, and a restaurant,

the second location for Triumph Brewery. "Union Square is the

biggest project I have undertaken to date," says the developer,

George Michael. "We think the Michener coming here will reposition

New Hope in the international community for arts."

Though the New Hope community is raising money for the operating budget,

Michael is providing the space rent-free. "We decided that having

the Michener in New Hope was important, but that it was also important

to Union Square to have the anchor, so my family and I decided to

donate the space for $2 million over 20 years."

Michael already has many development successes: The Diamond Silver

factory in Lambertville, formerly manufacturing cutlery and lamp cords,

now a 35,000 square foot office facility; Lambertville’s OTC Cracker

Factory, which houses a brewery, offices, and a fitness center; and

Lambertville House, which after just four years is making a profit

and expanding its corporate meeting space.

Michael’s deep pockets attract lots of donation requests. "I tell

them, I am devoting every penny I have to the success of the James

Michener Art Museum. We still share with other organizations, but

I would rather say no than be cheap. If I feel strongly enough about

an organization to send them a check, it will be a big check."

— Barbara Fox

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