An array of city, state, and corporate dignitaries gathered this morning on a soon-to-be redeveloped plot of land just east of the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield building along the Passaic River. Deputy Mayor for Economic and Housing Development Baye Adofo-Wilson, Newark Community Economic Development Corporation Acting President and CEO Scott Blow, The Trust for Public Land State Director Anthony Cucchi, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Chairman and CEO Robert A. Marino, and New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin spoke to the crowd of community stakeholders and press about the next phase of the Riverfront Park expansion.
The $6 million, four-acre expansion – supported by public/private partnerships grants and support – will bring more athletic fields, a Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield Walking Trail, a Fitness Zone, and other amenities to this major project, continuing the effort to re-connect Newark’s residents with the historic riverfront. Many of the speakers recalled the historical context of the river, the contamination and neglect that had become all too common over the years, and the recent work being done to clean up the river and bring Newarkers back to the river that was the original site of the City’s founding.
Internationally-renowned architect James Corner and his firm led the design efforts for the next phases along the City’s award-winning Riverfront Park, which has so far been opened in the East Ward. The new portion will continue the park northward up the Passaic River. James Corner’s previous works include New York’s High Line, Chicago’s Navy Pier, London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and Hong Kong’s Tsm Sha Tsui Waterfront.