Mayor Baraka, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. and real estate development company Lotus Equity Group, announced that Lotus has closed on its acquisition of the former Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark. Lotus purchased the site from the Essex County Improvement Authority, which owned and managed the stadium for the City of Newark and Essex County, and has selected the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) – founded by noted planner and architect Vishaan Chakrabarti – to create a master plan that will transform the stadium and more than 7.5 acres of surrounding land into a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood.
Preliminary, concept plans call for approximately 2.3 million square feet of residential, office, retail and cultural-space development. Occupying a strategic location along Broad and Orange Streets, the site is situated only 500 feet from the NJ Transit Broad Street station – providing an 18-minute commute into Midtown Manhattan; seconds from Interstate 280 – making it easily accessible to commuters; at the foot of University Heights – providing students and faculty with convenient housing and commercial business options, and directly across from the Newark Light Rail Atlantic Street station – ensuring easy access for Newarkers and City visitors.
“The Lotus development project will bring jobs, housing and new opportunities to Newarkers,” said Mayor Baraka. “Newark is in the midst of a major revitalization effort that is transforming our entire City. This project anchors our downtown development activities and brings new living and working options to current residents, students and those looking to make Newark their home. We have many development projects underway throughout Newark and are pleased to have Lotus and the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism work with us as we continue to rebuild our City.”
“This parcel is one of the gateways into the City of Newark and the proposed development by Lotus will transform it into an anchor at the northern end of the City’s Downtown,” said County Executive DiVincenzo. “The project brings new energy to Newark and Essex County and will create business, residential and entertainment opportunities and much-needed activity to that area of the city.”
The project reflects a long-standing commitment to Newark by Lotus Equity Group CEO Ben Korman that began 10 years ago with his investment in 2 Gateway Center. “We are extremely excited to continue our decade-long history of investing in Newark by delivering a dynamic and sustainable development to the City’s downtown that will create a pedestrian-friendly and vibrant atmosphere for existing and new residents to live, work, and play,” said Mr. Korman. “This truly is a premier site offering unparalleled connectivity in the heart of a culturally rich and diverse community, and we look forward to collaborating with the City to realize its transformation into a 24/7 neighborhood destination.”
Added Mr. Korman: “Our selection of Vishaan Chakrabarti, and his team at PAU, to create the master plan for this project exemplifies our commitment to ensuring this project will be a world-class development of which Newark and its residents will be proud.”
Mr. Chakrabarti, who founded PAU in 2015, has forged a distinguished career marked by a commitment to the advancement of cities. Formerly a principal with SHoP Architects, he has co-led significant architecture and urban design projects including the master plan and first building of the Domino Sugar site in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, as well as the master plan and first building at the Essex Crossing site at Manhattan’s Seward Park.
“We are thrilled to participate in the ongoing rejuvenation of Newark at this critically important site for the city and the region,” said Mr. Chakrabarti. “Offering extraordinary connectivity to both transit and broadband, this site and the mix of uses proposed for it, offer the potential to make Newark part of the region’s 21st century innovation economy, while harkening back to the roots of Newark’s rich history of density, culture, production and leisure.”