South Ward Stakeholders Contribute to Proposed Bergen Street Redevelopment Plan at Community Meeting
Next Meeting Scheduled for October 20th
Residents, business and property owners and other South Ward stakeholders filled the meeting room at St. John’s Community Baptist Church to participate in the planning process to improve the Bergen Street Corridor between Weequahic Avenue on the southern end and Madison Avenue at the northern end.
The City of Newark, Department of Economic and Housing Development, in cooperation with the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC) and the Bergen-Lyons-Clinton Special Improvement District (BLCSID), hosted an interactive presentation that invited participants to share their ideas and reactions by talking directly to the team charged with creating the plan and writing their suggestions on schematic drawings that showed possible building configurations, facades, elevations and more.
Their input will be incorporated into the plan, which will be re-presented for final review by the community at a follow-up meeting at St. John’s Community Baptist Church, 1066 Bergen Street, between Lyons & Lehigh Avenues, on Thursday, October 20th from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
The plan will be presented to the Newark Planning Board, who will then make their recommendation to the Municipal Council. If the Council adopts the plan, the City can enter into negotiations with developers. Event organizers said the goal was to have the plan before the Planning Board in November, with approval by the Council in December. Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from developers would follow, with work on the project potentially starting in late 2017.
St. John’s Pastor Phillip Gilmore, who serves as President of the BLCSID, welcomed everyone to the meeting, noting that improvements in the Bergen Street streetscape were long overdue. “The people of this community, residents, business and property owners, are in the same place in their hearts and minds when it comes to a vibrant South Ward that’s as attractive, clean, safe and welcoming as we know it can be,” he added.
Councilman John Sharpe James echoed Pastor Gilmore’s comments, stressing long overdue, and the importance of community input and support regarding needed redevelopment in the South Ward and citywide. Deputy Mayor Baye Adolfo-Wilson thanked community members for their participation and contributions, noting the sense of enthusiasm for the changes and improvements they see in the future as the Bergen Street corridor is redeveloped.
Scott Blow, President & Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC), Mark G. Barksdale, Director of the Department of Economic & Housing Development’s Office of Planning, Zoning & Sustainability, Ronice Bruce, Executive Director of the BLCSID and representatives of the city’s consultants for the project, Heyer, Gruel & Associates and the Nishuane Group, also contributed to the presentation.
For more information, please call 973-877-9414, or contact Mark G. Barksdale, Director of Planning, Zoning & Sustainability, at 973-877-9414 or via email at BarksdaleM@ci.newark.nj.us.