At a recent community meeting, news of amenities and development planned for the South Ward
by Vince Baglivo/March 2, 2017
From updates on the Bergen Street Development Project and the PATH extension to plans for new development, including both residential and commercial projects, a full-house of South Ward stakeholders listened attentively as representatives of the Bergen-Lyons-Clinton Partnership (BLCSID), Councilman John Sharpe James and other city representatives shared good news about the future of their community.
The “Meet and Greet” event, hosted by the BLCSID at St. John’s Community Baptist Church on Bergen Street, showcased projects that will help change the face of the South Ward and attract new residents, businesses and investment.
“Newark’s downtown will be jealous,” stated Councilman James, as he provided details about several new hotel projects in the planning stages in the South Ward, along with confirmation of the project to build a PATH stop that will connect the community to the expanded rail line serving Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark Penn Station and stops in Jersey City and Manhattan.
Mark G. Barksdale, Director of the City of Newark’s Department of Economic & Housing Development, Office of Planning, Zoning & Sustainability, confirmed that the South Bergen Street Redevelopment Plan was adopted by the Newark Municipal Council in January.
The BLCSID hosted community presentations where local stakeholders provided feedback and input that was incorporated into the final plan. Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC) Project Manager Dosso Kassimou talked about a mixed-use development on Clinton Avenue that will provide live/work space for artists, along with a café and performance space.
Phillip Gilmore, Pastor of St. John’s and President of the BLCSID, highlighted the opportunities and services for South Ward stakeholders provided at the new tech center–NAN Tech World–on Hawthorne Avenue, and the new, $11 million TREC (Training, Recreation and Education Center) on Ludlow Street.
And Douglas Freeman, President of the Weequahic Park Sports Authority, spoke about programming in the park and efforts by local stakeholders to keep it safe and welcoming.
“The goal of the event was to connect South Ward stakeholders with programs and services, to identify investment opportunities in local properties and determine the types of businesses the community wants and needs,” noted BLCSID Executive Director Ronice Bruce.
“By keeping the focus on quality of life issues like our aggressive streetscape enhancement program and planned beautification, lighting and security initiatives in 2017, we are helping make opportunities to live, work or invest even more attractive in the South Ward.”
Known locally as the South Ward SID, the BLCSID (Bergen Street between Lyons and Clinton Avenues and both of those streets to the Irvington border) was established to help the area compete, improve and sustain commercial viability. The SID is a public/private partnership between the City of Newark, local business and commercial property owners and residents focused on generating economic activity and community development.
Linda Campbell, Bank Officer and Branch Manager for City National Bank, and treasurer of the BLCSID, said City National offers products and services tailored to meet the needs of low- to moderate-income individuals and businesses, and is ready to help support their plans to become a part of the South Ward community.
For information about programs, services and opportunities to support and contribute to the initiatives of the Bergen-Lyons-Clinton Partnership visit www.southwardsid.com, and follow news from the South Ward SID on social media at facebook.com/southwardsid.
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