Monday, August 1, 2016

Public Hearing to Discuss Future of Newark Bears Stadium

Newark, New Jersey: Redevelopment plans for the site of a Newark baseball stadium are moving forward.

Essex County's Board of Chosen Freeholders will hold a public hearing this month regarding the future of the 17-year-old Newark Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium at 450 Broad Street, between Division and Atlantic Streets.

According to a legal notice, the Essex County Improvement Authority, which owns the stadium, entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Manhattan's LOTUS Equity Group on March 15th, "pursuant to which ECIA agreed to sell its rights, title and interest in and to the Property and Project to LOTUS". The notice states that the sale does not include the parking garage on the Bridge Street side of the property.

A press release from a City of Newark representative issued at the time stated that the stadium was being sold for $23.5 million, and NJ Advance Media reported that a high-rise tower was planned for the site.

There are views of the Manhattan and Newark skylines from Riverfront Stadium, which is located just across the street from the Newark Broad Street Station. The 10-year-old Riverfront Stadium station on the Newark Light Rail is located directly in front. 

In March, NJ Transit spokesperson Nancy Snyder told Essex County Place that despite the expected construction, "service should not be impacted as long as Newark Light Rail can operate safety at this location". 

"Should construction necessitate the closure of this station, Newark Light Rail is able to accommodate customers at Newark Broad Street and Washington Park stations on an alternate track in both directions", she added.

The Newark Bears baseball team closed three years ago, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Highlanders and the Rutgers–Newark Scarlet Raiders were the only other teams to use the facility.

The hearing will be held on Wednesday, August 10th, beginning at 7:00pm, at Room 506 of the Essex County Hall of Records, located at 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Newark.

The project has yet to be heard by the Newark Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Newark Central Planning Board.

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