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Lotus Equity Group Closes on Acquisition of Former Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark, N.J.
Developer pursues transformative redevelopment in Newark’s downtown; noted master planner and architect, Vishaan Chakrabarti of PAU, leads design efforts
NEWARK, N.J. — November 10, 2016 – Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and real estate development company, Lotus Equity Group, today announced that Lotus has closed on its acquisition of the former Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark, NJ. 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 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 project is certain to serve as a catalyst in the revitalization of downtown Newark.
“The Lotus development project will bring jobs, housing and new opportunities to Newarkers,” said Mayor Ras J. 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 Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. “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,” stated 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 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.” 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,” stated 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. ”
The mission of the City’s department of Economic and Housing Development is to create economic opportunity for Newark residents and enhance the vibrancy of the City. To this end, the department seeks to position Newark to take advantage of its unique assets, including its strategic location, a diverse and underutilized workforce, a large amount of developable land, concentration of corporate and business service firms, several major universities, and a wealth of arts and cultural assets.
Lotus Equity Group LLC is a New York City‐based real estate development and investment firm that targets value-add development and redevelopment opportunities in the New York metropolitan area. For more information, visit www.lequityg.com.