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Groundbreaking for Arts Facility in Newark’s Lower Clinton Hill Neighborhood
November 16, 2015 — Newark, N.J. Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Newark’s Department of Economic and Housing Development and the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (Newark Community EDC) today announced the transformation of a long-abandoned bank building into an arts facility with live/work space for artists and their families. The residential and commercial facility will feature 27 affordable-housing units, a poet’s cafe, communal workspaces, as well as a gallery and performance space.
The Newark Arts Facility will be located at 505 Clinton Avenue in Newark’s Lower Clinton Hill neighborhood. The city will begin transforming a long-abandoned bank building into an arts facility with live/work space for artists and their families. The residential and commercial facility will feature 27 affordable-housing units, a poet’s cafe, communal workspaces, as well as a gallery and performance space. Local artists can hone their talents in the communal workspaces while community residents engage with and exhibit art in the gallery and performance areas. The poet’s cafe will further diversify local dining and retail options, and provide a new locale for community gatherings. Only individuals and families earning less than 60% of the area median income (AMI) will be eligible to apply for the low-income units.
This arts facility is an anchor for the city’s Model Neighborhood Initiative, a comprehensive, place-based, neighborhood-revitalization strategy that over the last 12 months focused select city resources on Newark’s Lower Clinton Hill neighborhood addressing issues from code enforcement and policing to housing development and redevelopment.Transformation of this vacant and blighted structure will be a significant step towards beautifying the neighborhood. It will spur other development projects in the area, leading to the re-envisioning of underutilized parcels into productive uses that contribute to municipal revenue and neighborhood stabilization. This arts facility will also serve as the nexus of cultural and arts related activities in the surrounding area.
The mission of Newark N.J.’s department of Economic and Housing Development is to create economic opportunity for Newark residents and enhance the vibrancy of our 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.
The Newark Community Economic Development Corporation is the primary economic development catalyst for the State of New Jersey’s largest city, Newark. It is organized to retain, attract and grow businesses, enhance small and minority business capacity, and spur real-estate development.