Thread: Newark, Nj
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Old Posted Feb 13, 2007, 7:23 PM
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Originally Posted by soleri View Post
Newark is one of those cities that is better than its reputation. It will get better, too. So close to all that pricey Manhatten real estate! What an enviable place to be.
I beg to differ. While I was pleasantly surprised the first time I was through the Ironbound, Newark absolutely deserves its reputation. Outside of its 9-5 office district downtown and a few government-sponsored "culture" projects, there ain't much there. It's pretty much Detroit- miles and miles of bombed out early 20th century tract housing, brownfields, grayfields, empty factories the size of cathedrals. Harrison will probably end up becoming the place to move, since its currently basically a blank slate with a PATH station in the middle of it, and without Newark's corrupt, stagnant government, it will probably be easier to redevelop. The Ironbound is a fairly well-kept Spanish/Italian/Portugese neighborhood, but it's small- Elizabeth and New Brunswick have more street life. Some of the vacant land is filling back in with low-income housing, but it generally just a modern version what Jane Jacobs would call the "gray areas" that made up most of Newark back in the day- vinyl two-flats with a garage on the first floor, set back from the street, no retail, doomed to fail as they age.

Dowtown Newark will probably come back, it's well set up to do so, and some of the 1920s office towers near Penn Station are already being converted to condos. But a lot of the rest of the city basically need to be rebuilt from scratch, and so far they're doing a bad job with that.

The Newark City Subway is actually pretty interesting. It was built in an old canal bed that was roofed over to create Raymond Boulevard. It was built as a subway-surface trunk for trolleys, like the Green Lines in Philly or Boston. The surface routes were discontinued a long time ago, but the ramps still remain, and maybe one day they can be rebuilt if the city fills in right. They recently opened a surface extension to the DL&W Broad Street station that also serves the baseball stadium.

I guess my point is, Newark does indeed have a lot of potential, but it's a couple decades before it's going to approach anything close to 'healthy'.
"I'm exceedingly pro-growth, but I have to respectfully dissagree. Growth is not the holy grail, smart growth is. Uncontrolled, careless growth which ends up creating problems in the long run is called cancer." -Eigenwelt

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