NEWARK – Newark’s once desolate downtown breathed new life Thursday with the grand opening of Mulberry Commons, a $10 million park that was born out of a 15-year fight to develop the land.
Instead, a public-private partnership was forged to create a green space open to all right at the city’s center.
The parcel of land is arguably one of the most valuable in the city, as it’s sits smack in between one of the nation’s busiest rail hubs and one of the top-10 arenas in the country.
“It will be the direct link between Penn Station and our premier entertainment facility, Prudential Center, providing these visitors with a world-class entrance to our world-class city,” stated Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.
“Mulberry Commons is more than a park and a construction project for our downtown. It is a defining development for our entire city.”
During the grand opening, it was stated that this one outdoor attraction, mainly because of its prime location, could represent $400 million in economic impact for Newark.
Newark public school children packed the park to celebrate opening day.
This project spans 22 acres and will soon welcome a new office complex – dubbed “Ironside Newark,” which turned an abandoned warehouse into a state-of-the-art commercial building including a glass penthouse, green rooftop, retail and restaurants.
Also in the works, is the transformation of a defunct railroad bridge into a pedestrian walkway that will connect Newark Penn Station to the park, arena and downtown.