A Walking Bridge In Newark?

Jan 18, 2017

Mayor Ras Baraka calls the project Mulberry Commons.
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

Mayor Ras Baraka says planning and investment is ready to complete Newark’s long awaited park project to revitalize the space in front of Prudential Center.

It’s been talked about for eleven years but now it finally looks like the 'Triangle Park Project' is ready to bring new retail and public open space to the Prudential Center.  Newark Deputy Mayor Baye Adofo-Wilson says there’s been a change in design.

“At one time the project was a triangle, but because of a street and some realignment it became more of a rectangle.  So we ended up changing the name,” said Wilson.

Mayor Ras Baraka is calling it 'Mulberry Commons.' 

“Those 50,000 college students will have a place to go.  They’ll be down here around in this area creating walking traffic.  [So will] the 5,000 or more residents that are going to move to this area because of the residencies that are going to be built.  All of the retail and commercial space coming up in this city is going to make Newark a completely different town.”

Baraka says a bridge to Penn Station will connect the Ironbound with Newark’s downtown district.

“My ultimate goal is to get people out of their car,” says Baraka.  “If you’re on a train, you can get off of the train and participate in the city in a very holistic way.  That’s the best thing that it offers.  That’s why the bridge becomes so paramount in making this thing work because it connects and creates the kind of walking traffic we need to make the downtown more viable than it is.”

Baraka says a groundbreaking is near.  The 22-acre project carries a price tag of about $100 million, all being made through private investment with an additional $10 million in public funds.  He hopes for the park to be complete by late summer 2018.