In the time since Cory Booker took over the mayorship of Newark, it’s become an increasingly, almost exponentially, in-demand area for commercial investors and new businesses looking for a location. There have been a substantial amount of changes to the area at Mayor Booker’s urging, including the Riverfront Revival project and the new Schools Stadium, but for the sake of this article, I’ve chosen to focus on three improvements that have brought Newark to the forefront of local cities in which people should be investing: the renovation of local parks, the transformation of the downtown area, and the city’s new loan program for small business entrepreneurs.
Since Mayor Booker took office, Newark has renovated, expanded, and opened new city parks covering over 40 acres of land. These new and improved parks include improved City pools, professional-quality football and soccer fields, new baseball diamonds, restored basketball courts, state-of-the-art playground equipment, and more. Not only does this breathe life into the city and the economy, but if you’re thinking about relocating a business or opening a new branch, it doesn’t hurt to have nearly 20 different renovated parks in the same city to consider when choosing your location. Parks can freshen up the view from an office complex or provide foot traffic past a brick and mortar retail store, along with provide opportunities for team-building outings, like company-wide baseball or soccer games.
Along with renovating and improving these parks and recreation centers, the downtown area of Newark has seen a steady transformation into a desirable destination, especially after it played host to the 2011 NCAA Men’s East Regional Final, the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, the NBA Draft, the Dodge Poetry Festival, and the Newark Peace Education Summit, among other events. Similarly, the construction of Teacher’s Village, a dedicated section of Newark which will provide over 200 units of housing for area educators and their families, along with three charter schools and over 70,000 square feet of retail space, is proof of the rejuvenation coming to downtown Newark; an increase of families living in downtown Newark means more traffic to storefronts and area businesses and thereby more income for those businesses, making this a perfect time to invest in Newark properties.
Lastly, to encourage new business in downtown Newark and the surrounding areas, the City of Newark partnered with the Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC) to form the Grow Newark Fund. The Grow Newark Fund, in partnership with the Grow America Fund, works to encourage creation and expansion of eligible underserved, minority- or women-owned small businesses. This Fund has provided over $13 million in funding to local businesses, including a restaurant row by the Prudential Center as well as a pediatric dental facility. BCDC also offers a city-wide Technical Assistance Program for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn the principles of owning their own businesses as well as receive assistance with opening or expanding.
If there’s anything plainly evident from just these select developments, it’s that the rejuvenated face of downtown Newark stands on a precipice, poised to become one of the most lucrative opportunities for investors in the state. But, as is the way for most opportunities, it won’t stay on that precipice for long. If you’re interested in the investment opportunities that are currently available in Newark, send me an email or give me a call today. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.