Newark and Essex County Sell Bears & Eagles Stadium

Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced today that an agreement has been reached between the City of Newark, Essex County and the Essex County Improvement Authority to sell the Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, located at 450 Broad Street, to Lotus Equity Group for $23.5 million. The sale of the stadium and the land to a private developer allows the city and county to increase taxable space and relieve the taxpayers of the stadium’s current $4 million annual debt-service obligation.

The stadium sits on a unique site located in a city ripe for development. The sale includes the stadium and more than 7.5 acres of land, all located near major forms of transportation — a rare combination in our country’s major metropolises.This ideal location – seconds from Interstate 280, a few blocks from the New Jersey Transit Broad Street train station, at the foot of University Heights and a stop on the city’s light rail system – ensures that the development will benefit the city, beyond its bustling downtown and positively impact the entire county.

“We are very pleased with the sale and the positive implications it has for Newark and this region of the state,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “This is a transformative, urban-development project that will bring jobs, housing and new opportunities to current Newark residents, new Newarkers, commuters and students alike.  Everyone wins. We expect the Lotus development project to serve as a catalyst for others as we work to grow our city.”

The stadium, owned by the City of Newark and Essex County, was managed by the Essex County Improvement Authority.  “We are very excited about the future development of the Broad Street site where the Bears and Eagles Stadium currently is located,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. “This dynamic project will contribute immensely to the economic revitalization of Essex County and Newark, and serve as a catalyst and anchor in the northern section of the city’s Downtown. The jobs that will be created, the economic stimulation and the financial debt that will be removed from the budgets of Essex and Newark are substantial advantages that make this project worthwhile and beneficial for the residents of Essex.”

The Lotus team is gathering top urban planners, designers and engineers to assess, conceptualize and recommend the development’s scope to ensure the project’s long-term viability.  “We believe that this is an incredibly exciting site for Newark,” said Ben Korman, founder of Lotus Equity Group. “Though we’re still in the midst of formulating plans for the land, we have the ability to create a vibrant, multifaceted downtown destination for residents and visitors alike.  And as longtime investors in Newark, we understand this is a unique opportunity to harness the city’s incredible energy to build an enduring economic driver for generations to come.”

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