View Full Version : The Ledger "Does" the Arena. . . again
12-05-2004, 06:29 PM
Gee whiz. The Ledger spat out some grusesomely depressing press today, as it regards the future of the Arena. First off was the report concerning Newark giving the Devils the ultimate authority over construction, how money is spent and which contractors and workers will be hired to get jobs. The sentiment being that since the Newark Housing Authority has some accounting issues it's dealing with, it is incapable of handling the project.
Then, in the business section, a really morose profile of Cleveland, Ohio and the sentiment that the Gund Arena did squat to help revilitalize the city. The article parallels the situation in Cleveland with Newark, including a breakdown of census stats comparing Newark to Cleveland.
The "Devils Take Control" link:
The "Cleveland is Still a Hellhole After Building An Arena Like Newark Wants To Do" link:
12-06-2004, 02:38 AM
the arena, as well as the Bergen Record. I've said this before that it doesn't matter who pays for the arena, the state will find a way to stop it. For some bizarre reason, New Jersey hates Newark, as well as most of its other larger cities. Of course these papers are silent when it comes to the state wanting to give taxpayer money to the "New York" Giants for a new stadium. :confused:
Though I would agree that the Ledger reporting has been quite biased as to Newark's arena deal-- the look at Cleveland is a valid story angle as Newark has touted Cleveland as a model from the beginning.
However-- what the Ledger-- I believe intentionally, because they're not idiots-- continues to ignore is the true mixed-use development aspects of this greater redevelopment plan. Cleveland built stadiums-- there was no greater plan for residential and other development. Plus-- Cleveland's economy REALLY tanked-- as was pointed out ad nauseum during the election. Newark's plan includes the Mulberry Street Development (which is-- sorry George-- a well designed plan), as well as the office and hotel aspects. While I think the forecasts regarding office development are bizzare-- I happen to know they do have some committments outside the BOE. The downtown corridor will be 100 times better after this development is completed.
Problems do exist still-- as Ron Jr. has consistently pointed out-- there is nothing in the agreement between the Devils and the city regarding REAL small business opportunities for Newarkers. However-- I think taking this project out of the hands of the Housing Authority is a GOOD thing-- especially considering their recent, uh, spending habits.
Finally-- the bottom line is this. Sharpe deserves credit for putting forth and following through on a downtown redevelopment plan. Unlike in New York-- where there have been a number of alternatives to the Jets monstrosity of a stadium idea presented publically-- NO ONE has publically presented alternatives to the Mayor's plan. The closest to alternatives were posted in our former incarnations on nj.com. I have an enourmous amount of respect for Rich Cammareri and his counterparts down in the Ironbound (Manny Lavin & Co.), but stating generally "spend it on schools and parks" doesn't cut it.
12-07-2004, 02:38 PM
I think taking the arena deal out of the NHA was a good thing as well, although I hope they still have some type of input on who gets the contract for this project. I fear the Devils using their own people as oppose to giving the jobs to Newarkers first and foremost...
I also hope that Newark can continue to look at Cleveland and still use it as a model....A model of things not to do....
First...Be real with the projections..Don't give people the false hope that there are going to be 10 million jobs available when in all actually there is only going to be 100.
I think another aspect of Clevelan's failure was not taking care of all the other social issues that were going on...Ex. Homeless problems, Education, and violence & drug abuse...
Currently Newark has the same problem, and I hope that before the project is completed that they attack those problems....
I think that Cleveland is setting themselves up for failure with the Casion idea...Although I know at this point they are deparate to get out of red, but you are going to put up millions of dollars in front of people who only make about $25,000 a year and don't expect them to fall into a deeper hole...
In that repspect Cleveland should take a look at Atlantic City...If you drive about a half a mile west, East, North and South of the Casino Area...You will see how bad that city is doing in regards to there poverty level...
I think the problem with cities like Cleveland and NEwark is that there isn't enough Federal Dollars coming into those cities for mandatory things like education and rehab's...
Unfortunately we are forced to deal with the problems alone....
12-07-2004, 03:46 PM
The article clearly states some of the pitfalls of "feel good" development translating into urban renewal. I'm still ambivalent about the arena, yet I still think that it would be successful enough even if it doesn't do everything it supposed to do.
Newark is not Cleveland. Newark is 10 miles from the greatest city in this country (maybe the world) and surrounded by some of the priciest real estate anywhere. Newark also has a first-class mass transporation network.
New Jersey is the most densely populated states in the country. Someone once said that the only thing that they're not making anymore is land. Evidence of Newark's saleability is all over--look at all those houses sold in the last five years!
Newark's redevelopment doesn't have to be so extensive at once. In fact, it needs to be thought out on a block-by-block basis instead of revitalizing the whole city in one swoop.
This is an area of the country where there are critical masses of people who are happy to live on a good block as opposed to having to have the whole city be perfect right away. Capitalize on that demographic. We've got to tap into the same mentality that fosters pride for residents of Forest Hill, Vailsburg or Weequahic--those distinguishing qualities that make those neighborhods more desirable to live and play in the residents' minds than other parts of the city. Then you take another neighborhood and do the same thing. With only 23.5 square miles (the second smallest big city in the USA) the whole city can be revitalized apace.
12-16-2004, 04:10 PM
However-- what the Ledger-- I believe intentionally, because they're not idiots-- continues to ignore is the true mixed-use development aspects of this greater redevelopment plan.
I hope the arena is successful but I don't understand why you think mixed-use will make it successful. There's glut of office space already and the city doesn't seem to need hotel space....
12-16-2004, 04:14 PM
you are right....
Look at all the office space at the gateway that is available.
Supposedly that building was up for sale years ago....
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