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N.Y. developer closes on deal for Newark stadium

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An aerial view of the former Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark.
An aerial view of the former Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark. - ()

Lotus Equity Group has closed on its acquisition of the former Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark, a major step toward a planned 2.3 million-square-foot multipurpose development along Broad and Orange streets downtown.

The announcement of the deal, which saw New York-based Lotus buy the property from the Essex County Improvement Authority, which owned and managed the baseball stadium for the city and county, was made Thursday by Lotus along with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo.

“The Lotus development project will bring jobs, housing and new opportunities to Newarkers,” Baraka said in a prepared statement. “Newark is in the midst of a major revitalization effort that is transforming our entire city. This project anchors our downtown development activities and brings new living and working options to current residents, students and those looking to make Newark their home.”

According to published reports, Lotus paid $23.5 million for the stadium.

“This parcel is one of the gateways into the city of Newark, and the proposed development by Lotus will transform it into an anchor at the northern end of the city’s downtown,” DiVincenzo said in a statement. “The project brings new energy to Newark and Essex County, and will create business, residential and entertainment opportunities and much-needed activity to that area of the city.”

Lotus CEO Ben Korman was pleased to be able to make another investment in Newark, he said.

“We are extremely excited to continue our decade-long history of investing in Newark by delivering a dynamic and sustainable development to the city’s downtown that will create a pedestrian-friendly and vibrant atmosphere for existing and new residents to live, work and play,” he said in a statement. “This truly is a premier site offering unparalleled connectivity in the heart of a culturally rich and diverse community, and we look forward to collaborating with the city to realize its transformation into a 24/7 neighborhood destination.”

Lotus has chosen the New York-based Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, founded by planner and architect Vishaan Chakrabarti, to create the master plan for 7.5 acres of land that will include residential, office, retail and cultural buildings.

“We have many development projects underway throughout Newark, and are pleased to have Lotus and the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism work with us as we continue to rebuild our city,” Baraka said.

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