'Renaissance' or 'gentrification'?: Panel to take on narratives surrounding Newark redevelopment

By Dan Ivers | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on June 04, 2015

Eleven 80, Newark's first upscale rental development since 1961, is shown here in a 2009 file photo.

 

NEWARK — Is Newark on its way to becoming the new Brooklyn? Or will it be, as city officials are fond of saying, "Newark 3.0"?

That will be the topic of discussion on June 15, when community leaders convene at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center for a Town Hall meeting focused on popular narratives around redevelopment and other changes taking place in Brick City.

Entitled "Renaissance or Gentrification?: How do we discuss redevelopment in Newark?", the event will include a panel discussion featuring a variety of voices from government, real estate and media, including Newark Deputy Mayor and Director of Economic & Housing Development Baye Adolfo-Wilson, former Washington Post reporter Dale Russakoff and local planning and development leader Francis J. Giantomasi.

The speakers will discuss how high-profile changes in the city, including the additions of luxury apartments and plans for a mixed-use development that will include a Whole Foods supermarket, are portrayed.

Those developments and other plans for downtown Newark have attracted national media attention, including a Politico article published in March that asked whether the city would be the next metropolis to be termed the "new Brooklyn."

The meeting is part of "Engage Local", a two-day hosted by Montclair State University's Center for Cooperative Media focused on the interaction between community and media. A series of workshops and presentations on the topic will be held on the second day of the event, June 16.

In a statement, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said recent changes in the way news is delivered and digested has had far-reaching implications for cities like Newark, and hoped the meeting would "assist in facilitating more effective communications with the citizens that we serve."

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