Newark economic development agency gets new name, location

By Naomi Nix | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on December 18, 2014

Newark officials on Wednesday marked the opening of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation.

 

NEWARK — Newark officials say it's a new era for the city's economic development agency.

City leaders hosted a gala Wednesday night to celebrate the relaunch of The Brick City Development Corporation, which has been renamed The Newark Community Economic Development Corporation.

"We are going to change the culture of the organization," West Ward councilman Joe McCallum, who is also chairman of the board, told a crowd of about 100.

The corporation's office has also been relocated from 744 Broad Street to 111 Mulberry Street. The move will save the agency about $250,000, according to economic development director Baye Adofo-Wilson.

Earlier this year the city council approved new board members proposed by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. That board voted to usher in new bylaws and a new board structure. The number of board members has decreased from 11 positions to nine people, according to Newark Community Economic Development Corporation interim director Otis Rolley.

Rolley said the board also decided to prohibit a city official from chairing the board to ensure the corporation remains independent.

The changes follow a highly-critical report of the Brick City Development Corporation's loan program.

The report said shows that a total $3.4 million of the $10.6 million in loans were either delinquent or written off as uncollectible.

Adofo-Wilson said the new agency will focus on building up development efforts in city neighborhoods.

"Our goal is to make all of Newark prosperous," he said.

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