By Daniel J. Munoz
Recently re-elected mayor Ras Baraka says he’s concerned about the implications of gentrification in Newark.
Speaking at a Tuesday event billed as “Eye Opener: Newark is ‘Amazin’” at the Best Western Robert Treat Hotel, Baraka said he wants to make sure longtime residents feel only a positive effect from developments such as the potential siting of an East Coast headquarters for Amazon.
“There has to be a way that we are able to negotiate the process where Amazon comes here to the city – because we believe it’s going to happen – to be able to assure the folks in the city that the policies we create are designed to make sure the Newarkers are able to live here,” he said.
Baraka highlighted a variety of revitalization projects meant to bring investment and redevelopment to blighted neighborhoods.
In the Martin Luther King Boulevard corridor, the city has been razing abandoned structures, making way for parks and other improvements. The mayor also cited the ongoing refurbishment of historic Krueger-Scott Mansion, overlooking MLK Boulevard.
“We’re really trying to put an emphasis on MLK from one end to the next,” he said.
Baraka said the Clinton Avenue corridor also is being revitalized with artist-themed housing and public amenities such as a arts community center.
Newark Regional Business Partnership hosted the civic-themed event.