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Military Park Opening Continues Revitalization of Downtown Newark

US Sen. Cory Booker was among those who attended last Friday's event.

The Military Park opened in downtown Newark on Friday, June 13, 2014. (Photo: Teresa Akersten)
The Military Park opened in downtown Newark on Friday, June 13, 2014. (Photo: Teresa Akersten)
The following release was submitted to Patch:

The newly renovated Military Park formally opened to the public last Friday with a rededication ceremony hosted by the Military Park Partnership and Biederman Redevelopment Ventures. 

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, Newark Mayor Luis Quintana, Prudential Vice Chairman Mark Grier, and Biederman Redevelopment Ventures (BRV Corp.) President Dan Biederman all attended the event. 

The re-opening was the culmination of a one-year revitalization of the public space in downtown Newark. Since the groundbreaking, the park has undergone a makeover, including the new soon-to-open BURG restaurant, public restrooms, more than 1 acre of new gardens, and two plazas that will host free activities and amenities. 

Biederman, who led the Military Park makeover and will continue to manage the park, is best known for revitalizing New York City’s Bryant Park in 1992. He believes the same transformation will happen in Military Park, giving downtown Newark a signature public space and vibrant town square.  

“Military Park stands at the center of so many exciting developments in downtown Newark, from Prudential’s new office towers to the announced Whole Foods to several new residential projects,” Biederman said. "Military Park is well positioned.”  

“The renovation of Military Park provides an accessible, vibrant green space that will enhance the quality of life for those who live, labor and leisure in Newark,” said Lata Reddy, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential and president of The Prudential Foundation. “This project has reinvigorated one of Newark’s oldest and most treasured landmarks and we look forward to seeing the park once again used to its fullest potential.” 

Military Park had been underutilized and in need of significant renovations. The Newark Municipal Council approved the redevelopment of Military Park in October 2012 and chose the Military Park Partnership to lead the revitalization project, as well as operate the park for the next 24 years. The Military Park Partnership and BRV completed decades of deferred maintenance, restoring elements of the park’s historic design. They will now turn their attention to offering free fitness classes, games, musical performances, art exhibitions and other activities to turn the venue into a downtown destination. 

“The renovation and rededication of Military Park is just the first step in our efforts,” said Vaughn Crowe, chairman of the Military Park Partnership. “This revitalization has always been focused on creating a vibrant town square that is sustainable for generations, and we will be working with dozens of community partners to that end.” 

The park is located across the street from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and will serve to extend the campus of Newark’s largest cultural attraction. 

“We are looking forward to partnering with the Military Park Partnership on a variety of cultural programs and engaging even more people in the public space outside our physical building,” said John Schreiber, CEO of NJPAC and a Military Park Partnership board member.

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