Ironbound Project Honored by New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers
NEWARK , N.J. , November 12, 2009 – Funding has been secured to complete Phase One of the Ferry Street streetscape redevelopment project from Penn Station to Wilson Avenue at the intersection known locally as “Five Corners.” At a press conference on Adams Street attended by representatives of the Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID) and project contractors Berto Construction, City officials, Newark Urban Enterprise Zone Authority (UEZ) representatives and Ironbound community members, Councilman Augusto Amador confirmed that the Newark UEZ Authority will provide the funding necessary to complete the first phase of the Ferry Street streetscape redevelopment project
At the event, Councilman Amador also announced the Ferry Street Project has been recognized by the New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers as one of the state’s best municipal construction management projects. “It has, and always will be, my mission to emphasize safety for our citizens,” said Mehdi Mohammadish, Director of Newark’s Department of Engineering. “In addition, it is essential to consider modes of beautification. It is no secret that enhancing an area, especially one as historical as the Ironbound, is important to visitor-ship in a popular community.”
“Businesses lining Ferry Street will certainly benefit from a more beautiful thoroughfare. And, flourishing stores and restaurants are vital signs of a thriving community. East Ward Councilman Augie Amador is to be commended for taking the initiative in promoting this project in Newark ,” added Mr. Mohammadish.
“The Ferry Street Streetscape Project is a perfect example of a streetscape that incorporates traffic calming and decorative elements, creating an attractive and safe street for motorist and pedestrians, and for business owners and visitors, alike,” stated Jack M. Nata, Newark’s Acting Manager of the Division of Traffic and Signals.
The IBID worked closely with Mayor Cory A. Booker, Councilman Augusto Amador and the Newark Municipal Council, and Newark UEZ Authority Director Rafael Zabala to obtain over $3 million dollars in additional state funding for the streetscape project. The total cost for completion of Phase One has been estimated at $5.7 million.
“The partnership between the City, Newark’s UEZ Authority and the Ironbound District’s business community has helped make our dream of an enhanced Ironbound streetscape a reality,” said Steven T. Yglesias, President of the IBID and owner of Mompou Tapas Wine Bar and Lounge. “I want to thank not only our partners, but also the volunteer board members of the IBID for their hard work and commitment through many long years of planning and preparation, and the Ironbound District’s business owners, workers and residents for their patience and support during the construction process and the inevitable inconveniences it can cause.”
Councilman Amador noted that the cooperative efforts that led to the project’s success is indicative of the importance of Ferry Street as a vital commercial corridor for the City and one of Newark’s most dynamic dining and shopping destinations. “There’s a shared feeling that what is good for the Ironbound is good for the City of Newark,” the Councilman concluded.
The first stage of the streetscape project began on October 6, 2008 on Ferry Street between Union and Madison Streets. Work continued in 2009 on the second stage from Madison Street to Van Buren Street . The funding provided by the Newark UEZ Authority will cover the third stage from Van Buren Street to Wilson Avenue , and from Union Street to Penn Station.
Construction work will be suspended from November 20, , 2009 to January 2, 2010 to ensure there are no disruptions during the traditionally busy holiday season in the Ironbound.
Seth A. Grossman, the IBID’s Executive Director, said requests for funding have been submitted to complete the Ferry Street Project from Five Corners to Christie Street covering the length of East Ferry Street, as well as to extend the streetscape project to include Wilson Avenue. “Through various funding sources, including various stimulus funds that have supported similar types of projects across the country and around the state, we are hopeful that additional funding will follow what our partnership has put in place so far to keep the project moving forward for the Ironbound and for Newark,” he added.
Grossman also reminded Ironbound residents, business owners and visitors to contact the IBID if they nee d information or experience construction-related problems such as excessive nose and dirt, blockage of your building, injury or unsafe conditions. “We urge you to contact us so that corrective action or assistance can take place,” said Grossman. “Business and commercial property owners, residents and visitors can contact the IBID at 973-491-9191973-491-9191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org throughout the streetscape reconstruction effort.”