“Best and Brightest” Learning Campus Planned for Halsey Street
Read this article as it originally appeared on Local Talk News
Newark officials broke ground on Teachers Village, a mixed-use development in downtown Newark that will create three new charter schools, a daycare center, more than 200 moderately-priced rental apartments for Newark teachers, and more than 20 on-street retail establishments which will include restaurants, medical offices and local and national stores.
The first phase of a larger development, Teachers Village will result in 460 temporary construction jobs and 460 permanent jobs, according to estimates. Retail tenants will be able to begin building out their spaces by the end of this year and open for business in the summer of 2013, and the first residents will be able to occupy apartments in the fall of 2013. The residential units cover about 200,000 square feet, and the units are being pre-marketed to Newark-based teachers.
"Teachers Village shows that when Newark dreams big and makes ambitious plans, we can achieve development projects that meet the highest standards for innovation and excellence," said Mayor Cory Booker. "While the global economy is struggling, we in Newark have fought to create transformative change that will lead to new educational and economic empowerment for our citizens. We welcome teachers – anchors of the middle class and dedicated to our children’s future – with over 200 units of housing."
"This project is the kind of catalyst that will forever change the landscape of Newark's business district, and is another sign of the work we've been doing to start the New Jersey Comeback," said Gov. Chris Christie. "At the heart of Teacher’s Village is a shared commitment to innovative educational policies that Mayor Booker, the City and my Administration feel so strongly about – providing choice in education for the students and families that feel they have no choice. No matter what their zip code, each and every child should have access to a quality education."
Centrally located on Halsey Street, Teachers Village will also allow for the expansion and relocation of three charter schools – Great Oaks, Discovery Charter School and TEAM Academy – as well as the CHEN School daycare. The two school buildings will represent about 90,000 square feet and serve about 800 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. CHEN will occupy about 11,000 square feet and will service about 150 children.
"If we are to recruit the best and brightest teachers for Newark, we need to create the best and brightest environment for learning," said Mashea Ashton, CEO, Newark Charter School Fund. “We are excited about the possibilities of Teacher’s Village and are pleased that three top-quality charter schools with proven records of success in Newark will be the first tenants. This campus – including a residential component for teachers – will be a special haven for learning and achieving in Newark."
"What began as a vision is now becoming a reality, and that doesn’t happen without the support, wisdom, loyalty and commitment of individuals and groups not only from Newark, but from around the state and beyond," said RBH Group Managing Member Ron Beit.
"My partners and our financial partners, elected and non-elected officials, community leaders and all those who have touched this project in one way or another – they have been and continue to be the foundation on which Teachers Village will be built," he said. "We look forward to the day in the not-too-distant future when Newark students are sitting in brand new school buildings, their teachers are living in moderately priced housing nearby, and all of them – and their Newark neighbors – are enjoying retail establishments that truly make a neighborhood a neighborhood."
"The development team in City Hall and at Brick City Development Corporation is focused every day on creating opportunities for Newark residents – job opportunities, educational opportunities, housing opportunities and shopping opportunities," said Deputy Mayor Zipkin. "With the creation of new schools, new apartments, and hundreds of jobs, Teachers Village is a project that combines all of those elements. Along with so much other downtown construction already underway or in the pipeline – including the first new downtown hotels in 40 years, loft apartments and restaurants, and the first new office tower in 20 years – Teachers Village will continue the rapid revitalization of Newark’s downtown."