Lotus Equity Group has closed on its purchase of Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, effectively clearing the way for the ballpark’s demolition.
Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium opened in 1999 as the home of the Newark Bears (independent; Atlantic League). The franchise proved successful for its first few seasons, but began to experience a slide in attendance during the mid 2000’s that could not be stopped. The Bears played their final season as members of the Can-Am League in 2013, leaving Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium to host Rutgers University, Newark and New Jersey Institute of Technology baseball.
Lotus Equity Group is planning a mixed-use development for the site, which will include residential units. More from NJBiz.com:
Lotus CEO Ben Korman was pleased to be able to make another investment in Newark, he said.
“We are extremely excited to continue our decade-long history of investing in Newark by delivering a dynamic and sustainable development to the city’s downtown that will create a pedestrian-friendly and vibrant atmosphere for existing and new residents to live, work and play,” he said in a statement. “This truly is a premier site offering unparalleled connectivity in the heart of a culturally rich and diverse community, and we look forward to collaborating with the city to realize its transformation into a 24/7 neighborhood destination.”
Lotus has chosen the New York-based Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, founded by planner and architect Vishaan Chakrabarti, to create the master plan for 7.5 acres of land that will include residential, office, retail and cultural buildings.
It has been reported that Lotus Equity paid $23.5 million for the ballpark and associated land. Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium was owned by the City of Newark and Essex County, with the Essex County Improvement Authority managing the facility.
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