Broad Street Station
The Broad Street Station has the second highest daily commuter rail ridership of all five stations – about 2700 passengers per day. It is also the terminus of a Newark Light Rail line and is central to many bus routes serving Essex and Hudson Counties. The station sits between two unique areas that are separated by the elevated structures of Route 280 and the NJ TRANSIT rail line.
- The area south of the elevated structures is the northern edge of Newark’s Downtown Business District. There has been significant new development in this area during the past decade. Recent projects include a baseball stadium, the Rutgers Business School at 1 Washington Park, the Newark Housing Authority’s Baxter Terrace Phase 1 housing development. Rutgers is redeveloping 15 Washington Park, which used to house the Law School, as student housing and a penthouse for the Newark campus chancellor. A new commercial building is being built across Broad Street immediately east of the station. The area also contains the Newark Public Library and several large office buildings within several blocks of the station. The Newark Housing Authority will soon begin construction of the Baxter Terrace Phase 2 housing development, and NJIT will soon be redeveloping a large parcel on Martin Luther King Boulevard.
- There are several large undeveloped tracts close to the station, including the Westinghouse site which borders the station, and several large parking areas throughout the area. While plans for many of these tracts have been announced by private developers and the universities, large areas remain undeveloped. In 2008 the City of Newark adopted a redevelopment plan for this area called The Broad Street Station District Redevelopment Plan to encourage redevelopment that would support transit use of the transit services at the Broad Street Station.
- The area north of the elevated structures is a smaller scale commercial and residential community known as Lower Broadway. Other than a large residential tower, the Pavilion, which was built in the 1960s as part of an urban renewal plan for the area, the buildings are mostly 2 to 3 stories. Along Broad Street, just north of the Route 280/NJ TRANSIT structures, there are some new smaller commercial business and residential developments. Also, there is a local retail district on Lower Broadway, just two blocks north of the station.
- There is some evidence of more new development in the Lower Broadway area. This area is home to Newark’s oldest Community Development Corporation, La Casa de Don Pedro. La Casa has produced several plans for improving the area, and has been successfully adding new and rehabilitated rental and owner-occupied housing to the area. Their latest plan, the Lower Broadway Neighborhood Plan, will continue these efforts. The plan’s vision is to continue the area’s smaller commercial and residential scale, to distinguish the area from the larger development occurring in Newark’s Downtown Business District just the south, while improving the physical connections between the two areas. The City of Newark is implementing a streetscape project in the Lower Broadway area, rebuilding sidewalks, curbing and crosswalks and adding sidewalk furniture.
- A significant concern in the Broad Street area is the condition of the passageways under the structures for Route 280 and the NJ TRANSIT rail line. These are very important pedestrian connections to the rail station and between the two neighborhoods. However, the environment under the structures in not inviting. Improvements are needed to make the passageways safer and true pedestrian-friendly connections to the Downtown business area and the Broad Street Station. Other improvements such as better lighting, murals, and safer crossings are being considered and better transfer facilities between bus and rail are being discussed.