Eighteen months after breaking ground on Teachers Village, the mixed-use development featuring new school buildings, housing for educators, street-level retail and a complete transformation of a large swath of Newark’s downtown, developer RBH Group has delivered and officially opened the first two buildings.
Having transformed empty parking lots into school buildings impeccably designed to foster education, RBH celebrated the official opening of the first portion of Teachers Village today with speeches by Gov. Chris Christie; Newark Mayor Cory Booker; CEO of Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Esta Stecher; and Prudential CEO John Strangfeld. Ron Beit, founder and CEO of RBH Group, welcomed the speakers and other dignitaries in attendance, and served as master of ceremonies.
In keeping with Teachers Village’s theme of live-work-play for students and educators, RBH hosted a students’ festival, where students engaged in performance art, learned about the design and construction of school buildings from the project’s architects and builders, and played some spirited basketball.
“They say it takes an entire village to raise a child,” Beit said after the event. “At Teachers Village, we know it takes a wide, deep partnership to build a new village that will successfully raise many children. Without the help of the schools themselves, the city, county and state governments, the general public, our financial partners and investors, and our designers, engineers, architects and builders, this project would not have gotten done. We are grateful beyond words to every group and individual that contributed to the effort. We all have invested a lot, and Newark is about to reap the rewards of that investment.
“Eighteen months ago, this was a vacant parking lot. Today, two brand new buildings house three schools and a day-care center, which are already infusing the area with vitality and energy. Today, you see three new housing sites under construction and over the next few months you will see over 200 units of workforce housing for Newark-based teachers. And we are well underway in bringing in exciting retail options to support the students, teachers, staff, parents and the overall Newark community who are breathing life back into this neighborhood.”