Newark Trying to Make the Most Out of Port Newark
"The city of Newark is dead serious about selling the land beneath Port Newark out from under the Port Authority," reports Paul Berger. That news came from Newark Deputy Mayor Baye Adofo-Wilson, who was on the defensive after reports that Mayor Ras Baraka told a town hall recently that "the city’s recent release of a formal document requesting expressions of interest in the port was a tactic to force the Port Authority to raise its lease payments to the city."
The political machinations over the Port of Newark are a big deal because the Port of Newark is a big deal: "Port Newark is one of the biggest operations at the Port of New York and New Jersey, which is itself the busiest port on the East Coast. In 2014, business at Newark accounted for about one-third of the port’s gross revenues and totaled $80 million." Newark owns the land under the Port, though it has leased the land to the Port Authority until 2065. Newark is hoping to start generating more than the $8 million per year the Port Authority pays to lease the land.
Deputy Mayor Adofo-Wilson is also quoted talking about how the port's lack of a master plan hinders its operations. In Adofo-Wilson's own words: "Without that master plan there’s no long term strategy for figuring out the best and most efficient use of the land and I think that’s what we want to start at…"