NEWARK, NJ - A major step in the redevelopment of the city's West Ward got a jump start this week when the Newark Planning Board approved the West Ward Area Redevelopment Study.

The study includes 70 properties located on South Orange Avenue, South 11th Street, South 12th Street and 13th Avenue in the West Ward.

The planning board's action on Sept. 9,  concluded properties “existing conditions warranted redevelopment.” And the board’s actions represent “the first step in the redevelopment process,” said John Barree a consultant and principal planner with Heyer, Gruel and Associates, 

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The next step is for the city council to formally designate the properties for redevelopment during a city council meeting.

 The city council began the redevelopment review process when they instructed the planning board to prepare and review a preliminary investigative report during a July 2 City Council Meeting, according to the planning board’s agenda.

The properties in question are in a dilapidated state and are either completely abandoned or partially inhabited with the buildings partially inhabited incurring frequent code violations. The properties in questions are under private ownership and with others under city ownership.

The next Newark City Council meeting is scheduled for Sept. 18 at City Hall.