Newark’s Prudential Center: How much “spurt”?

The Wall Street Journal ran an article last week on the “spurt of activity” in downtown Newark near the New Jersey Devils‘ Prudential Center, including two new hotels and several restaurants. This contrasts with my own reporting, in which I referred to the arena existing in “a wasteland of half-shuttered stores.”

My last trip to the Prudential Center was last September, and I don’t recall seeing an overwhelming change in the surrounding neighborhood, which is dominated by the largely delapidated Market Street and Broad Street shopping strips. That said, I didn’t walk the entire neighborhood, and with the Prudential Center being very active, it’s certainly conceivable that some more businesses might have sprung up to capitalize on the visitors. (It’s long been noted that arenas, which can operate 200+ nights a year, can provide at least a small local economic boost, especially compared to stadiums that are dark all winter.)

Any Devils fans out there who do more than walk from their cars to the game who can comment on how much of the Journal’s description is real and how much real estate hype? (Note that this appeared in the real estate section.) If not, guess it’s time for me to go take in a Liberty game

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