January 4, 2005 > The Growth Of A City - New Buildings and Services Are On The Way
The Growth Of A City - New Buildings and Services Are On The Way
by Susana Nuñez
The City of Newark will be making some big changes soon and the community is buzzing with opinions. The K-Mart on Thornton Avenue locals once knew is no more; a new Home Depot will be replacing it soon. Also in store for the City of Newark is a new, larger fire station on Thornton Ave. Although locals are pleased with the advent of a new fire station, the Home Depot project has produced differing opinions.
Home Depot Eyes K-Mart site
At the Newark City Council meeting of November 18, 2004, residents of Darvon St. and Port Tidewood expressed their feelings on a new Home Depot project slated for their neighborhood. During public hearings, Mark Castle, a resident of Darvon St., expressed concerns and. J. Bradley Oakes, also a Darvon St. resident, indicated his support citing the city's need for commerce and revenue. A third Darvon St. resident Somita Blay said that she welcomed a Home Depot in Newark, but would prefer a building in an industrial setting. She believed that having a Home Depot at the old K-Mart site would increase traffic and noise. Beverly Holding, a Port Tidewood resident, said that she was opposed to the demolition of the old K-Mart building and a new Home Depot building at the site because of increased traffic and noise.
Home Depot has not yet made a formal application for construction. They have, however, submitted preliminary plans for a new facility. The next step will be in January when Home Depot representatives will hold a community meeting to answer questions and provide residents of the surrounding area with more information. Home Depot representatives will listen to the community and any mitigation measures required will be incorporated into the plan.
A comprehensive traffic analysis and noise study of the area will be completed before plans are finalized. The current Home Depot plans call for the demolition of the existing K-Mart and replacement by a structure of similar size. Newark Assistant City Manager John Becker assured TCV that Home Depot buildings are not of "cookie cutter" sizes and that the new building would not vary appreciably from that of the vacant K-Mart structure.
New Fire Station 1 on track for spring opening
Newark's fire department anticipates that the new Station 1 on Thornton Boulevard will be operational in spring 2005 if construction remains on schedule. The new fire station at 15,000 square feet is a bit larger than existing Station 1,. Along with the new station, Fire Chief Mike Preston is looking forward to the new facility that will include a Battalion Chief house and a squad/hazmat unit house to store specialty equipment. Chief Preston states that the current fire station is too small to accommodate those people now.
"It's an interesting location," states Preston, "It's being built directly across from the first station built in Newark, [which was] built in the mid 1920s to serve the Newark community before it was a city. It's also on a site which housed the first motorized fire apparatus in Alameda County." The building's turn of the century architecture is intended to blend with and promote new development in the old town quarter of the city.