Newark Once Had the Busiest Intersection in the Country

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The earliest settlement in Newark was at the intersection of Broad and Market Streets.  When Newark was established in 1666 the Broad and Market Street intersection was a focal point and further expansion in subsequent years was around this ‘heart of downtown’.  It was a crossroads for the north-south and east-west parts of the city.

In the mid 1800s the Prudential Insurance Company was founded.  At the time it was called Widows & Orphans Friendly Society and it opened on the basement floor of a bank on Broad Street.  In 1875 it was renamed Prudential Friendly Society and a new headquarters was built in 1892 on Broad Street.  The headquarters was the largest structure in New Jersey at the time and consisted of 4 buildings that were connected by 3 elevated, covered bridges.  Exterior decorations included medieval looking gargoyles and animal carvings.  The interior featured modern amenities such as elevators, electric lights and a telephone in each room.  In 1950 the structure was torn down to be replaced by a new Prudential building.

In 1910 Newark’s first skyscraper was built on Broad Street by the Fireman’s Insurance Company.  It was 16 stories tall.  At around the same time City Hall and Courthouse were built on Broad Street.

In the 1920s the street was known for huge department stores including Haynes, Bamberger’s and S. Klein.  These stores were an attraction for people around the region, not just those who lived in Newark.  

In fact, the Broad and Market intersection had the busiest rush hour in the country at the time.  

In the middle of the 20th century Newark lost about half of its population as people left the city for suburban living.  Low-rent discount stores replaced many department stores.

Today redevelopment is centered around Broad Street.  New stores and restaurants have opened.  Dormant office and warehouse space has been converted into several hundred new apartments.  Prudential is building an office tower overlooking Military Park which is undergoing its own revitalization as well.  Whole Foods is planning to open in 2016.

If you are considering leasing office space in Newark now is the time to act.  Newark is being revitalized and strives to have the busy Broad and Market Street intersection of the past.  Find your office space in Newark office space for lease at . Contact us if you need additional assistance.

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