Forest Hills – Mr. Saturday & Jack Ferreira Introduction:
Flying under the radar on Grafton Avenue is the construction of a Heliport. The project, first covered by The New York Times in 2008, was awarded to Air Pegasus Helicopters and allegedly costs in the range of $10 million dollars.
The site of the project is next to a police station, and will accommodate the Newark Police Department, which will now feature an aviation unit, while also serving a corporate function. Any passerby on Route 21 can glance over towards Grafton, and see the structure.
While not technically part of the Forest Hills section of Newark, the project takes another step towards the economic development of the area. Additionally, it adds incentive to companies the likes of Panasonic in relocating to the City. Moreover, with Prudential seeking a new building in Newark, a new tenant will need to occupy their space. As such, the originally controversial project on Grafton can indeed become a positive factor for companies looking towards new opportunities in a growing downtown economy.
As mentioned above, the project was originally very unpopular. Across the Passaic River, townships like Kearny and Harrison protested the construction of the heliport sighting that air pollution would increase and disrupt otherwise quiet neighborhoods. If anyone has every taken a class on College Avenue at Rutgers in New Brunswick you could relate via Johnson&Johnson’s famous helipad atop their corporate headquarters behind Murray Hall and the like. The disruption was unbearable, but did wake up many in classes that seemingly had nothing to do with securing any future occupation. Check out the blog on now defunct MySpace that features an anti-Newark heliport construction page:
The overall effect of this project can only be positive for the area. Forest Hills is the Dyker Heights of Brooklyn, and more. This is the first, in our coverage of this part of the City that should be known for more than just its Cherry Blossoms.