Wood Buildings to Replace Wood Bats in Newark

by | Feb 10, 2018 | Baseball, Indy Baseball, Marc Viquez, News |

The newest trend in architectural design will take place in Newark, New Jersey when the former home of the Newark Bears Riverfront Stadium is razed to make room for a 500,000 square foot wooden tower. The building will be the centerpiece for Riverfront Square, a vast mixed-use development.

The tower will have a concrete foundation, but its walls, floors, columns, and exterior panels will be made of mass timber. The building will ascend in three step-like sections, rising six to eight and then eleven stories tall. When it’s completed, it will be among the largest wooden structure of its kind in the country.

The growing trend of wood material design, plus changing building codes have made mass timber a popular choice for architects. Buildings are being constructed with glue and nail-laminated timber for roofs, flooring, slabs, columns, beams, and pieces of furniture in projects from Manhattan to Minneapolis.

Architects claim that wood is taking over from steel and concrete as the new material for construction of the 21st century due to its better light acoustics and smaller carbon footprint. The building’s agency Michael Green Architecture/Lotus Equity Group stated the following:

“These modern materials bring warmth and beauty of wood to the interior, and promote a healthy indoor environment for occupants.”

The $1.7 billion Riverfront Square will encompass 11.8 acres and include 2,000 residential units, retail space, outdoor public space, a hotel, office space, and connect to the NJ Transit Broad Street station.

The largest wooden structure is the Brock Commons, an 18-story student dormitory at the University of British Columbia. The Framework Building in Portland, Oregon, when it opens later this year, will be a 12-story mixed-use building that will be the largest in the United States offering rooftop parking for 102 bikes.

The new mix-use development in Newark will officially be the death knell for professional baseball, but provide the city with a live, work, play district that hopes to attract economic development that the old ballpark was never able to achieve. Bears & Riverfront Stadium was home to the Newark Bears from (Atlantic/Can-Am League) 1999-2013. The team drew an all-time low total of 21,288, averaging just 453 per date during its last season.

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