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RAHWAY, NJ-Officials of this Union County community of 25,000 have launched a plan to redevelop a substantial portion of the city’s downtown area. The project, for which some $50 million worth of contracts have already been signed, will focus on a new, $18 million train station. Rahway is a commuter stop on NJ Transit’s mainline.

“Our plan was designed around New Jersey Transit’s $18 million investment,” according to Rahway Mayor James Kennedy. “We also have a link from our train station directly into Newark Airport, which is a great asset and has brought us the ability to develop a unique central business district.”

The overall plan is moving forward under the aegis of the local redevelopment agency, which was formed just last year for this purpose. Other major elements in the process include the fact that pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. has its world headquarters here, and Rahway is also the site of the Union County Art Center.

Under current plans, a major component of the redevelopment will be Park Square, a residential/commercial project that will encompass 100 market-rate apartment units and 10,000 sf of retail space. The city has also approved two senior housing projects, to be located nearby.

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