NEWARK-The Newark Economic Development Corp., troubled by funding problems and political squabbles, is no more. But now, it has a successor agency with promises of a more transparent operation. The city council here has approved formation of the Brick City Development Corp., a nonprofit group charged with attracting new business and development to New Jersey’s largest city.

A brainchild of Mayor Cory Booker, BCDC kicks off with a $14.4-million war chest, with the funding coming from a combination of money from the city’s land trust and the proceeds from the sale of a couple of city-owned properties on Raymond Boulevard. City officials say the new agency, unlike its predecessor, will not use its funding as seed money to form extended subsidiaries or affiliates, will hold open public meetings and will keep its records open to the public for accountability purposes.

According to city officials, the new agency will have a staff of at least a dozen, and a search is just under way for an executive director. An 11-member board will also be formed to provide oversight, with those members made up of a combination of appointees of both Booker and Gov. Jon Corzine, along with other named by the Newark Alliance and the Newark Regional Business Partnership.

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