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At a time when good economic news is scarce, it’s encouraging to hear about three businessmen, all Rutgers alumni, staking a claim to the future in Newark’s West Ward.

Victor Baker, Hassan Keith and Jeffrey Montgomery are constructing houses on five empty lots on South 9th Street between 11th and 12th avenues. The Star-Ledger’s James Queally described how the trio plans to serve working families in need of affordable housing with five duplex-style homes.

They call the $2 million project “Black Wall Street,” after the prosperous black community of Greenwood that thrived in Tulsa, Okla., in the early 20th century.

It’s a nickname freighted with historical significance.

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