Accurate Builders & Developers is redeveloping the former Newark Bears stadium site in Newark, with plans including 11 buildings with 4,200 residential units, 100,000 square feet of commercial, office and hospitality space and up to 3,000 parking spaces, as depicted in this rendering. — Courtesy: Ian Bader
By Joshua Burd
A developer is eyeing a potential spring groundbreaking for an 11-building project that would bring 4,200 residential units and other amenities to the former Newark Bears stadium site.
The firm, Accurate Builders & Developers, said Monday that it was moving ahead with the nine-phase development after securing key approvals from Newark’s planning board. Those include approval for the first phase, which is slated to include two 18-story residential buildings with 299 units each, with a single story that will connect the two structures with nearly 22,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and 15,000 square feet of amenities.
The Lakewood-based developer closed last spring on the nearly 11-acre site, located west of McCarter Highway between Bridge and Division streets, which local leaders have sought to revitalize in recent years. Its plans now call for a destination known as CitiSquare Newark that will ultimately consist of 11 buildings with 4,200 residential units, 100,000 square feet of commercial, office and hospitality space and up to 3,000 parking spaces just steps from the city’s Broad Street train station and the Riverfront Stadium light rail station.
“The city of Newark has an incredible vision for this property and we are thrilled to partner with them on this exciting project,” said Jack Klugmann, CEO and president of Accurate Builders & Developers. “CitiSquare will be a vibrant new lifestyle destination that combines community, culture, dining, green spaces and a location near mass-transit. Mayor Ras Baraka and Deputy Mayor Allison Ladd deserve a huge amount of credit for getting this project off the ground and we look forward to working alongside them as we create one of New Jersey’s most dynamic new neighborhoods right here in Newark.”
The former Newark Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium site has been dormant since the independent minor league baseball team was shut down in 2013. Prior to being razed in 2019, the vast structure had loomed over downtown Newark as other redevelopments moved ahead in both the central business district and in the city’s outer wards.
On Monday, Accurate Builders noted that the city’s planning board unanimously approved plans for phase one of the development and voted to give preliminary major site plan approval to the entire nine-phase project. Those approvals came during the board’s December meeting.
In its announcement, the firm said its goal with CitiSquare Newark is to create a distinct sense of place for future residents, retail tenants and visitors, while also fostering connections to adjoining neighborhoods and bringing new economic opportunity to the city. It hopes to do so by capitalizing on the site’s access to mass transit and its proximity to parks, restaurants, retailers and cultural attractions in downtown Newark.
Plans for the residential buildings call for amenities and co-working space for small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers, with attractive architecture that will further distinguish the Newark skyline. Renters will be able to choose from floorplans ranging from studios to three bedrooms.
Calvin Souder of Souder, Shabazz and Woolridge Law Group and Andrew J Camelotto of Gibbons PC represented Accurate Builders during the approval process. The project’s architect is Ian Bader and its engineer is Eric Ballou of InSite Engineering LLC.
Shaya Ackerman, a senior managing director with Meridian Capital Group, arranged financing for the project.