Newark city officials recently took action on eight development projects comprising 564 apartments.
By Joshua Burd
A proposed 370-unit apartment tower in Newark has secured a 30-year tax abatement, as city officials move to advance a series of planned developments despite the pandemic.
The project, by Boraie Development LLC and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, is slated to rise 32 stories at 777 McCarter Highway. Plans also call for 20 percent of the apartments to be designated as affordable housing, while the development is slated to create some 500 construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs.
Newark’s municipal council approved the tax abatement to help finance the project, one of eight proposals it considered last week.
“At nearly every council meeting, we are introducing new housing development and rehabilitation in Newark ranging from high-rise apartment buildings to single-family homes,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said. “Housing construction in Newark continues to be guided by our commitment to equitable growth — creating more home ownership, more places to live that residents can afford, and more minority and women contractors to participate in the rebirth of our neighborhoods. I am grateful to the council for its partnership in creating a more just and equitable city.”
Also at its meeting last Wednesday, the council introduced 25- and 30-year tax abatements and other measures to accelerate the development of RISE, a proposed mixed-use complex near the Irvington border by Newark native Queen Latifah. The project calls for 76 units at 650-656 Springfield Ave. and several neighboring properties along 19th Avenue, South 16th Street and South 17th Street.
Baraka noted that 16 of those units are expected to be classified as affordable housing and will be part of a three-story building at the corner of Springfield Avenue and South 17th Street. The building is also expected to include a fitness center and 1,900 square feet of ground-floor space for local nonprofit organizations.
The balance of the project consists of 20 townhouses, each slated to include three units.
The council additionally authorized the sale of city-owned properties to rehabilitate an existing structure and construct a pair of two-family homes on vacant land to create affordable rental or for-sale housing on three South Ward blocks, according to a news release. The governing body also approved plans to rehabilitate a North Ward property for owner-occupied housing and to rehabilitate a South Ward property to create an owner-occupied one-family home, along with a proposal to build a mixed-use development consisting of a storefront commercial unit and 20 apartments.
Elsewhere in the South Ward, the council moved measures that will enable the construction of 50 senior apartments on Jelliff Avenue, known as Jelliff Senior Estates, and the development of Tucker View Apartments, which comprises two mixed-use buildings on Bergen Street in the South Ward with 42 apartments above commercial space and a community center.
The actions came on the same day that the city held a virtual town hall to inform residents about a proposal to build a massive development on the site of the former Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery, which sits on South Orange Avenue, the news release said. Developer Crown Real Estate Holdings will build 660 residential units, 20 percent of them affordable, with ground-floor retail space on a parcel that straddles Newark and Irvington.
The property has been vacant since the remnants of the brewery were demolished in 2008, according to the city. According to TAPintoNewark.com, Newark’s zoning board approved the property owner’s plans earlier this month.
The project also calls for 665 below-ground parking spaces, a daycare center, two gyms, a library-like space with common work area and conference rooms, study offices, a basketball court, community rooms and other amenities. TAPintoNewark reported that the project, which is slated to break ground next year, will take an estimated five to six years to complete.