July 24, 2020


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Municipal Council moves forward the construction of eight housing developments containing 564 apartments with tax abatements for Shaq Tower 2; Also approves Queen Latifah’s RISE, six land sales for new and rehabilitated neighborhood housing, new senior citizen housing and two new mixed use buildings on Bergen Street; City holds virtual town hall meeting about Pabst Blue Ribbon site with 660 additional apartments

Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced today that development in Newark continues to accelerate with the Newark Municipal Council’s approval Wednesday of a 30 year tax abatement to help finance 777 McCarter Highway, to be built by Boraie Development, LLC and NBA legend/developer Shaquille O’Neal. The largest residential project in Newark will tower at 32 stories with 370 apartments, 74 of them designated as affordable housing. Mr. O’Neal will live in one of the building’s penthouses.

The Project is expected to create approximately 500 construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs.  Local residents will be trained for union construction jobs and hired to work on the site.

“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,” said Mayor Baraka. “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 Wednesday’s meeting, 25- and 30-year tax abatements and other measures were introduced to accelerate the development of RISE, Newark native Queen Latifah’s proposed mixed-use complex near the Irvington border. A total of 76 units are planned for 650-656 Springfield Avenue and several neighboring properties along 19th Avenue, South 16th Street, and South 17th Street.

16 of those units are expected to be classified as affordable housing and will be situated in 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 non-profit organizations. The balance of the project consists of 20 townhouses, each slated to include three units.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the Council authorized the sale of city owned properties to rehabilitate an existing structure and construct two 2-family homes on vacant land to create affordable rental or for-sale housing on three South Ward blocks; to rehabilitate a North Ward property for owner-occupied housing; to rehabilitate a South Ward property to create an owner-occupied one family home; and to construct a mixed-use development consisting of one storefront commercial unit and 20 apartments in the South Ward.

Finally, measures were moved that will enable the construction of Jelliff Senior Estates with 50 senior apartments on Jelliff Avenue in the South Ward and the construction of Tucker View Apartments, two mixed use buildings on Bergen Street in the South Ward with 42 apartments above commercial space and a community center.

These housing/development advances came on the same day that the City of Newark held a virtual town hall to inform residents about the details of a proposal to build a massive development on the South Orange Avenue site of the former Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery. Developers will build 660 residential units, 20% of them affordable and ground-floor retail space, 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.