Following up on the July 22nd council meeting where six major redevelopment initiatives were passed, Mayor Baraka announced today that the redevelopment progress continues with seven additional steps taken by the council at its meeting on Tuesday. These initiatives, all of them outside of downtown, range from multi-acre redevelopment plans to the rehabilitation of individual houses.
“One of the most important goals of my administration is to ensure that residents of our various neighborhoods benefit from the accelerating development taking place downtown,” said Mayor Baraka. “The council’s votes this week are a prime example of our success in attracting investment and redevelopment to all of our neighborhoods. We are ensuring that development in Newark is guided by the principle of equitable growth—building wealth for existing residents, eliminating blight, creating housing that Newarkers can afford and ensuring that the rebirth of our neighborhoods results in well-paying jobs for residents.”
The Municipal Council took these actions:
Rehabilitation of small homes. Sale of properties to permit rehabilitation of four homes on Avon Avenue in Upper Clinton Hill and Smith Street in Lower Vailsburg in the West Ward.
47 properties placed on auction. The council voted to sell 47 city-owned properties, most outside of downtown, at an auction to be held on Thursday, August 27. This sale is in addition to the future sale of city-owned properties through a major new initiative of Mayor Baraka. The landbank, administered by Invest Newark, will make it easier for residents to own and develop formerly city-owned property. The city will hold a Facebook Live Virtual Town Hall on August 20, at 7 p.m., to show residents the properties and explain how to bid on them.
Preparation of Lincoln Park South Redevelopment Plan. The council voted to authorize the Planning Board to develop a redevelopment plan for the neighborhood south of Lincoln Park.
Fairmount Commons Redevelopment Plan. The council advanced on first reading, an ordinance adopting a redevelopment plan for the area between South Orange Avenue and 13th Avenue, between West Side High School and S. 11th Street. Mayor Baraka and Governor Murphy chose that neighborhood last year for their news conference announcing that New Jersey cities now have the power to create landbanks.
Seth Boyden Redevelopment. The council voted to designate an area in need of redevelopment: buildings of the former Seth Boyden public housing that have been closed for five years plus surrounding properties owned by the Newark Housing Authority. The Housing Authority expects to redevelop the area with mixed-use properties, among them housing and retail.
Foreclosure Fees. The council voted to impose annual fees on financial institutions that have been holding onto foreclosed properties. The fees would penalize banks and mortgage companies that blight neighborhoods by blocking the resale of foreclosed properties. The fees would help to fuel an affordable housing fund, providing a new revenue source to help fill the city’s budget gap created by COVID-19.
Increased funding for Urban League affordable housing. The council voted to award $195,045 in additional federal HOME Funds to subsidize the construction and development costs of eleven units within a twenty-two unit residential project, including new and rehabilitated homes in the Fairmount Avenue area.
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