July 25, 2020

Shaq, Queen Latifah help fuel City development as Mayor Baraka continues to build ‘equitable growth’

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The City’s native sons and daughters continue to lend their star power and financial muscle to create new housing opportunities and jobs for residents, part of Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s commitment to wealth-building and equitable growth for Newark residents.

On Friday, Mayor Baraka announced the Newark Municipal Council approved a 30-year tax abatement to help Shaquille O’Neal and his partners, Boraie Development, LLC, finance a 32-story apartment tower at 777 McCarter Highway. The building will have 370 apartments with 20 percent (74 units) designated as affordable housing. O’Neal, the NBA legend and one of the country’s most recognizable celebrities through commercials, will live in one of the building’s penthouses.

O’Neal’s project is expected to create approximately 500 construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs and Newark residents will be trained for union construction jobs to work on the site.

At the same meeting, tax abatements of 25 and 30 years were introduced for Queen Latifah’s proposed mix-use complex called RISE, which will have 76 units on the Irvington border on Springfield Avenue. Sixteen of those units will be available as affordable housing and there will be 1,900 square feet for local non-profit organizations.

“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,” the Mayor said. “I am grateful to the Council for its partnership in creating a more just and equitable city.”

The Council also authorized the sale of city properties for new or rehabilitated home development, including three two-family houses and a one-family home on vacant land in the South Ward, one in the North Ward  property for an owner-occupied home, and a new South Ward development consisting of one storefront commercial unit and 20 apartments in the South Ward.

Also, 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, were moved forward by the Council.

On Wednesday evening, the City held a virtual town hall to reveal details of a massive development at former Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery site, which will have 660 residential units, with 20 percent (132) affordable and ground-floor retail space, 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.