City Seen Ripe for Downtown Residential
Exciting ideas coming out of a forum hosted by the Newark Regional Business Partnership. Now that NJPAC and the Prudential Center have brought life into Downtown Newark, these developers are turning their sights on downtown residential.
Between the Transit Village building at Broad Street Station and the NJPAC plans, downtown could be a very exciting place to live in just a few years.
A few developers have already ventured into residential housing in the city and have found some success. Andrew Cohen, president of Rock Properties and Samer Hanini, co-founder and principal of Hanini Group, both based in Newark, shared redevelopment stories. Cohen stressed the importance of working with area residents when developing a project in order to support the existing neighborhood and create spaces everyone can enjoy. He also suggested making Newark a more pleasant place by supporting community gardens on vacant lots and murals to disguise bare concrete walls.
One of the largest and most ambitious projects currently planned is NJPAC’s mixed-use retail/residential complex. Larry Goldman, president/CEO of NJPAC, declined to reveal many new details of the project, saying it was too early. He did, however, say that it would be more than “just an apartment building,” it would be “a big idea,” just as NJPAC itself was when first envisioned and built just over 10 years ago. “Our goal is to do something so transformative that people think of this place in a whole different way,” Goldman said.
The current NJPAC plan calls for a residential tower with ground floor retail at the corner of Military Park and a mid-rise building across from the existing performing arts center. Altogether, the development will be spread out over three sites and will total 1.5 million sf and will include the first new apartment building in downtown Newark in 45 years.</