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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Photo of the Day 8/25/16


This photo shows Military Park in Downtown Newark.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Photo of the Day 8/24/16


This photo shows the view of Midtown Elizabeth at the Union County Courthouse from the Newark Skylab.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Santander and Sprint Planned for New Livingston Plaza


Livingston, New Jersey: More businesses are coming to a proposed shopping plaza in suburban Essex County.

A new development called 'The Corner at Livingston Circle' is coming to the corner of Eisenhower Parkway and Route 10 in the Township of Livingston. Locations of Shake Shack, Starbucks Coffee, The Container Store, and Blaze Pizza have already been announced for this 44,000 square foot plaza.

Now, more businesses have been announced for the plaza. According to a listing from Sabre Real Estate Group, locations of Sprint Wireless and Santander Bank are planned for the complex. There is currently a Sprint retailer at the nearby Livingston Mall, and Santander operates a location on South Livingston Avenue in the township.

Previously, a building that contained Tio Juan's Margaritas Mexican Restaurant and Houlihan's stood at the site.

In addition, Livingston Car Wash is planning to open at the site of a former gas station at the circle, and the property where the Donut Basket business currently stands is listed for sale. The listing states that the "site can be considered for retail development and many possibilities".

A location of North Bergen's Porto by Antonio restaurant opened earlier this summer at the former Cosi space. The owner also runs the Munchies by Antonio restaurant in Newark's University Heights neighborhood.

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Photos of the Day 8/23/16


Bloomfield Center has changed massively in the past five years. This view along Broad Street shows the new 'The Green at Bloomfield' building on the right with the Bloomfield College Franklin Street Residence Hall and Barnes & Noble location on the left. 'The Green' was built in a little over the year, and several buildings, including the former Annie Sez store and headquarters of The Independent Press and The Glen Ridge Paper, used to be located at the site.

The photos below show when construction began in May, 2015.







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Monday, August 22, 2016

Photo of the Day 8/22/16


This photo shows a sculpture of New Jersey doctor Abraham Coles at Washington Park in Downtown Newark.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Photo of the Day 8/21/16


The lot along Broad Street in Newark between the NJ Transit tracks and the former Newark Bears Stadium was once the site of a hotel, but it has been vacant for several years.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Photo of the Day 8/20/16


This photo show a sculpture at Newark Penn Station with One Gateway Center in the background.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Little Progress at Site of Proposed Newark Development


Newark, New Jersey: Over a year after signs advertising a new development were posted in Newark's East Ward, no construction has begun at the site.

Last summer, posters were placed at 769-781 McCarter Highway/Route 21 in Downtown Newark, at the southwest corner of Market Street, describing New Brunswick-based Boraie Development's plans for a new building with up to 500,000 square feet of mixed use office and retail space available. However, the site, located near Newark Penn Station and the site of the new Triangle Park, currently remains a parking lot.

According to a resolution from a May meeting of the Newark Housing Authority (NHA), the NHA Board of Commissioners authorized Executive Director Keith Kinard to execute an amended and restated redevelopment agreement with Boraie to remove NHA affiliate Newark Plaza Development, LLC as a co-redeveloper of the property. A $750,000 "administrative fee" will be received by the NHA. Every commissioner who was present at the meeting voted for the proposal. 

The Newark Housing Authority used to own the property, but sold it to Boraie for $4,000,000 in 2012, according to NJ Parcels.

An ordinance passed in July by the Newark Municipal Council calls for "the Mayor and/or Deputy Mayor/Director of the Department of Economic and Housing Development, to enter into an Assignment and Assumption Agreement with the Housing Authority for the City of Newark to assume the Redevelopment Agreement and further authorizing them to revise and execute an amendment to the Redevelopment Agreement with Boraie Development".

Essex County Place reported last month that the authority had not published a single board meeting agenda on the 'Transparency Documents' page of its website in over a year. After the report was published, documents from recent NHA meetings were posted. 

Boraie and Shaquille O'Neal are the developers of the One Rector Street project near the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. That development has not made significant progress since a groundbreaking ceremony was held in 2013. Records from the State of New Jersey show that company founder Omar Boraie donated over $10,000 to the 2010 Booker Team for Newark, and at the 2013 groundbreaking, Sen. Cory Booker, Newark's mayor at the time, participated in the ceremonial lifting of the shovels with Omar Boraie.

The state records also show that Kinard, who is one of the highest paid public employees in Newark, donated $1,000 to Mayor Ras Baraka's 2014 campaign, and The Record newspaper reported that the Boraie family "has contributed more than $463,000 since 1981 to state and federal political candidates and committees from New Jersey".

Both O'Neal and Boraie are also the co-owners of the Cityplex 12 movie theater on Springfield Avenue.

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Photo of the Day 8/19/16


Construction is continuing at 17-21 Halsey Street in Newark. It is not clear what is planned for the city-owned building, but an online listing advertises a mixed use development.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Turkish Restaurants Come to Essex County


South Orange, New Jersey: A new Turkish restaurant could be coming to South Orange.

A restaurant called Otto Kebap is planned for 134 South Orange Avenue, at the corner of Prospect Street. According to the business website, "authentic Turkish cuisine" will be served, and menu items range from soups and salads to wraps, casseroles, hummus, babaganoush, tabouleh, kebaps, and baklava.

There are currently only a few Turkish restaurants in Essex County, such as Turkish Pita Place in Downtown Newark, but Otto Kebap will be the first in South Orange.

The space was previously occupied by Yama Sushi.

In addition, another Turkish restaurant recently opened a location in Western Essex County. Cinar Turkish Restaurant in Cliffside Park, Bergen County opened a restaurant at 632 Bloomfield Avenue in West Caldwell, at the corner of Melrose Place. The building used to contain Pudsters, Let's YO!, and Friendly's.

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