Newark, New Jersey: Several upcoming development projects in Newark could be receiving federal funds.
According to legal notices, the City of Newark will be submitting requests to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on or about March 23rd for funding for projects in the South, West, and East Wards. The City is seeking $300,000 in HOME program funds to be granted to GonSosa Development in partnership with the Blue Sugar Corporation for the Rita Gardens project, which, as Essex County Place first reported last year, will be developed in part by Essex County native Queen Latifah at 650-656 Springfield Avenue in the South Ward. One of the project's buildings will contain 59 units of affordable housing, and five units will be reserved for residents experiencing homelessness. Supportive services will be provided by an experienced non-profit social service provider, a notice states. According to HUD, "HOME is the largest Federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households."
In the West Ward, the project to turn the long abandoned Hospital for Women and Children at 536-540 Central Avenue into a mixed-use development could also receive funding. Developer Bryant Park Urban Renewal, LLC is slated to turn the century-old structure into 23 affordable residential rental units and four retail spaces. Now, PrimeLerner Companies could receive $894,204.67 in Section 108 loan guarantee funds, described by HUD as "one of the most potent and important public investment tools that HUD offers to state and local governments." The project is also slated to receive a 15-year tax abatement from the City.
Lastly, in Downtown Newark, the upcoming 23-story One Riverview development, also known as One Rector Street, at the southwest corner of McCarter Highway/Route 21 and Rector Street, could receive $2,900,000 in Section 108 loan guarantee funds. Former basketball player and Newark native Shaquille O'Neal is involved in the project, but Boraie Development, AECOM and Perkins Eastman would receive the funds to be used in the development of the building's 168 residential units and two retail spaces, according to a notice. Boraie's website states that the building's units will be market rate.
One Riverview will be built at the site of the former Science High School and Ballantine Brewery. Although the project renderings showed that the new development would be built around the historic structure's facade, and developer Wasseem Boraie told The New York Times that doing so "would make for the 'dramatic metaphor' of a sleek modern tower rising from a historic brick foundation wall," the building was demolished earlier this year. City documents show that Newark Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Richard Partyka stated during a February meeting that the demolition did not have the proper permits, and that the commissioners "expressed concern," requesting that a stop work order be issued.
HUD's Newark area office at One Newark Center will accept written statements from residents regarding the proposed grants during the ongoing 15 day comment period.
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