Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Apartments Planned for Abandoned Newark Hospital

Newark, New Jersey: A historic Essex County building could soon see new use. 

For over a century, a building once occupied by Hospital for Women and Children has stood at 536-540 Central Avenue in Newark's West Ward. The hospital's name may still be engraved atop the building, but the four-story structure currently sits abandoned, towering over the corner of South 10th Street with boarded up or missing windows and graffiti. 

The hospital was acquired by what was then known as The Hospital of Saint Barnabas in 1932. In more recent years, Palace Mission Church of Philadelphia and Mount Sinai Congregation of Ivy Hill have owned the building, and NJ Parcels records show that the building's owner, 540 Central Ave., LLC of Washington Street, acquired it for $825,000 in September. 

Now, the former hospital could be revitalized. City documents show that Bryant Park Urban Renewal, LLC, which was registered in February, 2016, is planning to rehabilitate the structure into a mixed-use development with 23 affordable residential rental units and four commercial spaces. The project could receive a 15-year tax abatement from the City of Newark. The Newark Municipal Council will vote on the proposal during its meeting this Thursday, January 5th at City Hall. 

While the city's East and Central Wards have been the site of several mixed-use development projects in the past five years, the West Ward had largely been untouched until now. With multiple vacant lots and abandoned structures remaining across the ward's neighborhoods, it is likely that opportunities for more development in the community could soon be taken advantage of.

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