NEWARK, NJ — The City Council on Wednesday authorized the sale of two empty lots in the West Ward to a developer who will build affordable homes for families.

Two lots in the West Ward on South 11th Street were sold for almost $33,000 to Stone West Development, LLC of Newark to build two two-family homes.

The contract calls for construction to begin within three months and to be completed within 18 months from the transfer of ownership by the city.

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West Ward Councilman Joseph McCallum, Jr. said the West Ward has many empty lots and abandoned properties.

"This will go a long way towards helping filling the empty lots in the West Ward and bettering the environment in the community, so I want to thank everyone involved," McCallum said.

Another added starter resolution on Wednesday's council agenda approved the sale of 10 lots in the West Ward for nearly $188,000 to Urban Day Development Corporation of West Orange to build 10 new two-family homes for first-time homebuyers and affordable apartments for working families.

The lots are located along South 7th Street, South 8th Street, South 9th Street and Norwood Avenue.

"We had a chance to meet with the developers and we have a vision of what we want to see in the wards," McCallum said. "These are beautiful houses that are going to be built...it's really going to be beneficial to the ward and to the residents."

"They're committed to using minority contractors on the properties, this is a holistic approach to what we're trying to do," he said.

Councilman At-Large Carlos Gonzalez emphasized the need to close the transaction in a timely manner so the homes can be built quickly. 

"We need the development now, not two years down the road," Gonzalez said.