A new mixed-use project will soon be coming to Newark's Central Ward.
New York-based HC Owners Urban Renewal LLC was granted approval by the Central Planning Board Thursday to go forward with Halsey Central, a 10-story mixed-use building with retail and commercial space, along with 71 residential units on the upper floors.
The project, which is situated at the corner of Halsey Street and Central Avenue in the James Street Commons Historic District, will also include basement-level parking and will boast a shared lobby that will provide access to commercial spaces and residential units on the second and third floors as well as the remaining residential units on floors 4-10.
The property, currently owned by Newark-based Cottage Street Orbit, sits adjacent to the Veteran’s Administration Building to the north along Halsey Street and the Salvation Army and Rutgers Alumni Center buildings to the west along Central Ave.
The applicant was granted approval to demolish the existing two-story building and construct the project, which will include 11,630 sq.-ft. of retail space and 10,711 sq.-ft. of commercial space.
A timeline for the project has not yet been determined.
The building falls within the Newark Living Downtown Plan area in the James Street Commons Historic District and has been presented before the James Street Community Association as well as the Newark Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission.
L+M Development Partners is partnering with Prudential Financial on the project.
Senior Project Manager at L+M Development Partners Sam Chapin said the Halsey Central project would continue to enhance downtown Newark's momentum and growth.
“We expect it to deliver not only much-needed residential units for the area but also neighborhood-focused retail to complement the current tenants on Halsey Street,” Chapin said.
“Through our recently completed conversion of the former Hahne's building and ongoing work at 540 Broad Street, we've really been able to form positive, productive relationships with neighborhood stakeholders, and many have told us how excited they are to see the Halsey Central project move forward. We're looking forward to working with them again on another downtown project.”
Chapin said the historic context of the city has been taken into consideration.
“We've worked closely with the city, the local community and our architects to ensure that this development is an exciting, modern addition that is referential to the historic community and fits nicely into the existing framework,” Chapin said. “Our goal is the create a design that complements the historic neighborhood—not just once its complete, but 50 years after as well.”
The development partners hope to attract retailers that will complement the retail already on Halsey Street. Use of the commercial space on the second floor has not yet been decided.
Chapin said developers are in the midst of fine-tuning financing for the project.
"The expectation is that that absent some of the incentive programs that have existed in the past for new development, this project will be financed with conventional debt and equity," he said. “This is a significant undertaking for L+M – new construction as opposed to the historic rehab we have undertaken in the past,” he said. “We hope to collaborate with our partners like Prudential and the City of Newark in order to successfully finance the project.”
Although there are existing tenants in the building, as well as artist work spaces, Chapin said the projects’ partners have met with the occupants and plan to work with them over the coming months on a workable, long-term solution.
Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins lauded the project.
"I'm always glad to see development projects that will add to the revitalization of the Central Ward," she said. "As much development is happening in the downtown area, there will be the same focus in the neighborhoods. I'm committed to ensuring development happens."