Essex County News

Newark Files Suit Against Garden Spires Residential Towers Owner

Garden Spires apartment complex in Newark.

NEWARK, NJ - Mayor Ras J. Baraka is holding a press conference Monday morning to announce a lawsuit against the owner of Garden Spire, alleging uninhabitable conditions at the two residential towers on First Street.

The suit, filed July 14 in Essex County Superior Court against First King Properties of Kearny, seeks the appointment of a receiver and a court order declaring the buildings uninhabitable and ordering the evacuation and relocation of the tenants of the property, at the expense of the landlord. The complex has more than 800 apartments. 

“After numerous inspections by code enforcement, fire, health and engineering inspections , it has been determined by the public officer of the City of Newark that the property has been determined unfit for the human habitation; rat infested unsanitary stairwells, evidence of urine and human feces, poor/inadequate ventilation creating sever mold in units,” according to the complaint.

Sign Up for E-News

“Defective radiators, deteriorated stand pipes, damaged window guards, excessive garbage/bulk visual and active illegal drug activities which promotes a dangerous to health or life and is likely cause of sickness among the occupant which creates a public nuisance,” the suit states.

The suit claims the property has been cited for at least 60 prior violations. 

But Evelyn Conception, the tenant president of Garden Spires, said the apartments addressed in the lawsuit are not reflective of the entire building and the families living in those apartments.

“Some apartments are beautiful and well maintained,” said Conception, who has been a resident of Garden Spires for more than 20 years and has watched the building deteriorate with the changing dynamics of the neighborhood. “Residents love their apartments and love their city. We represent those who are not drug dealers or vandals but hard working people.

Conception said she previously invited Baraka to visit the Community Building that she and other residents personally cleaned and decorated. 

“We asked him to attend a meet and greet to discuss issues and have dialogue with some of the law abiding residents who want to improve the building,” Conception said. “We have also been in talks with management to discuss a variety of matters in regards to a massive improvement project.”
Conception said many tenants refuse to open their doors to maintenance personnel, exterminators, and official inspectors.  

“We are also dealing with individuals who are not tenants of our building who reside in our building unlawfully,” she said. “Newark police are called repeatedly about the persistent loitering in and around the buildings.” 

Conception said most tenants want to work with management to improve conditions and make the necessary changes to make those improvements happen.

The suit was filed by the Newark-based firm Eric S. Pennington PC. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Newark Residents and Businesses Sound Off on Amazon HQ2

March 23, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - As Amazon continues to search for the home of its second corporate headquarters, the City of Newark is pleased to be in the esteemed company of 20 worthy locations nationwide.

The City is reaching out, on an individual basis, to see how its businesses and residents feel about the potential of welcoming Amazon to Newark. Canvassers recently flooded downtown locations throughout ...

Retro Fitness Calls Stafford Police to Remove Man for Praying for Another Member

March 23, 2018

STAFFORD, NJ - Retro Fitness club member and Long Beach Township resident Craig Fasler was escorted by a member of the Stafford Township Police Department out of the gym because an employee accused him of sharing his faith in public. 

TAPinto Stafford-LBI was contacted by a Stafford Township resident about the incident that took place on Wednesday, March 21 around ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Other Sports

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Other Sports

Sat, March 24, 9:30 AM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Nature-Infused Yoga Winter/Spring ...

Green Health & Wellness

Letter to the Editor: Mis-management At Presby Threatens Future of the Garden

March 23, 2018

Dear Editor,

It is with concern that I bring this subject to the attention to all who care and treasure the Presby Memorial Iris Garden, which along with the cherry trees of Branch Brook Park is one of the crown jewels of the Essex County Park System.  This historic garden founded 90 years ago by Frank Presby on  Upper Mt. Ave. is known internationally for its collection which ...

Montclair Police Blotter: Man Arrested for Animal Cruelty, Juveniles Charged with Breaking into Cars and More

March 22, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The following blotter was compiled by the Montclair Police Department on March 3, 2018:

03-17- 2018 (Pine Street) Two Montclair juveniles (15 & 16yoa) were arrested after being observed
breaking into multiple vehicles. One of the juveniles was charged with theft, the other with Possession
of CDS.
03-18- 2018 (Eagle Rock Way) Mr. Lawrence Athill, 64yoa from ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Dzieci Theatre Passion, set in Warsaw Ghetto, to come to Christ Church Bloomfield Glen Ridge Palm Sunday

March 23, 2018

GLEN RIDGE, NJ - Christ Church of Bloomfield / Glen Ridge invites the community to a performance of the Passion Play by Dzici Theatre on Palm Sunday March 25 at 10:30 a.m. 

Set in the shadow of the Warsaw ghetto, Dzieci refined their text from the earliest existing translations, relying heavily on the Aramaic Pashita, incorporating Hebraic song and chant, and ritual elements of ...