NEWARK, NJ - The city's Downtown skyline is beginning to blossom with high-rise, mixed-use residential buildings that have been years in the making. 

Some historic properties, like the old United Women's Garment Workers' building at 869 Broad St., was transformed into 37 luxury rentals in 2018. One Theater Square, a high-rise residential building with commercial space, officially opened across the street from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center this year too. 

Developers are beginning to eye Newark as space in surrounding cities like Jersey City and Manhattan becomes limited or too expensive. 

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And there's still more to come for Newark, especially in the Downtown. Developers are looking to create several luxury residential units, several within walking distance to Penn Station. 

Carmelo Garcia, the city's chief of development in the Newark Economic and Housing Development Department, said a trifecta of residential, retail and office space is coming to Newark. 

"It will be the next world-class destination city," he told TAPinto Newark, adding that, "Newark is trending and it has all the right ingredients, where we put them together. The recipe has been literally implemented and now you have an amazing soufflé."

Here are five developments that will either begin or be nearly completed in 2019:

1. BELL BUILDING - 540 BROAD ST.

City officials and owners in April broke ground on the new mixed-use development at the site of the former New Jersey Bell Telephone Company building, a 21-story art deco tower that was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

The project is a joint venture between L+M Development, Prudential Financial Inc., and Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. The project will feature 265 units, including about 50 affordable residences, and over 80,000 square feet of office and retail space on the lower levels.

Verizon currently has offices in the building, and they will remain on the building's fourth floor. The project will feature studios through three-bedroom units with amenities including a gym, game room, bicycle storage and a 24/7 doorman.

Verizon sold the building for $16.5 million in 2016 to the principals in the joint venture. The renovation is reportedly expected to cost about $120 million.

2. VIBE - HALSEY AND WILLIAM STREETS

Strategic Development Partners is planning to build a new 17-story tower that will bring 256 new residential units near Teachers Village.

The project's name is Vibe and will feature a rooftop pool, an outdoor dining area and a dog run, according to the development's website. Amazon's Alexa is expected to be installed into each apartment too. Other amenities will include a whirlpool spa, a communal party room with a chef's kitchen and bar, outdoor yoga studios, and a game room featuring shuffleboard.

Sixty percent of the units will be one-bedroom, while the remaining will be equally utilized as two-bedrooms and studios. On-site parking is also in the design plan for 156 vehicles.

The project is reportedly expected to cost $80 million.

3. KISLAK BUILDING - 579 BROAD ST.

The office building that was once home to the Kislak, a real estate company, will be converted into a mixed-use development

The project's proposal calls for 48 units and ground floor commercial space, Jersey Digs reported. Records show the Kislak building and an adjacent three-story brownstone building at 12 Central Ave. were purchased by the same developer, New Orleans-based Redmellon 579 Holdings, LLC.4. 

Redmellon purchased 12 Central Ave. in 2016 for $665,000 and the Kislak building at 579 Broad St. was purchased for $1 million in 2017, records show.

4. 155 WASHINGTON ST.

L+M Development is building another huge development in Downtown Newark.

The company is leasing property from Rutgers University to build a $73 million project that will bring up to 249 market-rate residential units at 155 Washington St. About 4,000 square feet of the property will be used by Rutgers University as well.

The project received a 25 to 30-year tax exemption on improvements from the city on Dec. 19. L+M will pay an annual service charge that is based on 6.5 percent of the annual gross revenue the project receives, according to the exemption ordinance.

The city also approved up to $1.25 million in Redevelopment Area Bonds for the project, and the annual service charges will be used as security for the bonds, the ordinance reads.

The developers will also contribute to the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, said L+M Development Vice President Jon Cortell during the Dec. 19 council meeting. The agreement between the developer and Rutgers is also expected to create scholarships for the university’s students, said Councilman Carlos Gonzalez at the recent meeting. 

5. HALO - 289 WASHINGTON ST.

The city planning board in September approved a preliminary and final site plan for two 40-story towers at 289 Washington Street, public notices show.

The project has been dubbed as Halo.

Jersey Digs reported that the project is expected to bring 594 units to the area, with 300 spaces for on-site parking. The project is expected to include sky lounges on top of each building, a fitness center, club rooms, a game room and outdoor pool with a courtyard, the publication reported.

Records show that the property was bought by 289-301 Washington Street LLC. for more than $10 million in 2017. That company’s registered agent is Dov Zabrowsky, who is chairman and CFO of Acier Holdings. Acier Holdings lists the project in its online portfolio.

Acier Holdings says on its website that the completion date is expected for early 2020.

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