NEWARK, NJ — The Newark City Council on Thursday granted a 30-year tax exemption for a project which proposes the construction of a 270-unit resort-style apartment complex for the downtown redevelopment area. 

The ordinance established a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program, which authorizes the execution of a financial agreement and issuance of up to $1 million in redevelopment area bonds for the project. The Basking Ridge-based developer, The Tower at Halsey and William Urban Renewal, LLC., is planned to construct a building to be named “Vibe - The Tower at Halsey and William,” which will consist of 243 market-rate residential units, 27 affordable housing units, two restaurants and 156 parking spots in addition to other amenities located at 16-24; 26-30; and 32-34 William St. 

The applicant for the project, Anthony Bastardi, chairman of the board and CEO of Strategic Development Partners, is represented by Angelo Genova and Jennifer Mazawey of Genova Burns, LLC

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“Some of the obvious benefits of the project include construction of a state-of-the-art high rise mixed-use project in Newark south of Market Street, where this type of development has been lacking,” Mazawey told TAPinto Newark. “In addition to bringing affordable housing units to the city, the project also redevelops a long-vacant corner property, and brings needed tax revenue to the city. The developer is also making a contribution to the city’s affordable housing trust fund. 

“It is a beautiful building that will also protect some historic elements of the existing structure, namely the historic terra cotta tile that is contained on the existing building, which will be preserved and repurposed into the new building,” Mazawey added. 

As development in Newark’s downtown area continues to emerge, the William Street project is situated near a project that came before the city’s planning board in December where an applicant proposed to build a mixed-use tower in Downtown Newark. 272 Washington, LLC., a company with ties to the Hanini Group, calls for the construction of a 22-story tower which would include 207 residential units. 

Teachers’ Village on Halsey Street is also located near the William Street property. The development, which broke ground in 2012, encompasses eight buildings, including three charter schools and more than 200 apartments. 

Located near the city’s main transportation hubs such as Newark Penn Station, the PATH, NJ Transit, bus lines and the Newark Light Rail, and Newark Liberty International Airport, the William Street building is planned to contribute to Newark’s downtown dining scene with many of the areas entertainment and sports venues accessible from the property. 

“This agreement will revive the city of Newark’s redevelopment efforts, which had slowed as a result of the pandemic,” Bastardi said. “City officials have demonstrated their commitment to supporting this development and creating a favorable economic environment to bring exciting projects such as Vibe to market.”