NEWARK, NJ - The City Council on Tuesday approved a 30-year tax abatement to the developer turning a landmark hospital building no longer used by Saint Michael’s Medical Center into a mixed-use housing and commercial property.

Plans for the development on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between James Street and Central Avenue in the city’s Central Ward includes 21 market rate and four affordable housing units along with more than 47,000 square feet of non-profit office and program space. A portion of the space is expected to house GlassRoots, a nonprofit that provides glass-making programs for disengaged youth.

The building, built in 1871, originally housed Saint Michael's, one of the first hospitals to open in Newark. Saint Michael's, which continues to operate in more modern buildings next door, was sold to Prime Healthcare in 2016.

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Prime did not purchase the historic building after determining it was obsolete for a modern hospital. In 2017, it was sold by Saint Michael's previous owners to real estate developers Jeffrey Crum, director of real estate at the Community Asset Preservation Corporation, Anthony Gibbons of Crawford Street Partners; and the Hanini Group.

Renovation work has been ongoing at the building and the project is expected to be completed in about two years.

The tax abatement was granted to Urban Renewal Company LLC. The council advanced and adopted the measure on first reading. A second reading of the bill is expected at the council’s November 26 meeting.

Developers had registered to have the property declared a historic site in order to obtain historic tax credits.

The council also advanced a measure that allows the redevelopment of a large swath of the West Ward. The measure deems 70 lots, the majority of which are on 11th Street and 12th Street, in need redevelopment.

City officials said they have been eyeing redevelopment of the land for five years. Preliminary plans for the site include education facilities and additional housing and commercial properties.