A new design for a long-awaited development in Newark’s Four Corners neighborhood was unveiled to the historic preservation commission last week. The 13-story residential project by the RBH Group is a few years in the making and was originally called the Millenium Project.
The newly revealed glass building at 101 Market Street with 238 apartments and ground-floor commercial was approved unanimously. The impact of the plan is significant as it requires the demolition of six historic buildings — the oldest of which were built in the 19th century. However, the facades of four of the buildings were severely compromised and consent for demolition was granted in 2019.
Thomas Gluck, principal at Gluck+ architectural firm, said the building’s new look, which includes white geometric cladding and is one story shorter than the previous iteration, was inspired by a 1912 Newark landmark — the former flagship for L. Bamberger & Co. department store.
“There is a real dialogue between this building and the Bamberger building across the street,” Gluck said.
Newarkers in attendance applauded the revision for its design and scale, which has been a touchy issue of late. “I think it’s contextually and historically appropriate,” said Myles Zhang, architectural historian and James Street resident. “It’s a really good example for other projects in the neighborhood.”
Preservationists have been on edge about the proposal of a 45-story tower in the Military Park Historic District that many believe is garishly out of scale. The so-called Arc Tower at the corner of Broad Street and Central Avenue is vying for the distinction as the city’s tallest building and is scheduled to appear before the commission next month.
The skyline-transforming structure was the subject of a messy battle later at the last HPC meeting. Newark-born developer Calvin Souder failed to win enough votes necessary to demolish an 1865-row house to clear land for his proposed skyscraper, but was offered a new hearing.
The compromise came after Commissioner Frederica Bey accused Souder of lying about having the support of the James Street Commons Homeowners Association, a group of local preservationists. As a condition of a new hearing, Souder was required to meet with the association, which opposes the demolition, Tammy Holloway, JSCHA president, said.