Over the last few years, Elizabeth’s Midtown neighborhood has seen a number of multifamily development proposals, from the soon to be constructed Vinty complex to the adaptive reuse of one of the city’s tallest buildings. Despite this, many outlying neighborhoods in Union County’s largest city have not seen developments of such magnitude. However, that could soon be changing in one of Elizabeth’s oldest neighborhoods.
The community of Elizabethport, which is located between the New Jersey Turnpike and the Arthur Kill, is the site of a proposal for a new mixed-use development. Yaron Gohar of Livingston, Essex County-based Sabra Port Urban Renewal, LLC confirmed to Jersey Digs that his company is seeking to construct a new building on one of the largest vacant lots in the neighborhood: 59-81 Livingston Street.
Located just across the street from the waterfront walkway connecting Veterans Memorial Waterfront Park with the Elizabeth Marina and Marciante-Jackson-Millet Park, this gated 1.5-acre tract stretches back to Front Street, 1st Street, and Broadway and has long sat empty. Now, the plans for the premises call for a new building to take up most of the property. The structure would include between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet of retail space on the lower level, with around 100 residential rental units on the upper floors, according to Gohar.
The site once contained a railroad yard and a Fine Fare supermarket, according to records from former environmental cleanup contractor Birdsall Services Group. Eventually, the lot landed in the hands of the City of Elizabeth. Following the issuance of a Request for Proposals by the Elizabeth Department of Planning and Community Development, the tract was acquired by Sabra Port Urban Renewal for $1 million in November 2017, according to NJ Parcels records. Public records show that Mayor J. Christian Bollwage signed a resolution during the preceding month that approved the city’s proposed designation of the company as the property’s redeveloper.
Gohar stated that Sabra Port Urban Renewal’s proposal has not been finalized yet and explained that the plans still must go through the City Hall approvals process. A timeline of when construction could potentially begin and be completed is not yet available.
“We believe in Elizabeth,” said Gohar. “It’s a great neighborhood and it’s a great city.”