Throughout Downtown Newark, historic buildings of all shapes and sizes are being renovated and adaptively reused. From the Ironside Newark project in the former Newark Warehouse Company building and the Halston Flats residential development in a former Halsey Street office building to the Hahne & Company complex, there have been a variety of these types of projects in the state’s largest city in the last five years. Now, two smaller buildings near a city park could undergo a conversion into residential use.
Legal notices from City Hall show that hearings are scheduled for tonight’s Newark Central Planning Board meeting regarding a developer’s proposal to adaptively reuse two structures near Lincoln Park in the Central Ward. Lake Properties 103, LLC, which is based out of the Office Court of Ramsey in Bergen County, is behind the plans for 51-53 and 67-69 Lincoln Park, which call for both buildings to be converted into apartments. The company is seeking Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval with variances for insufficient bicycle and vehicle parking in connection with the projects.
The buildings were previously used by the controversial Adelaide L. Sanford Charter School, according to a 2012 report from The Star-Ledger, before the school closed its doors. Both are historic three-story 19th-century structures that fall within the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District. Records from the National Park Service show that 67-69 Lincoln Park was built in 1885 as the Lincoln Building with a Mansard roof and “Queen Anne and Romanesque elements,” while the “Chateau style” 51-53 Lincoln Park dates back to 1890 and was known as the Fullilove/Feigenspan Mansion. In addition to housing a school, the latter building has contained offices in recent years and was known as the WISOMMM Mansion because it was occupied by the Women in Support of the Million Man March.
Lake Properties 103, LLC acquired 67-69 Lincoln Park for $500,000 last December, according to NJ Parcels records, while 51-53 Lincoln Park was acquired by the company on the same day for $700,000. Over the last year, several other anonymous Newark property-owning LLCs that are registered out of the same address in Ramsey, such as CYT Holdings, have been buying up dozens of properties across the city.
The legal notices do not list how many units are expected to be included in each building and an agenda for tonight’s meeting has not been posted on the Newark Office of Planning and Zoning’s website. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall council chambers.