New ‘CitiSquare’ Proposal Calls for 11 High-Rises Where Newark Ballpark Previously Stood

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The proposed design of CitiSquare in Newark. Rendering by Ian Bader Architects.

“Riverfront Square” is officially out and developers are hoping to put “CitiSquare” in at the site where Newark’s ballpark used to stand.


For the second time in less than six years, a massive mixed-use complex is being proposed for the Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium property near Newark Broad Street Station.

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Site of proposed CitiSquare development: the now-demolished Riverfront Stadium in Newark. Photo courtesy Ian Bader Architects.
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An aerial view of the CitiSquare development site courtesy Ian Bader Architects.

An Ocean County company called May Newark Urban Renewal, LLC submitted plans to the Newark Central Planning Board for a project with 11 high-rise towers at lots including 450 Broad Street and the old Lincoln Motel and Club Zanzibar site.

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CitiSquare in Newark. Rendering by Ian Bader Architects.

“The applicant is proposing a nine-phase development project that includes the construction of 4,200 residential units, approximately 100,000 square feet of commercial space, amenity space, and 1,998 parking spaces,” according to a December 7 municipal staff report.

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CitiSquare in Newark. Rendering by Ian Bader Architects.

“The site represents a significant development opportunity at a key location in the City,” the report adds. “The property is a gateway to downtown and in close proximity to potential redevelopment sites along the waterfront and across the Passaic River in the Town of Harrison.”

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CitiSquare in Newark. Rendering by Ian Bader Architects.

If completed, there would be seven 18-story buildings, three 37-story buildings, and one 19-story building, with a mixture of studios, one-bedroom units, two-bedroom units, and three-bedroom units.

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CitiSquare site map via Ian Bader Architects.

“The applicant is proposing to have 5% of the units in the development be affordable,” the report says. “This is below the 20% required in the City Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance. The applicant should provide testimony about providing additional units on-site and how compliance with the IZO will be achieved.”

Site plans from Ian Bader Architects that were released by Newark’s municipal government show that there are also plans for a central garden and electric vehicle charging stations.

The previously proposed project at the site, Riverfront Square, came from an affiliate of Lotus Equity Group (LEG) and called for 2,526 residential units, 48 live/work units, a hotel with 240 rooms, 102,144 square feet of retail space, a performance space, 2,216,820 square feet of office and commercial space, and 2,923 parking spaces.

Plans for Riverfront Square evolved several times, with the proposed residential portion of the project only consisting of 1,400 units at one point.

However, despite Essex County transferring the stadium to the affiliate of LEG for around $23 million through a private sale and the ballpark being eventually demolished in 2019, no version of Riverfront Square ever came to fruition.

It remains to be seen whether CitiSquare will meet a similar fate or end up being constructed. A public hearing regarding May Newark Urban Renewal, LLC’s plans is scheduled to take place today, December 13, over Zoom at 6:00 p.m. and certain approvals could be granted as early as tonight.

Note to readers: The dates that applications are scheduled to be heard by the Newark Central Planning Board and other commissions are subject to change.

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