A proposed development in Newark’s North Ward could bring dozens of new residents to the edge of a neighborhood business district.
With the exception of the planned Coyman View Apartments that we first reported on last year, the Mount Prospect Avenue corridor between the city’s Forest Hill and Woodside communities has not seen the kind of development proposals that have been popping up recently in Newark’s Central and East Wards. This is likely due in part to the overall lack of undeveloped properties along Mount Prospect Avenue, which is lined with multiple locally owned stores and restaurants, and the fact that there are no train or light rail stations in the immediate vicinity.
Now, a Bergen County-based development firm is apparently looking to take one of the street’s few large vacant lots that it recently acquired and use it to construct a five-story multi-family mixed-use building. City records show that Mt. Prospect Lofts, LLC wants to build 64 residential units at 770-778 Mount Prospect Avenue. The company also plans to include street-level retail space and 28 parking spaces on the premises.
The Newark Zoning Board of Adjustment was scheduled to hear the matter during a special meeting on May 10, according to a legal notice. Mt. Prospect Lofts, LLC filed an application for Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval with several variances, including use and density.
City tax filings show that the development firm is registered out of a UPS Store location in a Mahwah shopping center, making it unclear who is actually behind the company. However, according to NJ Parcels data, Mt. Prospect Lofts, LLC bought the property in August 2018 for $1 from another firm, 770 Mt. Prospect, LLC. The latter company, which reportedly paid $1.5 million for the site just a few weeks earlier, was registered out of the same Ramsey address as other mysterious LLCs that have spent millions of dollars over the last two years buying up dozens of properties, such as the historic Griffith Building downtown, and proposing new and adaptive reuse projects.
This site is near a New Jersey Transit bus stop while the Branch Brook Park light rail stop is roughly a mile away. Located between Montclair and Grafton Avenues not far from the Elliott Street and Ridge Street Elementary Schools, the property has sat empty for over a decade.
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