Amid Lawsuits and Protests, Work Stops on 38-Story Halo in Newark

Halo Newark Rendering
Once completed, the Halo project will be Newark’s tallest building. Image courtesy of INOA Architecture.

Construction has ceased at one of the most ambitious developments in the history of Newark amid a lawsuit, union protests, and apparent funding issues that have brought the work to a halt.

Halo, a three-tower project that includes 1,075 total apartments, has been in the works since 2021. Situated at 289-301 Washington Street on the outskirts of Downtown, Acier Holdings obtained a $90 million construction loan to finance Halo in 2022 and Hudson Meridian Construction began construction the same year.

Halo Newark Construction
Construction progress. Image courtesy of Hudson Meridian Construction Group.

The complex was rapidly rising, topping out as recently as February. But work suddenly halted at the property since the temperature warmed up, leaving observers wondering what went wrong.

Some light can be shed on the subject via a lawsuit obtained by Jersey Digs. In January, Dobco filed a complaint in Essex County Court against Hudson Meridian and Acier Holdings claiming “a series of safety concerns” regarding Halo that were impacting their nearby work at the Essex County Family Courthouse.

Specifically, the case claims in July last year one of Dobco’s workers was injured by falling concrete splash that fell due to a worker at Halo improperly broom-cleaning an exposed deck. The lawsuit additionally claims that a crowbar was “ejected” from the Halo property last September.

The issues didn’t stop there, the suit alleges. Two pieces of plywood allegedly fell off Halo in December last year, causing damage to a nearby building that is owned by Essex County. Just days later, a metal shoring strut supposedly fell from Halo and damaged Dobco’s construction site.

As recently as January, the case claims that a saw blade was launched from the Halo site. Dobco and the Halo team both submitted to mediation proceedings last month according to court records, but the case is still listed as active in Essex County’s database.

Work has completely stopped at the site in recent weeks, with several union protests taking place near the property. When contacted by Jersey Digs for comment, Hudson Meridian Construction did confirm that the mediation is ongoing.

“To date, no violations have been issued to suggest anything other than a safe and compliant project site,” said Walter Haass, Senior Vice President of Risk Management for Hudson Meredian. “This complaint with the alleged claims has had no impact on the progress of the Halo Project and Hudson Meridian is delighted to have the privilege of shaping the Newark skyline for the future.”

Halo Newark Rendering 2
Image courtesy of INOA Architecture.

The first phase of Halo is rising on the northernmost portion of the property and will be the shortest of the three towers. Designed by INOA Architecture, the initial tower will include 297 units, breaking down as 156 studios, 84 one-bedrooms, and 57 two-bedrooms.

Despite the apparent issues, city officials seem to think there is reason for optimism for the Halo project. City Council President LaMonica McIver recently revealed during a Special Meeting on June 25 that she has been told the Halo project has a new investor that could at least cure the development’s financial woes.

Halo is unquestionably an important project for Newark, as the current tower is already the second tallest building in the city despite being incomplete. The tallest 46-story section of Halo is set to supplant the National Newark Building as the city’s highest edifice, a designation that building has held for close to a century.

Editor’s note: This article was updated from an earlier version adding a response from Hudson Meridian Construction regarding the litigation claims.


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