After Homeless Shelter Plan Denied, Apartments Could Come to Newark Building

179 Van Buren Street Newark
179 Van Buren Street, Newark. Image via Google Maps/Street View.

Nearly three years after Jersey Digs first reported that there were plans to convert a building in Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood into a homeless shelter, there are now plans to turn the same structure into an apartment building.

The Newark Zoning Board of Adjustment is scheduled to hear a proposal during its virtual meeting this Thursday, August 6 at 6:00 p.m. that calls for bringing nine apartments to 179 Van Buren Street in the East Ward. A developer simply named 179 Van, LLC is seeking Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan approval with variances in connection with the project.

179 Van Buren Street Newark Rendering
Rendering of the proposed development. Image via the application.

A notice states that each of the residential units would include two bedrooms.

Artek Studio is listed as the architect for the development while Chaim Berger is listed as the registered agent of 179 Van, LLC.

Located at the northwest corner of Elm Street, the three-story structure on the premises is currently a vacant office building, according to the application.

Back in September 2017, an Irvington-based organization called Independence: A Family of Services, Inc. proposed turning the building into a shelter for veterans experiencing homelessness. However, according to NJ Advance Media, those plans were unanimously denied by the Newark Central Planning Board. WKXW later reported that the organization and two veterans filed a federal lawsuit against the board and the municipal government alleging “discrimination against persons with handicaps.”

Property records show that the building was sold by a Brooklyn-based firm to 179 Van, LLC, which is registered out of Toms River, for $1.5 million in December 2019.

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



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  1. A Homeless Shelter in the Ironbound section of Newark ? Please NOOO
    The Ironbound is the most desirable section of the City of Newark and I don’t think a Homeless Shelter is going to add any benefit to the neighborhood.
    It’s like putting a Homeless Shelter next to the Grove Station in JC .
    Happy it was denied.
    Maybe they should try South , West and North Newark but not East and Central Please.

  2. So how ethical is it that the unfortunate cant get a homeless shelter especially those disabled veterans that fought for our country and were thrown into the system like trash and completely forgotten about. . is this how we treat our fallen heroes in need ? It doesn’t matter where its constructed it juat needs to be done . PEOPLE WORKING EVERYDAY JOBS CANT EVEN AFFORD THE TYPICAL RENT BUT YOU GUYS WANT TO KEEO BUILDING MORE APTS AND EXPENSIVE ONES AT THAT LOL .. Jersey really has issues .. Moneu hungry inhumane unethical and unreasonable issues

  3. They can go to the West, North and South Newark for cheaper property .
    Or if NJ really wants a nice place for project like this , they can pick maybe Montclair, Summit , Short Hills etc etc … why is it that Newark is always the one dealing with the homeless issue.

  4. While I love Down Neck, it simply isn’t the most desirable part of Newark. That distinction belongs to the Forest Hill section, replete with mansions and carriage houses, which do not exist in the Ironbound. It also is home to part of the largest park in the city, Branch Brook. The Ironbound’s best park is still under construction, Riverfront Park…
    Furthermore, Forest Hill does not contain public housing, which the Ironbound does.

  5. I would say The Ironbound is the most desirable due to the diversity and for being the conveniently location, starting with Newark Penn Station, walking distance to Prudential Center, walking distance to Redbull stadium in Harrison, the Pulaski Skyway connect the Ironbound to Holland Tunnel and Jersey City in a 10 minutes drive , The Port of Newark, 5 minutes drive to The Newark Airport, Walking distance to Newark City Hall, walking distance to Newark four corners downtown, also the restaurant and bars, more schools , the history of ferry street etc etc

  6. Victor, there’s room for development of all kind in Newark. It creates a stronger tax base, brings in people who will spend their dollars in Newark supporting local businesses and create a safer and more active streetscape which benefits everyone. There’s a lot of development in the neighborhoods as well. Many two and three family new construction have been going up and those rents are lower than these larger downtown/Ironbound buildings while still being good quality housing.

    Insofar as the homeless is concerned, I agree that not enough is being done to support that population. The reasons the residents fought against this particular shelter is because of its proximity to an elementary school and the developers didn’t have a well developed plan for the services they would need to provide to those with mental health issues. There was also a concern of lack of recreational space within the property which would lead to more people just rooming the streets. All valid concerns that, if not addressed, lead to quality of life and safety issues.


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