One of the most ambitious redevelopments in the history of Downtown Newark has officially been given the green light as a four-building plan can now move forward at a former office property.
During the November 6 meeting of Newark’s Central Planning Board, unanimous approval was granted to bring 2,184 residential units to several lots at 516-532 Broad Street. The land, formerly headquarters to IDT plus a detached parking garage across Atlantic Street, was purchased last year for $49 million by affiliates of Brooklyn-based Sinai Equity Group.
Jersey Digs reported about the planned revitalization over the summer, which has been designed by Fort Lee-based Architectura. Phase one of the project revolves around the existing IDT building, which will expand the high-rise upward to 20 floors.
Five stories of retail will be included in the revamp of the current building, as will 254 residential apartments and a restaurant space on the top floor.
The three new towers that are part of the endeavor will be built on a triangular plot at 20 Atlantic Street. adjacent to the IDT building. An existing parking garage at the location will be demolished, but 1,126 new parking spaces will be created under the plan.
The four towers would stretch all the way east to McCarter Highway and create a “city within a city” on the blocks surrounding the Atlantic Street Station on the Newark Light Rail. The project will comply with the city’s inclusionary zoning law which requires 20% affordable housing, meaning 437 new affordable units will be created by the development.
Amenity spaces for future residents called for in the plans include a fitness center, children’s playroom, game room lounge, business center, conference room, library, and a lounge/event space. Two green roofs are included in the development.
The entirety of the development was granted six variances by the board related to an excessive side yard setback, an insufficient active street front, insufficient shade trees, excessive illumination, and non-conforming illumination in a parking lot. A groundbreaking date for the project has not been announced.
The plan to revamp the IDT lots was approved despite criticism from some in the community that the project will create a “superblock” in Downtown Newark that lacks a pedestrian-friendly landscape and does not blend it with its surroundings.