12-Story Ironbound Development Proposal up for Approvals in Newark

117 119 Bruen Street Newark
Site of proposed development: 117-119 Bruen Street, Newark. Photo via Google Maps/Street View.

A recent proposal by a developer could lead to a multi-family building towering over part of Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood.

The 12-story development is being planned for 117 and 119 Bruen Street at the corner of Elm Street in the East Ward. A public notice issued late last month by John Scerbo of 117-119 Bruen St., LLC shows that if approved and ultimately built, the building would consist of 55 units. In order to construct the proposed development, the existing four-story apartment buildings on the premises would be demolished.

Located just under half a mile from Newark Penn Station, the two tracts were acquired nearly four years ago for a total of approximately $1 million. The current owner of the properties is registered out of the same Avenue P address as the Daybreak Express shipping company, the vice president of which is also named John Scerbo.

The application by 117-119 Bruen St., LLC comes amid other recent high-rise development plans in the East Ward, including proposals for an 11-story building at 50-56 Bruen Street and 59-65 McWhorter Street along with a 12-story building at the site of a parking lot at 28-50 McWhorter Street, 51-57 Union Street, and 108 Hamilton Street. However, this proposal differs from the other two applications since 117 and 119 Bruen Street do not fall within the new MX-3 zone, which now allows for taller mixed-use buildings to be constructed in parts of the Ironbound closer to Newark Penn Station.

Instead, the Bruen Street tracts are within the neighboring MX-1 zone, prompting the developer to seek a height variance from the Newark Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) along with Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval and additional variances such as density, insufficient parking, and insufficient lot area.

The matter is scheduled to be heard by the ZBA during its meeting on Thursday, October 10, at 7:00 p.m.

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. This looks like a great project. I hope that Newark approves it. If the current owner is not the developer they should consider doing a 1031 exchange to not pay tax on the gain.


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