Largest Development in Decades Proposed for a Newark Business District

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Mount Prospect Newark Google Maps Street View
Site of proposed development along Mount Prospect Avenue, Newark. Photo via Google Maps/Street View.

Located between the Forest Hill and Woodside neighborhoods, the Mt. Prospect Avenue business district in Newark’s North Ward is currently lined with small businesses, rowhouses, and churches, with few large buildings or structures over three stories tall. This corridor sits a few blocks from the Belleville border and Belleville Park, and is served by bike lanes along with New Jersey Transit buses to Irvington, Downtown Newark, Clifton, and Paterson. However, it has barely seen any new development of the kind that is being constructed further south in the Central and East Wards. That could soon change should a new proposal by two developers be given clearance to move forward.

Coyman View Apartments, LLC and Mt. Prospect Commons, LLC are planning to construct a mixed-use complex at 839-845 and 847-849 Mt. Prospect Avenue, between Coeyman Street and Verona Avenue, according to a legal notice from the City of Newark. Records from the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services show that both companies were registered in 2016 out of Perth Amboy, Middlesex County.

The project is expected to consist of two buildings, each of which would be five stories tall. One of the structures would include 10 residential units on each of the upper four floors with three commercial spaces available for lease on the ground floor, while the other would feature 12 units on each of the top four floors atop one ground floor commercial space. In all, there would be a total of 98 units in both of the buildings.

Currently, the properties include a large one-story garage that has been mostly vacant for over a decade, a driveway, and a two-story building that has contained a variety of restaurants over the years, including Meson Rosa, the Brick City Diner, Havana Restaurant and Cafe, and most recently, Taino’s Kitchen. The garage previously contained the Atlantic Elevator Co., and last summer, a mural with the Puerto Rican flag in the center was painted on the structure.

The proposal is scheduled to go before the Newark Zoning Board of Adjustment during its meeting on Thursday, January 25th at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. The developers are seeking Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval with variances for use, excessive lot coverage, insufficient trees, and excessive lighting.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Seems odd that they would need a use variance for this application. In the C-2 district, retail is permitted on the ground floor, Apartments are permitted above ground floor, and “Ground floor commercial with commercial or residential above” building type is permitted as well. Unless I’m missing something, you’d think this would go before the Planning Board instead.

  2. 98 units ? Are they crazy ? Where will the tenants and business owners park ? The article does not detail that, and there is no available parking space on the street now. home owners and renters are parking on side streets. Why would you want to consolidate so many people into one small space? I hope they send out letters to surrounding home owners. When is the town meeting ?

  3. As North Newark Resident the project is great but not for that area. I personally feel that it will impact local business and residents since parking is limited.

    A correction to the editor, the One Story Garage is NOT VACANT …. In fact Tainos Kitchen has lease and invested a lot of money to repair the promises and expand their business as Tainos Hall. Unfortunately, their permit was decline for Hall as result of Parking even thought between restaurant and Hall is a driveway/parking that allows multiple cars and the location at one point was hall to my understanding.

    In the other hand, Tainos Hall became the HOPE for Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria and the operation headquarters for Tainas Unidas Non-profit organization that delivered & donated over 200,000 lbs of food to Victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. In addition over 200 hundred volunteers contributed time, resources and support to this genuine cause from all over New Jersey.
    Moreover, Tainos Kitchen gives back to the community all year around by investing their resources to the youth, families and those in need in our community. Its known for being a family oriented restaurant, yearly events such as Annual back to School Drive, promoting PR culture, etc.

    Even thought I feel that developement will benefit City of Newark in the long term, it will impact the residents, the quality of living, local small business, and Tainos Kitchen that has become our local business Hero.

    In conclusion, with the existing building located a block away in the process of repair due to fire last year, the situation with parking, the Church next to Tainos, and the impact to local businesses in the area and the look of Neighboorhood, I feel this development should be relocated to different area.

  4. Not to mention that the views from the homes further up in forest hill will be lost due to the height of the building. Can we talk about parking? Really, on average it means that there will be on the low end 98 more cars looking for parking on the high end it could more than double if more than one person lives in a unit. I’m not even going to venture if any of the units have guest stop by.
    There must be spaces to accomidate parking. Maybe underground 2 levels worth.
    Is there also space for children in the local school? It’s not always about knocking down. And replacing without considering these issues. Yes , I want Newark to move forward and we’ve wait a long time for this to happen. Let’s do it right!

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