Lengthy Tax Abatement Possible for ‘Affordable’ Newark Residential and Medical Project

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4 70 Littleton Avenue Newark Develoment Rendering
Rendering of the proposed project at 4-70 Littleton Avenue in Newark. Image courtesy of Inglese Architecture + Engineering.

A unique plan for a development that is slated to bring additional residential and medical uses to Newark’s Fairmount neighborhood could receive a tax abatement lasting longer than three decades.


The Newark Municipal Council is scheduled to vote during its meeting on Wednesday, March 17, at 12:30 p.m. on whether to grant final passage to an ordinance involving a proposed financial agreement for the six-story building that is envisioned for the corner of West Market Street and Littleton Avenue, according to a public notice.

A copy of the pending ordinance that was included in the notice states that West Market Owners, LLC, which has the same address in Westchester County, New York, as L+M Development Partners, is seeking a 35-year long-term tax exemption for the project at 4-22 Littleton Avenue. There would reportedly be an annual service charge relating to five percent of the project’s annual gross revenue.

Like other pieces of legislation involving development projects, this proposed ordinance states in part that “the Municipal Council has determined that the relative benefits of this project outweigh any costs associated with this tax exemption and that without the tax abatement granted herein, the project would not be undertaken.”

As Jersey Digs first reported in advance of a November 2020 meeting of the Newark Central Planning Board, the building in question is expected to include 78 residential units and an 8,000-square-foot medical center should it be built as planned near Georgia King Village.

The proposed ordinance indicates that all the residential units would be “affordable housing” rentals with income restrictions, with around 16 of the units being reserved for “residents with special needs.” The building’s healthcare center is “proposed to be initially tenanted or operated by Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (University Hospital),” the document adds.

Note to readers: The dates that matters are scheduled to be discussed by the Newark Municipal Council and other governing bodies are subject to change.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. This proposal engenders mixed emotions for me. I’m of the opinion that if urban planning is done in a responsible, thoughtful, logic-based way, it can be an impetus for economic and social growth.
    There seems to be 2 schools of thought on the best way to approach redevelopment in Newark. The first approach, championed by this Administration, seems to be rooted in the belief that one can impose development strictures on investments, in the form of housing set-asides, irrespective of market forces. The problem with this approach is that it then gives developers a reason to request PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes), in order to protect their margins. While I believe there is a place for agreements like these, I don’t believe that it should be the template for Newark’s development. That being said, given that L&M Development also owns Georgia King Village, which sits on an adjoining property, it gives the City some leverage. The townhouses that make up half of the property, need to be demolished, as they’ve become a hornets nest of crime and filth. Their replacement as a condition for the approval of the PILOT, seems fair.
    I believe the best way forward for Newark, would be an approach that builds upon market forces to create vibrant, economically-diverse, culturally-rich neighborhoods. The ensuing revenue generated by this growth, would then pay for social services required by the less fortunate. This approach will allow Newark to redevelop around a diverse tax base, increase the city’s ratables, grow its population and provide constituent services on its own, without the need of state aid.
    I think a better idea than this medical center, would be to fashion a medical village/district, in the model of Houston’s Texas Medical Center, with University Hospital & Rutgers Medical School as the anchor tenants. It could be a healthcare incubator, used to attract the best medical institutions and brightest talent. Similar to the State’s Transit Village program, housing for medical professionals, retail/dining options and commercial space would round out the development.
    Newark is on the cusp of a return to greatness. It is the purview of City leadership to ensure that she is best positioned to capitalize on this opportunity.

  2. After observing this week’s central planing board meeting, it is evident that the low income lobby is ingrained deep within the city’s leadership. Notably, the first approach outlined above is a central dogma ascribed to many key decsion makers. That is, they believe that government has a duty to control market forces and shape housing market to its own ends. One might argue that such a task is noble. I might agree with that until i’m reminded of the widespread corruption, incompetance and disrespect many city agencies have imposed on its citizenry within the city of Newark. Newark doesnt have the intellectual or financial capital to achieve the endeavor it seeks. Only Private ingenuity can achieve those goals. Highly technical and educated countries such as China or Russia have failed miserably in pushing central planning of market economies. Does Newark think it has greater planning capacity than the Soviet Union. Or does Newark think the private sector, you know: the home builders, the investors, the job creators are foolish enough to go along with “equitable growth” without resistance. And they should resist. Hell, there is even a current court case docketed in which developers are clearly fed up with Newark’s redistributionist and entitled mentality. Newark has to form partnerships with the Private industry at the lead, not the inverse.

    In that Central Board Meeting, the board had to be verbally reminded , that it is not within it authority to deny an application because it doesnt set aside specfications for “Inclusionary Housing”, rather 1) the Ordinance language allows for certain exemptions,waivers granted by Newark . 2) Tax abatement applications are within the purview of the City Council, not the central planning board. Thats not all. Newark Virtue Signalers continue to call for more “meetings”, onsite LI housing and Tax abatement. Meetings about what exactly? i tell myself, the plans are public, there have been meetings before-what else is there to talk about.

    Onsite LI housing is just code for they want certain people to be able to live in those fancy buildings even if they(nor the developer) cannot afford it and management cannot give them discounted rent respectively .

    Tax abatements takes a burden of property taxes(Highest in the Country) so developers can see a return after all the bills are paid. Newarkers have 401ks,pensions, play lotto,play numbers, have savings and are involved in many things for which they require a return. So Why is so hard for Newarks virtuous class to understand that developers are seeking a return on thier construction.

    The city still gets money in lieu of taxes(PILOT). Sooo many Newarkers either have a willfull or accidental ignorance of building- ITS NOT FREE!!!!.Building new housing is expensive/labor intensive and the state of Nj and its munipalities dont make it affordable without the right rents or right tax break.

    Again , soo many Newarkers are ignorant in the concept of rents. A developer cannot charge any rent on some hipster fatcat so the ghetto class can get subsized rents. A developer can ONLY CHARGE RENTS THE MARKET WILL BARE. Lesson 3- WOULD YOU RATHER LEAVE THE LOT EMPTY AND NOT DEVELOPED WITH NO REVENUE GENERATION FOR THE CITY? Lesson 4- Did you virtue signaling brain think about all the BLACK AND LATINO BUSINESS OWNERS THAT CAN SERVE THAT NEW DEVELOPMENT. Lesson 5 did you self righteous mind know how many improved amenties such a development would draw for the current residents of Newark- Im sure they are tired of chicken spots and bars/ that close at 10pm in that area .

    Luckily that project was approved with the help of a saavy attorney who just happens to look and speak just like Newarker. Weequahic Fights Back is spot on this current paradigm. We must ensure that Newark doesnt get in the way of Newark.

  3. @Central Ward Warrior.
    You mean the bigger Halo was approved?

    I’m a lifelong Newarker & remember all the stupidities over 8 years ago when a developer wanted to build a three-story apartment building at the old paskins site on Broadway and Bloomfield place with sidewalk retail.
    I couldn’t believe the BS I was hearing. Some complained about parking, all others complain about the population growing play me the Area already congested. You had the local Communists saying that the project should be denied because it was not for us, but for “The Outsiders”.
    I came to call this group The ghetto Lobby.

    All they want to see in Newark is low income housing.

    it was quite amusing to see people it was quite amusing to see people who have known all my it was quite amusing to see people who have known all my life to it was quite amusing to see the same people who I’ve known to trash Newark suddenly claim they were being “forced out”.

    I agree Newark is it not New York City or Philadelphia. Heck, it’s not even Boston even thought one point it almost had half a million people in 1950. Newark is in no position to tell developers what they can and can’t do and try to coerced them with low income requirements I will break the projects.

    By the way, now that riverfront stadium is gone, so are all the signs and renderings advertising the future Riverfront Square. I guess Newark got Fooled Again.

    I may be wrong, but I suspect the Lotus never had any intention of building that dream development. It was all a ruse to convince Newark to sell them the stadium demolish it & land bank to sell land at a higher value.

    “Worlds highest pure timber office building” ….ok. Would’ve been worlds first towering inferno.

  4. Absolutely, this ghetto centric low income, entitlement BS has to go. That’s all this administration is concerned about, Baraka has his family and friends on the city payroll earning six figure incomes, Newark should start taking lessons from Jersey City. The inclusionary thing is not profitable to developers and they will build elsewhere because of it. Enough low income, Section 8, public housing. Do not dictate to the private sector developers about who can or cannot live at their residential developments. They will avoid the city because of it. The city can not remain a city for the poor. I agree with the last three commenters. Don’t interfere with the private sector developers. I think a little gentrification would do Newark good. Get rid of all of the urban blight, enough hair and nail and fried chicken establishments. Leave the developers alone with this 20% affordable nonsense, it is not profitable to undertake projects in the city because of it. Let the free market do what it chooses.

  5. Yes, landbankers just like the Berger Organization and Yankel Tauber of Ramsey NJ who owns the old Griffith building, (607 Broad St, next to the Hahne complex) as well as other properties in Newark. The sign in front has been there for three years talking about developing it into residential use. They will never do anything with that building but wait until it’s the “right” time to sell it and make a nice profit. They do no maintenance whatsoever on the building but install cheap windows for show purposes, if you know what I mean. The scaffolding in front is in bad shape, the lights don’t work under the scaffolding, they did work for a few weeks when it was put up but they cut electricity off to the property, the city code enforcement is overwhelmed and understaffed.

  6. These government officials have no shame on thier six figure compensation. How does the mayor of Newark make more money than the Governor. How does a council member make more than a state legislator. That tells me that there is too much government profiteering on the local level. It would’nt be soo bad if that compensation translated into net postive outcomes for the people of Newark. Yet so many in the city remain low income and poor while incompetant government employees feed of thier own constituents. Anybody have any problems with plowing or garbage pickup. How does a city this large have such incompetance. How can they choose to pay teachers to stay home and teach “gym” online, yet not invest in a professional sanitation force. But these bureacrats dont care, most of them never ran business and never in thier adult lives had a job outside government or academia.

    Landbanking is indeed problematic for the people of Newark. There are apparently firms, whom sole purpose is to draft up development plans, get approvals, jump through all the tax and regulatory hoops for the sole purpose for marketing it a potiential investor, These firms seem to have no intention of financing contruction themselves, rather they function as speculative “land scouts” to investment entities . This is a a complex form a land banking by churning up unrealistic plans which could bid up the price of land.

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