A unique proposal could bring significant changes to a longstanding three-story building just south of Market Street in Downtown Newark.
272 Washington, LLC recently filed an application with the City of Newark that calls for rehabilitating the old Metropolitan Building at 260 Washington Street and constructing a 15-story addition. The developer’s application indicates that if completed, this 18-story high-rise would include 167 residential units, five ground floor retail and cafe spaces, and an amenity space on the third floor.
Multiple parcels are covered in the application, including 260-266, 268, and 272 Washington Street. Site plans from Brick Studios that were released by Newark’s municipal government illustrate that the development would occupy the northeast corner of Washington Street and Branford Place.
One bedroom would be included in 100 of the apartments while the remaining 67 would contain two bedrooms, according to the site plans.
The application shows that 272 Washington, LLC is registered out of 87 Halsey Street, which is also home to the Hanini Group. The document also includes a hanini.com email address. As Jersey Digs reported in March, firms associated with the same address on Halsey Street as the Hanini Group have acquired a number of properties recently in the neighborhood.
A form from 2000 that was posted by the National Park Service said that the Metropolitan Building dates back to 1895 and described the “elaborate centralized main door” as “the most significant remaining feature of the original ground floor facade.” The word “Metropolitan” can still be found on the facade.
In recent years, the ground floor building has been home to Loly & Sister Unisex Salon, African and Islamic Cultural Boutique, and Kebab House, while neighboring properties that are referenced in the application have included Style 268, Miller’s Cafe, and Vinny Italian Gourmet.
The agenda for the July 1 meeting of the Newark Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission shows that this proposal was one of three major applications that had just been received on June 26, but there had been no publicity regarding these plans until now. Jersey Digs reached out to the municipal government over the weekend to find out whether the project was approved, but our request has not yet been returned.
The proposed development is situated near the RBH Group’s proposed 14-story development and has similarities to what was originally envisioned for the 50 Rector Park project, also known as the first “Shaq Tower.” 50 Rector Park was expected to be built atop the former Science High School, but those plans never came to fruition. The old school ended up being demolished and the high-rise development was constructed from the ground up.