The latest plan to bring one of the largest mixed-use complexes in Essex County history to the old Newark Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium and Lincoln Motel sites can now proceed.
May Newark Urban Renewal, LLC, a company from Ocean County that is associated with Accurate Builders & Developers, has been granted preliminary and final major site plan approval for the initial phase of the CitiSquare complex by the Newark Central Planning Board.
The proposed development’s remaining eight phases were also given preliminary major site plan approval.
Dan Burns, a spokesperson for the developer, said that a groundbreaking for CitiSquare is expected to take place this spring, but an estimated completion date has not yet been determined.
As Jersey Digs reported in December, CitiSquare is slated to include 11 high-rise towers that would range in height from 18 to 37 stories. The first phase calls for two 18-story structures.
This Ian Bader Architects-designed project would bring 4,200 apartments, around 100,000 square feet of commercial space, and almost 2,000 parking spaces between Newark Broad Street Station and the Passaic River if finished in its entirety.
Although Newark Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance requires developments of this sort to be 20 percent “affordable,” a December municipal staff report noted that “the applicant is proposing to have 5% of the units in the development be affordable.”
A website regarding CitiSquare that was recently launched by the developer says that a $21 million payment “toward the city’s affordable housing” would be made and that 200 “affordable” units would be included on the premises.
The plans for CitiSquare take the place of those that were previously announced by an affiliate of Lotus Equity Group for a complex called Riverfront Square that would have included more than two million square feet of office and commercial space, a hotel, a performance venue, and more than 2,500 residential units.
Despite the sale of the site, the ballpark being torn down, the previous developer receiving key municipal approvals, and a public relations campaign, construction on Riverfront Square’s buildings never began.