Plans are moving forward for a new parking, office, and commercial facility in Downtown Newark.
The Newark Parking Authority (NPA) is planning to construct the complex at 47-63 Green Street, a lot that stretches south along Mulberry Street to Franklin Street in the East Ward’s Living Downtown Redevelopment Plan Area. According to a legal notice from July 2016, it is slated to be a mixed-use structure that would include a garage with over 640 parking spaces and ground floor retail space. Plus, the Mulberry Street side would contain the new headquarters of the NPA, along with a municipal court and office. The NPA is currently based within the Robert Treat Center near Military Park, and the Newark Municipal Court is situated next door to the property at 31 Green Street.
The tract, which is located just steps from Newark City Hall, the Newark City Hall Annex, and the historic United States Post Office and Courthouse, currently contains a surface parking lot. A large abandoned structure used to be located in the middle of the lot, but it was torn down several years ago.
As part of the project, there are plans for the City of Newark, which owns the property, to sell it to the NPA for $1. The ordinance that if passed by the Newark Municipal Council, would authorize the sale, states that “the City has determined that the remediation and redevelopment of the property along the lines of the proposal will not only contribute to the reinvigoration of the City but also provide the City with a public benefit.” It also mentions that half of the parking spaces would be reserved during work hours for City employees at no cost to them or to the City, except while events are taking place at the nearby Prudential Center.
Variances regarding insufficient ground floor height, lack of stairway bulkhead on the street, insufficient active ground floor level uses, and permitting ground floor office use was unanimously approved with conditions by the Newark Zoning Board of Adjustment in July 2016, according to city records, which also show the the authority agreed to comply with directives from the City’s Department of Engineering and the Division of Water and Sewer Utilities. The records state that public parking and offices in the building’s lobby were prohibited under the redevelopment plan.
Todd Helmer is listed as the project architect, while Brian Grant and Duane Nelson are listed as the project engineers.