Documents published by the Newark Housing Authority (NHA) in November 2016 show that a mixed-use project is coming to the former New Horizons site, located at the corner of Irvine Turner Boulevard and Muhammad Ali Avenue in the Springfield/Belmont neighborhood of Newark’s Central Ward. The proposal includes a family rental housing phase with 89 Low Income Housing Tax Credit residential units and approximately 5,000 square feet of first floor commercial space, which could be used as offices, a restaurant, or a facility providing assisted living services.
The project is set to be developed by Michaels Development Company of Marlton, Burlington County, which is responsible for several similar projects across the state, including Newark’s Harrison Park Square, which opened in 2015 at the site of the Douglass-Harrison Homes on Spruce Street
According to the NHA documents, the owner of the New Horizons Phase I site “will be a low-income housing tax credit partnership or company, and affiliates of the authority and developer will have an ownership interest therein”.
NHA Executive Director Keith Kinard, or his designee, is authorized to make a construction/permanent loan of approximately $325,000 in the form of a seller take-back note to the owner of the project, to make available a commitment of a combination of replacement housing factor funds and capital grant funds of around $8,798,296 for financing construction and related expenses, and to make predevelopment loans.
In addition, the NHA Board of Commissioners also voted in November to allow Kinard or his designee to apply to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for tax credits for the project as part of the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Program, and to apply for construction and permanent mortgage financing from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.
In the past decade, public housing complexes across the City of Newark have been demolished, and more, including the Terrell Homes in the East Ward, could soon close. The complexes led to Newark being dubbed the Brick City, but today, many have either been replaced with new structures or are awaiting development. A new 154-unit mixed-use development called Montgomery Heights II is planned for the site of Brick Towers at 685-718 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, but across town, although a small area is now the site of the Baxter Park Apartment, most of the property that previously contained the former Baxter Terrace housing projects remains a vacant lot.