The first stage of a new multi-phased development project near the border of Newark’s Central and East Wards is reaching the approvals process.
A new mixed-use development has been proposed for 317 and 321-323 Mulberry Street, as well as 58-64 East Kinney Street, at the edge of Downtown Newark just two blocks from the Ironbound neighborhood.
According to a legal notice from the Newark Central Planning Board, the proposal calls for the building to be five-stories tall, and for it to contain a residential lobby, ground floor retail space, and 24 residential units on the upper floors. 16 of the units would contain one bedroom, while the remaining eight would contain three bedrooms. 15 parking spaces would be provided on the premises for residents.
The project developer, ATS Development Group, LLC, which is registered out of a garage on nearby Austin Street, is seeking Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval with variances for insufficient minimum lot size, insufficient minimum lot width, and insufficient parking. Lorrie Sciabarasi of Newark-based Comito Associates, PC, is listed as the project architect and engineer.
ATS was included in How Newark Became Newark: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American City by Brad R. Tuttle, who wrote that “rather than putting the land up for public auction, Newark potentially lost out on millions by quietly steering parcels at dirt-cheap rates to companies such as ATS,” adding that the company acquired 116 City properties with an appraised value of $1.4 million for less than $300,000 between 2001 and 2005.
Tuttle also wrote that “the company’s owner had run an East Ward auto shop and had no experience in housing developments when he suddenly got into the business in 2001,” and that “a partner of ATS happened to be Jackie Mattison, [former Newark Mayor] Sharpe James’s disgraced former chief of staff, who’d gone to jail in 1997 on bribery charges and was released in 2000.”
This property, parts of which were acquired by ATS for $91,193 from the City in 2002, according to NJ Parcels records, contains a single-family home, a vacant lot, and a tract recently used to store used cars. Residents of the new building would be within walking distance of Newark Symphony Hall, Lincoln Park, New Jersey Transit bus service along Broad Street, and Newark Penn Station.
This individual project, known as Mulberry Commons, the same name as the upcoming park near the Prudential Center, appears to be part of a larger plan by Comito Associates called the ‘South Broad Redevelopment.’
According to the firm’s website, the overall proposal calls for three additional buildings at 1098 Broad Street, 77 Sherman Avenue, and a property on Austin Street, known as Broad Street Commons, Sherman Commons, and Austin Commons, respectively. All of the buildings would be five stories tall with ground floor retail space, and would contain 35, 44, and 45 residential units.
The Newark Central Planning Board will hear the Mulberry/East Kinney proposal during its meeting on Monday, July 24th at 6:30pm at City Hall.
This news comes as developer Steven Lenter is seeking to construct a six-story 296,268 square foot building at the site of a parking lot across the street, with 252 residential units, 9,543 square feet of retail space, and 152 parking spaces. That project, which is being designed by The DeRosa Group, PC, will also be heard during the July 24th meeting.