One of Newark’s four major colleges is joining forces with a local agency and a developer in order to increase its presence in the city’s University Heights neighborhood.
During its meeting at 6:30pm at City Hall tonight, the Newark Central Planning Board will hear two applications for Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval with variances regarding a proposed new development by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), the Newark Housing Authority (NHA), and Claremont Properties, in the Central Ward. The applications were filed by Stephen R. Sciaretta of CP-Lock Street, LLC and Claremont Properties, a Far Hills, Somerset County-based group that also goes by Claremont Companies. The properties in question, which include 209-221 Central Avenue, 11-21 Hoyt Street, 64-68 Sussex Avenue, and 20-22 Lock Street, are located just across the street from the William S. Guttenberg Information Technologies Center on NJIT’s main campus.
Currently, the tracts contain a parking lot and multiple industrial buildings, but according to legal notices, these structures are set to be removed. In their place, the notices state that there are plans for a new five-story mixed-use development that would include retail and office space, as well as a six-story parking garage that would have 430 spaces within. 107 of the parking spots would be reserved for the new building, but the remainder would be “non-public private parking,” according to the notice.
Claremont has been involved in several projects in Newark over the decades, according to the company’s website, including the renovation of Symphony Hall, Montgomery Heights, and the Essex County College parking garage.
However, this is not the only project that NJIT, NHA, and Claremont are planning in this area. Plans were revealed in the winter for a new “mixed-use project consisting of office space, collegiate space, retail, [and] parking” for 17 tracts just across Lock Street from these properties at 243-245 Central Avenue. The Newark Municipal Council adopted a resolution in January to sell the properties, which include NJIT faculty parking lots and a facility used by the Newark Department of Water and Sewer Utilities’ divisions of water supply and sewers, to Claremont for $2.794 million. The funding was largely required to be given to Newark’s Redevelopment Acquisition Dedicated Trust Fund, though 10% was to be put in the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
NJIT records show that the Institute’s Board of Trustees approved a land exchange with Claremont on July 20th, in which it gave away 20-22 and 27 Lock Street in exchange for 13-15 and 19 Lock Street.
The draft for the NHA’s 2018 Annual Plan calls the latter project ‘Claremont at Central Ave.’, and states that the project would award 22 residential units to the authority. A certificate of occupancy is slated to be issued in December 2018. The report also mentions that the NHA “intends to apply for disposition approval to develop a potential office space complex” at the site of a warehouse along Lock Street near Baxter Park.
Plus, the NJIT Board of Trustees also approved a proposed public-private partnership with Claremont during its July 20th meeting in order to acquire the building at 200-214 Warren Street from the NHA. The structure used to contain the Warren Street Elementary School and American History High School. Records from NJIT show that the Institute partnered with Claremont because the NHA required purchasers of former schools to acquire at least two buildings, and NJIT only needed this one. However, Claremont was also buying the former Burnet Street School and another property, according to the resolution, and agreed to buy the Warren Street building as well in order to demolish and sell it for $4.5 million to NJIT. Subsequently, NJIT and Claremont will construct a mixed-use development on the premises, which could include the school’s Enterprise Development Center.