A site in Newark’s Central Ward that has been used over the years as a marketplace, a milk and juice processing facility, a factory, and a disaster training ground might become home to one of the largest new development projects in the city.
Brandywine Acquisition and Development, LLC is envisioning a complex with close to 1,000 residential units at the Peddlers’ Square properties, which consist of multiple tracts near the corner of Orange and Nesbitt Streets. Under a proposed redevelopment agreement, the Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania-based company is expected to buy these parcels near Newark Broad Street Station through a $7.45 million private sale from Newark’s municipal government.
A parcel could also potentially be acquired from New Jersey Transit while a tax exemption lasting up to 30 years could also be issued.
Few details about the project itself were provided in the scope that was included in the proposed agreement, but what is known is that some “affordable housing” and an “on-site parking garage” are planned.
Once home to a market used by local peddlers, a Borden milk and juice plant, and a housing component factory, in recent years, the site has been used by the Newark Department of Public Safety (DPS) for uses such as training and housing the horses used by the mounted police unit. However, as part of the redevelopment deal with Brandywine, those days are apparently expected to come to an end.
The municipal government has “determined that the public safety facilities need substantial improvement, modernization and expansion in order to efficiently serve the City’s residents and businesses and further, the public safety facilities must be relocated in order to redevelop the Peddlers’ Square city property,” according to the proposed agreement.
These existing public safety operations are expected to move from Peddlers’ Square to the proposed Bergen Street Police and Fire Training Academy, which could be built by Brandywine near the DPS headquarters in Clinton Hill.
Jersey Digs broke the news nearly three years ago that redevelopment was being considered for the Peddlers’ Square site, though the concept in 2017 involved possibly constructing a big-box store, mini-mall, and between 300 and 600 units.
At the time, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said that “there are two different developers that I would not like to talk about who are trying to get that property, and it should be developed soon,” adding that “I know it’s going to be residential and commercial space as connected to the Baxter Terrace project over there.”
Located across the block from the Peddlers’ Square properties, the Baxter Terrace site at 180-248 Orange Street was previously home to a massive public housing complex before the buildings on the premises were demolished close to a decade ago. Much of the site has remained vacant ever since, but the proposed redevelopment agreement states that a concept plan submitted by Brandywine calls for a “redevelopment of Baxter Terrace [that] may include commercial and retail components and other amenities and features.”
However, the Peddlers’ Square redevelopment is reportedly “not dependent on the redevelopment of Baxter Terrace” and Brandywine is expected to enter into a separate agreement with the Newark Housing Authority in order to move forward with the latter project.
A resolution calling for the execution of the proposed Peddlers’ Square redevelopment agreement with Brandywine along with both a resolution and an ordinance involving the Bergen Street Police and Fire Training Academy are all on the agenda for the Newark Municipal Council’s meeting this Wednesday, May 6 at 12:30 p.m. The agenda states that the meeting is still scheduled to take place in the Council Chamber.
Note to readers: The dates that matters are scheduled to be discussed by the Newark Municipal Council and other governing bodies are subject to change.