Tax Abatement Possible for Upcoming 403-Unit Development in Newark’s Ironbound

55 Union Development Newark 3
A tax abatement could be granted to the 55 Union development in Newark. Photo by Jared Kofsky/Jersey Digs.

More than four years after a company first proposed replacing a private parking lot in Newark’s Ironbound section with a 12-story development, a lengthy tax abatement could be granted as part of the project.

An ordinance was introduced by the Newark Municipal Council on June 2 involving the 55 Union development that is in the works for 51-57 Union Street and 28-50 McWhorter Street in the East Ward.

The proposed legislation calls for giving a 25-year tax abatement to Roseland-based 28 McWhorter St Urban Renewal, LLC in connection with the mixed-use building, which is expected to include “403 market rate rental units, 3,222 square feet of retail space, 196 parking spaces and other amenities,” according to a public notice from City Clerk Kenneth Louis.

As part of the ordinance, the firm would have to pay an annual service charge.

Like many tax abatement ordinances, this one notes that “the Municipal Council has determined … that the relative benefits of this project outweigh any costs associated with this proposed tax abatement and that without the tax abatement granted herein, the project would not be undertaken.”

However, preliminary work on the project appears to be already underway, with building equipment scattered throughout the premises and construction beginning on what looks like the base of the development. Fencing currently surrounds much of the project site, causing sidewalk closures nearby and leaving few visible traces of the former parking lot.

The notice says that the ordinance will be up for final passage during a special meeting on Tuesday, June 22, at 10:00 a.m.

Jersey Digs first reported on this project back in 2017 when it was a 384-unit proposal.

At the time, high-rise buildings of this sort were not permitted in the zone that these properties fall within. Despite opposition by some local groups such as the Ironbound Community Corporation, the City of Newark subsequently introduced Mixed-Use 3 zoning, or MX-3, to the neighborhood, allowing for taller buildings to be constructed on parcels such as these.

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.

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