Development Called ‘The Blvd’ Could Replace Former Newark Bank

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535 541 Mlk Boulevard Newark Rendering
Rendering of The Blvd at 535-541 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Newark. Courtesy of Mid-Atlantic Investment Alliance.

A building in Newark that originally served as a bank could be torn down so that a new development can be constructed.

The Mid-Atlantic Investment Alliance is planning to demolish the old Hamilton Building and Loan Association building at 535-541 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in the Central Ward. The company, which is best known for its recent Lofts at Lincoln Park project on nearby Clinton Avenue, is planning to build a 41-unit mixed-use complex called “The Blvd” on the premises near Arts High School.

“Based on our Lofts experience, we have very high confidence in this upcoming project,” said Victor Baker of the Mid-Atlantic Investment Alliance.

Jersey Digs reported on May 13 that a company associated with the alliance paid $1.55 million for 535-541 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, which has served as the home of Newark Foursquare Church and the Rising Sun Day Care Academy in recent years. Located at the corner of William Street, the property has previously been the subject of a 33-unit residential development proposal and an office and retail plan.

Baker told Jersey Digs over email that additional approvals for The Blvd are pending and that the proposal includes “affordable housing” along with just under 600 square feet of retail space. The retail space could potentially include a venue offering fresh produce or juice.

When asked about the demolition of the existing structure, Baker said that “the building is substantially dilapidated with an internal layout and condition that is not functionable in 2020,” adding that “this site can definitely have a more productive and vibrant use in the community.”

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I hope this project materializes, as these developers are fast developing an admirable track record in the city.
    This property has been abandoned for years. The city needs more market-rate developments though. It currently seems as if every development has a set-aside, which I believe will retard the city’s growth over the long run.
    City leaders, namely Mayor Baraka, need to be more creative and imaginative in terms of providing the best environment for economic growth. The current pattern of non-market-rate housing, the absence of street-level retail in many developments, and a failure to update the city’s zoning regulations, hamper Newark’s ability to realize its full potential. City government needs new leadership, new ideas, new people.

  2. you are correct, inclusionary housings gives the illusion of affordable housing. But in reality th ploy to pander the poor for votes will actually hurt grow and progress as Newark becomes to expensive to build. Larger and more affluent cities can pull this off… but Newark doesnt have that stature to pull this off now

  3. Although I support more housing Downtown, this project will destroy the beautiful and historic bank at this site. The hand-made and 100-year-old limestone carvings on this bank are quite valuable and would be a worthy addition to any new building. It’s a shame to see this history destroyed.

    Demolishing this history is not only shortsighted. It’s also in the developer’s own self-interest to preserve, at least, the historic facade. The building proposed has no history, no vision, and no uniqueness. Newark needs distinctive architecture Downtown that makes possible residents stop and look. This building does no such thing.

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