Since 1907, the Newark Warehouse Company Building, also known as the Central Graphic Arts Building, has stood near Newark Penn Station and the Prudential Center at 98-126 Edison Place, at the southwestern corner of McCarter Highway/Route 21, in the city’s East Ward. The building, located in the Downtown Core District Redevelopment Area, has largely been vacant in recent years, with the exception of a small gallery inside that hosted this year’s Ironbound Multicultural Festival. Previously, the building was used for commercial purposes by companies like Iron Mountain and Central Paper Company.
In 2014, a company registered out of ParkFast-owner Edison Properties acquired the building for $7 million from the North Caldwell-based Berkowitz Company, according to NJ Parcels.
Last year, two banners were posted outside of the building advertising that six floors of mixed-use space were available for use by arts and entertainment venues, restaurants, retail stores, and business offices. Then, earlier this year, Edison Properties created a website describing its plans for the property, claiming that “we are bringing all of these entities under one roof to foster a healthy, urban vibe in Newark and help the city attract young professionals looking for a ‘cooler’ alternative to Hoboken and Jersey City – with better transportation options”. The website has since been taken down.
Now, we are seeing the first sign of progress on the project from the developer, Newark Warehouse Redeveloper Company, LLC. The company has applied to the Newark Central Planning Board for preliminary and final site plan approval to rehabilitate the building and expand it into a seven-story 456,059 square foot building to be used for office, retail, and commercial purposes, according to a legal notice. The developer is requesting variances in regards to having insufficient street trees and excessive lighting levels, according to board records. Leonard D. Savino P.E. of Parsippany-based Langan Engineering and Environmental Services is registered as the project architect and engineer.
A video posted in October claims that a garden roof deck and a two-story atrium entrance on Edison Place are also planned, and a real estate listing from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank states that office spaces should be available in April 2018.
This is not the first time that redevelopment has been proposed for the building. According to The New York Times, the building’s interior was supposed to be converted into a 1,000-car parking garage and four stories of office space were supposed to be built on top as part of the One Penn Center proposal in 1989.
Today’s Newark Warehouse Company Building is surrounded by private parking lots, but that will change upon completion of the Triangle Park project. When completed, occupants of the building will have a 22-acre urban park at their doorstep, which will include a footbridge over the train tracks, connecting the area with the Ironbound neighborhood.
City spokesperson Cheryl McCants told Jersey Digs that “Triangle Park is still in the early developmental stages”, and that “the City and Newark Community EDC [Economic Development Corporation] are prepping for stakeholder meetings, planning and naming sessions and working on conceptual designs”.
Upon completion of Triangle Park and the Newark Warehouse Company Building project, this underutilized corner of New Jersey’s largest city will likely be bustling with residents, commuters, and tourists, transforming blocks of vacant property into the region’s newest attraction.