NJ: Transit village, with 4,200 apartments, to replace Newark Bears Stadium

Newark’s skyline is set to get much taller now that the Central Planning Board has approved a massive redevelopment plan to build 11 high-rise towers and 4,200 apartments on the site of Newark Bears Stadium.

The Central Planning Council unanimously approved the nine phases of the CitiSquare project at its December meeting. Accurate Builders & Developers has been given the green light to move forward with Phase I of its project, which calls for the construction of two 18-story towers with 598 residential units and 22,000 square feet of commercial space with easy access to the NJ Transit light rail link.

And that’s just the beginning.

When fully constructed, the Transit Village on the site of the former Bears Stadium on Broad Street will be a cluster of 11 high-rise buildings across from Rutgers Business School and within walking distance of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

“The City of Newark has an incredible vision for this property and we are thrilled to partner with them on this exciting project,” said Jack Klugmann, president and CEO of Accurate Builders & Developers.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka said the project is another huge investment in Newark’s revival.

“The redevelopment of the eight-acre Bears Stadium site is the kind of transformative project that only comes around a few times in a generation,” he said. “Additional housing, space for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and retail facilities bring us closer to our goal of a vital, exciting and 24-hour accessible downtown.”

The plan calls for 4,200 apartments to be spread across three 37-story towers, plus another eight buildings that will be about half that size. There will be 100,000 square feet of retail space and 2,000 underground parking spaces.

The units will be studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments. The developer is required to set aside 200 units as affordable housing, including 30 units produced during Phase I of construction.

Additionally, Accurate has agreed to contribute $15 million to the Newark Affordable Housing Trust Fund and establish a training, retention and apprenticeship program to hire Newark residents.

Baraka said the deal advances his goal of creating more equity for city residents.

“The new construction training and apprenticeship component will open up well-paying union jobs to Newark residents and we will have taken another giant leap forward in our equitable growth strategy,” Baraka said.

Developer and contractor Accurate has completed large-scale apartment and townhouse projects in Linden, Basking Ridge, Parsippany and Little Falls. He is also responsible for The Crossing, a 256-unit transit village in Raritan, and ScenicVue, a 651-unit apartment building on the Hudson River waterfront in Bayonne.

Klugmann said the CitiSquare project will add new energy to downtown Newark. The company hopes to begin construction in the spring.

“CitiSquare will be a vibrant new lifestyle destination that combines community, culture, restaurants, green spaces and a location near public transit,” he said. “Mayor Ras Baraka and Deputy Mayor Allison Ladd deserve tremendous credit for starting this project and we look forward to working alongside them as we create one of New Jersey’s most vibrant new neighborhoods right here in Newark.

The 11-acre site at the intersection of Broad and Division streets has been barren since 2019, when the wrecking ball arrived and demolished Newark Bears Stadium. Built with approximately $34 million in public money, the stadium opened in 1999 and brought minor league baseball back to the city, reminiscent of the Bears, an agricultural club of the New York Yankees, and the Newark Eagles, a Negro League team.

But the Bears struggled to build a fan base and the club closed in 2014. Originally known as Riverfront Stadium, the stadium was renamed Bears and Eagles Stadium and was the home ground of NJIT and Rutgers-Newark.

Manhattan-based developer Lotus Equity Group bought the property from Essex County for $23.5 million in 2016 and initially proposed building a high-rise wooden tower, seen as a more environmentally friendly type of construction. the environment. This project never materialized and Accurate stepped in with its plan for a much larger project.

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Richard Cowen can be contacted at [email protected]

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