Plans Advance on Development of Former Newark Bears Stadium Site

A digital rendering of what the new site will look like under May Newark LLC's proposal.

NEWARK, NJ – Plans to turn the former Newark Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium site into a thriving hub for residential, retail and small business spaces are beginning to make headway under its new developer. 

Just one month after the Newark City Council amended a redevelopment agreement for May Newark LLC, an affiliate of Accurate Builders and Developers, to head the project, the new developer has completed the purchase of the property and released its initial plans for the site. 

The plan calls for the construction of a mixed-use development to be built in nine phases. It will consist of approximately 4,200 residential units; 200 affordable units; up to 3,000 parking spaces; at least 100,000-square-feet of hospitality/destination retail; co-working space for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers; and publicly accessible green space.

“The redevelopment of the eight-acre Bears Stadium site is the kind of transformative project that comes along only a few times in a generation,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said. “The additional housing, space for entrepreneurs and small businesses plus retail gets us closer to our goal of a vital, exciting, walkable 24-hour downtown. Additionally, the new construction training and apprenticeship component will open up well-paying union jobs for Newark residents and we will have made another giant step forward in our equitable growth strategy.”

“We are extremely excited to partner with the city of Newark to create the ultimate lifestyle destination within the largest city in New Jersey,” Accurate Builders and Developers CEO Jack Klugmann said.  “We greatly appreciate the trust the city has put in us and we look forward to continue working closely with the Mayor and his team, as their efforts thus far have been the driving force, assisting in bringing this transformative project to fruition.”

The new development will be built under the city’s Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, which officials said will help accelerate the development of equitable economic and housing development as Newark recovers from COVID-19.

The original redeveloper, LEG 450 Broad Street LLC, proposed to construct a mixed-use development on and adjacent to the site, consisting of up to 2,526 residential units, 130,000 square feet of retail, 2 million square feet of office space, 48 live/work units and 3,300 parking spaces. 

After LEG completed the demolition of the prior improvements on the property, May entered into a purchase and sale agreement with LEG to take over the project. According to the resolution, the city determined that May, a Lakewood-based developer, possessed the proper qualifications, financial resources, and capacity to implement and complete the project. 

The project will now incorporate 5% of the units in on-site affordable housing and a $15 million payment to the City Affordable Housing Trust Fund to produce new housing in neighborhoods outside of downtown.

The project will also aim to create more opportunities for workforce development with Newark residents. The developer is planned to have meetings with local unions and implement a 10% required prevailing wage for construction costs, Deputy Mayor and Director of the Newark Department of Economic and Housing Development Allison Ladd said during an April meeting. 

The developer is planned to invest $300,000 per each of the nine phases for workforce development and training for residents. 

“We know that our unions do great work in our city, and we need them to continue to help fight for good wages in our city,” Ladd said during the meeting. “At the same time, we know we want Newarkers to be part of the equitable and economic growth here in our city.” 

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-05-27 02:03:47 -0700