In Newark, this ugly surface parking lot will soon be a revitalizing new transit-oriented mixed use building with affordable housing

On September 13, 2023, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board approved tax credits for an additional residential project in Newark, New Jersey under its Aspire Program.

The new, 14-story, mixed-use building will replace an ugly surface parking lot at 81-93 Orange Street, which is across the street from New Jersey Transit’s Broad Street Station.

The project was approved for up to $90 million in tax credits, which represents 60 percent of eligible project costs of $150 million.

Aspire is a place-based economic development program created under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA) to support mixed-use, transit-oriented development with tax credits to commercial and residential real estate development projects that have financing gaps. All residential Aspire projects must include at least 20 percent affordable housing.

To date, the Board has now approved a total of $273.9 million in Aspire awards for residential projects, creating 1368 housing units – 898, or 60 percent, of which will be affordable.

When we created the Aspire Program, it was with the intention of facilitating greater investment in our communities and breathing new life into underutilized spaces,” said Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex).

This project will do just that, taking a parking lot and using it to spur economic development. The site will still offer parking, but will also help with housing shortages, providing market rate and affordable units, in addition to retail space, all within walking distance to a major transit station,” she continued.

In Newark, three residential projects have been approved for Aspire awards, creating 626 units, of which 206 will be affordable.

The Aspire Program aims to expand housing options, increase affordability, and create stronger communities,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan.

Transit-oriented development is an integral part of Governor Murphy’s mission to revitalize neighborhoods and is a key focus of the Aspire Program. The proximity of today’s project to NJ TRANSIT’s Broad Street Station and the city’s downtown makes it ideal for families, commuters, and students and will help create a more prosperous Newark,” he added.

The 14-story high-rise, which will replace a surface parking lot, will be comprised of 350 residential units, 8500 square feet of retail space, and a commercial parking garage.

The units will be a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Seventy units will be reserved as affordable units, while the remaining will be market rate.

Residents of 81-93 Orange Street will be able to enjoy a pool, health club, spa, work from home space, and electric vehicle charging stations. The project is strategically located across the street from Newark’s Broad Street Station, giving residents access to NJ TRANSIT train and bus service and the Newark Light Rail.

This Aspire award helps realize Newark’s Transit Village strategy for building mixed-use developments combining high quality affordable and market housing with retail and commercial space. The Broad Street Station will anchor a vibrant neighborhood and vital transportation hub,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka.

This is the kind of project that helps realize the dreams of residents to remain in the city they love, and improve their quality of life. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s $90 million in tax credits is critical to making this development affordable to Newark residents. All of Newark is grateful for NJEDA’s commitment to our city’s well-being and growth,” he concluded.

In line with Governor Murphy and the NJEDA’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and transparency, the Aspire program rules include provisions, such as a gap financing review and excess revenue sharing requirements, to ensure tax credits are awarded responsibly.

Photo via Google Maps.

See the Aspire program application with rules, eligibility requirements, award sizes, and other information.

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