NEWARK, NJ – A plan to remediate 3.28 acres of urban land in Newark’s western borough has taken a giant step forward, officials said Wednesday.

The properties near West Side High School will be developed under the Fairmount Commons Redevelopment Plan and converted into affordable housing, public parks and retail space, Newark officials said.

Two teams have been selected to lead the effort, officials reported:

  • The first of the selected teams is a partnership between RPM, an affordable housing company in New Jersey, and the Essex County Urban League (ULEC), a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) active in the Fairmount Heights community
  • The second team consists of MCI Development Inc., a local, minority-run development company that works with Richman Affordable Housing Corporation, a national affordable property developer

According to city officials:

“The redevelopment area, which consists of two blocks in the Fairmount Heights neighborhood in the West Ward between South Orange Avenue and 13th Avenue, from South 11th Street to West Side High School and Fairmount Cemetery, is a collection of lots and lots in the City Ownership The Fairmount Commons Redevelopment Plan was completed in the fall of 2019 with volunteer support from the Bloomberg Associates urban planning team and Interboro Partners urban planning and architecture team. At the local level, residents, businesses and institutions in the neighborhood, including West Side High School, make important contributions in drawing up the redevelopment plan to ensure that the redevelopment of the area meets the needs of the community.

The main features of the project include:

  • Total investment of USD 60 million in the redevelopment area
  • Conversion of 42 vacant lots into city property into mostly affordable housing
  • Three lots next to West Side High and South Orange Avenue to be used as a public park improve community interaction and accessibility within the area
  • Additional retail space on the first floor along 13th Avenue and 11th Street

Newark officials said the project will have several community benefits:

“The redevelopment project will bring an exciting reinvestment in an area that has been neglected for decades and will revitalize the business corridor of South Orange Avenue. It will create a safe, livable, affordable and sustainable neighborhood with new one-, two- and three-family homes for local home ownership promote.” mixed-use buildings with a variety of local retail and commercial space to attract industry, key educational and recreational facilities such as a 7,985-square-foot early childhood development center, open green spaces and street landscapes that enhance the neighborhood’s natural assets and showcase restoration and strengthening of the neighborhood traditional three-family apartment blocks by increasing housing density while incorporating educational resources that take advantage of proximity to the West Side High School community program and use land more productively while maintaining the feel of the surrounding neighborhood. “

It will also create more affordable housing in the area for renters and owners, city officials said:

“The redevelopment project will create affordable home ownership by building 28 three-family homes targeting low to middle income families within 65 to 75 percent of the area’s median income. The project will also increase the region’s affordable rental housing stock with three medium-sized apartments.” Multi-story, mixed-use buildings consisting of 142 residential units – approximately 50 percent of which will be affordable with 30 to 80 percent coverage from AMI – as well as more than 15,000 square feet of commercial space, including the aforementioned 7,985 square feet of early childhood development center. These three medium-sized buildings will be located along South Orange Avenue (Location A), South 12th Street (Location D) and South 11th Street (Location A1). “

A map of the redevelopment area is shown below.

– City of Newark (@CityofNewarkNJ) March 3, 2021

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