31-39 Central Avenue. Image via Google Maps.

A year and a half after the artists at a hidden cultural institution in downtown Newark held a farewell party to remember their longtime workplaces, new details were revealed about a plan to bring new development to the property.

Documents and maps recently released by the Newark City Government illustrate the proposed mixed-use project to replace the building that previously housed the 31 central art studios.

31 Central Ave Newark Development Rendering 1Halsey Central, a proposed 10 story development on the corner of Halsey Street and Central Avenue. Rendering by Inglese Architecture + Engineering.

An application filed by HC Owners Urban Renewal, LLC pertains to the 10-story development on the corner of Halsey Street and Central Avenue as Halsey Central. It reads: “Halsey Central has moved from a 100% market price trend on site with retail on the ground floor and offices on the second floor to a mixed income run where approximately 50% of the homes are rated as affordable.”

The application notes that this change caused several adjustments to the construction costs and the design of the project.

31 Central Ave Newark Development Rendering 3Rendered by Inglese Architecture + Engineering.

A revised schematic design study from May 7th by Inglese Architecture + Engineering showed plans for 102 residential units, around 13,750 square meters of retail space on the ground floor, equipment space and a communal terrace on the second floor. There would be a mix of studios, one-bedroom units, two-bedroom units, and three-bedroom units.

31 Central Ave Newark Development Rendering 4Rendered by Inglese Architecture + Engineering.

The study also found that “the purpose of this application is to preserve as many of the original terracotta medallions as possible [from the existing building at the site] as much as possible as a feature element in the new living lobby. “

31 Central Ave Newark Development Rendering 2Image by Inglese Architecture + Engineering.

The application links HC Owners Urban Renewal, LLC to the same address in the village of Larchmont, Westchester County, New York, as L + M Development Partners. L + M is also mentioned in Ingleses study. The developer has been involved in several Newark projects in recent years, including Hahne & Co., Walker House, Georgia King Village, Zion Towers, and 155 Washington Street.

Although the owner Cottage Street Orbit Acquisition, LLC uses an address in Tempe, Arizona, the application includes a signature from company president Ommeed Sathe. Sathe is also an executive on the Impact Investments team at Prudential Financial in Newark. Cottage Street Orbit Acquisition, LLC has been associated with Prudential with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The long-standing two-story building next to the Veterans Administration Building was once used by the Newark LGBTQ Community Center and YouthBuild Newark. Multiple addresses have been assigned to the site, but the application points to 33-39 and 41-43 Central Avenues in the James Street Commons Historic District.

This matter should be heard during a virtual meeting on July 1st by the Newark Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission. However, the agenda of the meeting shows that the request was just received on June 26th.

Jersey Digs broke news almost three years ago that an L + M and Prudential development might be coming on this property near Washington Park. At that point, representatives from both companies declined to publish details of the proposal.

Later, plans for an eight-story, 95-unit, mixed-use project revealed some community members, including artists from 31 Central. The plans for a 10-story building with 71 units, retail and commercial space have been approved by the commission as requested. Later, in 2018, a letter from Cushman & Wakefield mentioned that “plans for the renovation of the building are advanced” and that “demolition of the building should begin no later than December 31, 2018”.

While the development plans have taken several forms in recent years, the project is still not mentioned at all on the L + M website.