Courtesy of the Newark Planning Department / THE REVIEW
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The Newark City Planning Commission recommended the approval of a six-story, mixed-use complex. The building is to be constructed at the corner of 141 East Main Street and 19 Haines Street. The property extends to Delaware Avenue.
The proposal was accepted with three or two votes at a meeting of the virtual planning committee on Tuesday, December 1st.
The 17,540-square-foot lot is currently inhabited by Del-One Federal Credit Union, Duck Donuts, Starbucks, and Simon Eye Associates. The complex is expected to consist of retail stores, 60 two-bedroom apartments and a four-story parking garage with 221 parking spaces.
Each apartment can consist of up to four independent tenants or a family, according to employee reports.
The proposed complex was originally supposed to consist of 94 units in total. This number was later reduced to the current number of 60 two-bedroom apartments, as the original proposal was 33 units above the 61 unit density formally required by the city. The project is currently also subject to an 84-digit parking waiver.
The building is said to be 78 feet tall and would make it one of Newark’s tallest buildings if approved.
A date has not been set for the city council to rule on the matter, but officials point out the upcoming New Year as a time when it could happen.
Newark Mayor Jerry Clifton hopes the council can vote on the project by winter. Clifton, who is tasked with setting agendas for Council meetings, sees problems that could stand in the way of a Council vote early next year.
According to Clifton, the schedule for council meetings will fill up from now until the start of the election cycle next year. As soon as the cycle starts at the end of March, the council meetings will be suspended until the end of April.
“It would be nice to get it before winter is over, but I can’t necessarily guarantee it,” said Clifton. “If it doesn’t happen by the third Monday in March, it might not happen until April or May.”
Clifton said he would like to allow the citizens of Newark to voice their concerns and objections to the plan and do so at an appropriate hour. The council tries to end its weekly Monday meetings by 10 p.m.
Alan Hill, the project’s engineer, hopes the city council can vote on the project at the next available council meeting to move on to the next steps in the development of the project. The council has another meeting on December 14th.
Councilor Chris Hamilton said the prospect of approving the project by the New Year may not be possible.
“I don’t think anyone can walk away from it [the] Planning committee for a council meeting in less than 15 days, so the 14th is kicked out, ”wrote Hamilton in an email to The Review. “Then we’ll take a break over Christmas.”
Councilor James Horning said he has no feelings about when the council will hear the project proposal as long as action is taken in a timely manner.
“I’m glad it is heard whenever it is heard,” said Horning.
If the building were approved by the city council, it would be one of several projects to continue development along Main Street.
A seven-story, 144-room Hyatt hotel is under construction next to the former Finn McCool building. The project is being developed by the Lang Development Group, one of the leading development groups in Newark. According to Lang’s website, the project should be completed in 2021.
Lang is developing a complex at the intersection of East Main Street and Tire Avenue that will consist of 30 two to three bedroom apartments. The building would have retail space on the ground floor with a Fulton bench and space for an additional retail space, according to the group’s website.
The project was approved by the city council in autumn 2019.
The same night the Planning Commission approved the Main Street and Haines Street project, the commission put a project on hold to house a mixed-use complex of apartments and retail stores, including Playa Bowls, Tasty Wok and the former Margarita’s Pizza building Was standing.
The developer associated with the Main Street and Haines Street project is Newark Main Street Acquisition Co.