NEWARK, NJ – A decades-vacant Newark mansion is being converted into an entrepreneurial space.

The 40-room mansion on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Newark was built by one of the first American beer tycoons before it was bought by the city’s first black millionaire.

“Giving someone the opportunity to live where they work in a community of other manufacturers,” said Avi Telyas, developer and CEO of Makerhoods, a concept for creating an affordable space for entrepreneurs to thrive.

The Victorian castle from the 1880s on a hill in Newark was built by Gottfried Krueger, the first brewer to fill beer into cans.

In 1958, Louise Scott bought the mansion. Scott was a self-made millionaire. She cleaned her houses during the day and attended beauty school at night before setting up her beauty empire.

“She made more than a fortune in beauty culture, she was a real community,” said her daughter, Rev. Louise Scott-Rountree, who grew up in the mansion’s vast rooms.

A historical photo shows her at her mother’s side on the doorstep, with a senior class from her mother’s beauty school.

Louise Scott died in 1982. The house has been empty since then.

The ongoing $ 30 million renovation will result in three buildings: the mansion will be restored, and a mixed-use building of 66 apartments and 10 businesses will be built behind it. In addition, the Newark Food Factory will be built with a commercial kitchen, a greenhouse and an event room.

Selected contractors are allowed to live on the property, where they can rent an apartment and work space in the villa for $ 1,800 per month. This also includes support services such as legal and accounting advice to help boost their business.

“Many entrepreneurs, especially minority and underserved entrepreneurs, face tremendous challenges in their ability to rent and find space,” said Telyas.

So far, 75 entrepreneurs have applied. Next year they will select 16 manufacturers to live and work on the property.

“It’s important that we let people know that they can be anything they want,” said Scott-Rountree, “encourage them.”

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