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Kelly Magee

Fairstead and LIHC Investment Group announce new ground-up mixed-income development at Essex Plaza in Newark, NJ

A rendering of Essex Plaza buildingsource: Real Estate Weekly
on: May 5, 2022 • by: REW
Fairstead, a purpose-driven, vertically integrated real estate company committed to sustainable development and the creation and preservation of high-quality housing, and LIHC Investment Group today announced a new ground-up development proposal for a mixed-income building at Essex Plaza in Newark, New Jersey. The six-story, 365,000-square-foot proposed development would consist of 241 residential apartments, ground-floor commercial and amenity space, and underground parking. The development would be built as part of New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, taking a whole-building approach to saving energy with a tailored energy reduction plan to promote efficiency and sustainability. See renderings of the proposed new development here.

“To support the future of our cities, we need a variety of housing options serving affordable, workforce, and market-rate renters. Having a sustainable place to live is the foundation everyone needs to work in and give back to their communities,” said Brett Meringoff, Managing Partner, Development, at Fairstead. “Fairstead and LIHC are preserving and revitalizing the existing housing stock at Essex Plaza and proposing a new vision for additional housing at the site to further our investment in and partnership with the Newark community.”

“The sheer depth of the affordable housing crisis requires that our industry use every available lever. We must build and also preserve, and we must achieve greater affordability for low-income families and seniors while providing options for renters who increasingly find themselves priced out of the middle market,” said Andrew Gendron, Principal, LIHC Investment Group. “Essex Plaza is a chance to do it all, holistically, while making huge strides toward a more green and sustainable Newark.”

“I will be working together with Fairstead to continue to bring more affordable housing to the seniors and working families of Newark, and to develop more apartments at a market-rate. This helps our renters who are so in need and brings investment to the Newark community,” said Newark Council President Luis A. Quintana.

A rendering of Essex Plaza buildingThe proposed development is at the site of the existing parking lot behind 1060 Broad Street, located on Orchard Street, between Camp and Pennington Streets in Newark. Of the planned 241 apartments, 40% would be set aside as affordable housing for those making up to 60% of the Area Median Income ($64,400 for a household of four people). The apartments would be a mix of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes.

The development would be constructed as part of New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program to minimize energy consumption and is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification. The building would feature a range of amenities including a resident lounge, in-unit laundry, fitness center, package room, bike room, rooftop green space, and a doorman.

In November, Fairstead and LIHC acquired the Essex Plaza portfolio to preserve 691 units of low-income housing in Newark. Fairstead and LIHC are investing $27 million for sustainable renovations and improvements, as well as on-site support services, at 1060 Broad Street, Essex Plaza’s 450-apartment affordable senior housing building. Renovations are underway, with seniors moving into apartments with brand new kitchens with sustainable appliances, new bathrooms, flooring, fresh paint, and more. See photos of the new apartments here.

The Essex Plaza portfolio is located in the Lincoln Park Historic District of Newark, just steps away from Newark City Hall, Newark Symphony Hall, and the Prudential Center.

In addition, Fairstead and LIHC plan to propose additional new developments in the future for a total of more than 400 new mixed-income apartments in Newark.

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