I have to admit I was suprised they were looking there as apposed to something closer to their existing building...especially with the comment about a "campus". Regardless I think a actually go on this would be huge.
Richard Perry/The New York Times
TreeTop Development has been rehabbing HUD buildings in Newark, like the ones at 17 Oxford Street.
By ANTOINETTE MARTIN
Published: September 29, 2011
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Richard Perry/The New York Times
Other HUD buildings in Newark, on Stratford Place, are still on the to-do list.
AS Mayor Cory A. Booker declared it would, this year has evolved into a “Year of New Construction”: projects worth a total of $700 million are under way, among them several corporate headquarters, downtown loft apartments, even new movie theaters.
Some housing rehabilitation work continues, too, although mainly on projects started before the spigots tightened on both public and private financing for residential construction.
Tucked in among all this revitalization are run-down areas, most glaringly subsidized rental buildings that have devolved into hot spots for crime and squalor. These buildings, owned by landlords who are paid rent directly through Section 8, the federal subsidy program, often want for “conscientious” maintenance, said Mike Meyer, the city’s director of housing and real estate.
Subsidized buildings are supposed to be maintained to standards set by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, but routine inspections are conducted only once a year. Many of the structures — built decades ago by HUD, which began selling some off in the 1980s — are now in extremely poor condition, Mr. Meyer said.
Adam Mermelstein, the principal of TreeTop Development — described by Mr. Meyer as a “stakeholder” in Newark’s residential future — agreed, saying, “Very frankly, it is frustrating.” TreeTop owns 1,100 market-rate apartments that it renovated over the last several years and maintains with a full-time management office at each of six sites.
“We put a lot of money into our two buildings on Martin Luther King Boulevard, for instance,” said Mr. Mermelstein, noting that TreeTop is among a handful of developers to have invested in rehabbing the boulevard near Lincoln Park (and that one even put up a high-end apartment tower). He said his company had “brought in nice professional and working-class tenants” to buildings repositioned to be “work force” housing.
Yet tenant turnover remains high at the rejuvenated buildings, Mr. Mermelstein said. The tenants, he said, “are uncomfortable with, or have fears about, what goes on at bad-apple HUD buildings on surrounding streets.”
Recently, he decided that at least one part of the solution might simply be to buy some of those bad apples and freshen them up, renovating them to the standards of TreeTop’s market-rate buildings. Management would be installed on-site to maintain standards.
Last spring, TreeTop bought a dilapidated rent-subsidy complex at 17 Oxford Street, a couple of blocks from Ferry Street, the popular restaurant haven in the Ironbound district. “The ceiling tiles were broken out,” Mr. Mermelstein said. “People were hiding bullets up there. The whole building was kind of smelly, and in trouble.”
TreeTop took out the dropped ceilings, put Sheetrock on the walls, installed new boilers, lighting and security devices, and hired city police officers for extra patrol duty.
“I would say it is 100 percent better,” said Jaime Figueroa, who has lived at the 258-unit Oxford Street complex for 10 years.
In July and August, TreeTop bought 230 units in two rent-subsidized buildings just west of Lincoln Park and south of University Heights, the neighborhood that envelops four academic institutions, including Rutgers University’s Newark campus and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
At the 115-unit Willie T. Wright Apartments, a three-story garden-style complex built at 135 Prince Street in 1973, TreeTop has already begun work on $1.5 million worth of renovations.
At the Aspen Stratford Apartments on Stratford Place, a 1940s building in much tougher shape — no lock on the graffiti-covered front door, a broken intercom, garbage stacked high in an alley — TreeTop is to open a management office and start cleanup this week.
“This is not what anyone would consider a safe and decent place to live,” said Mr. Mermelstein on a visit to the Stratford building before the office opened, not speaking loudly enough to be overheard by three women and a child seated on the stoop, or a group of men standing on the corner. “I am confident we can make it that — and widen the circle around neighborhoods where change has already occurred.”
Mr. Mermelstein said he did not envision making any short-term profit with this work. (“The rent gets paid to the landlord either way,” was how he put it, “whether they run a building properly or not.”) The point is the longer-term investment, in the future value of the buildings he already owns, and in the reputation of his company, he said.
Mr. Meyer, the city housing director, says a couple of other companies now appear to be seeing investment in HUD properties as an opportunity. The Jonathan Rose Companies of New York recently bought 300 federally subsidized units in Newark, to rehab under a HUD program for “greening” affordable housing. And the Related Companies, a national firm, is “kicking the tires” on a purchase, he said.
Mr. Mermelstein said he hoped to buy two more buildings on the short block of Stratford Place and “consolidate the upgrade.” The street was the scene of a major narcotics seizure — $76,000 worth of heroin and cocaine — last May, after residents complained to the police.
The lot behind Seton Hall Law. Since it didn't mention the waterfront I doubt there's much room for a tower and a 1600 car garage on 21 but who knows?If it is this lot, then where do you think the adjacent lot they are looking to acquire is located? Would it be a waterfront lot or maybe that big empty lot next to Seton Hall Law School?
As for the Treetop buildings, I think the hard part is to overcome the reputation that the buildings already have and get a mix of non section 8 tennants. I can't think of many buildings that last long if the entire building relies on public subsidies with no medium income tennants.
Apparently renderings mean nothing! To the left baxter park is depicted as an exiting departure from usual government housing. complete with retail along the entire sidewalk area. TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! OF COURSE!! Instead, the retail is gone ,except for the corners! Look at the first image, depicting stores with large windows along the sidewalk. Now, to the right, is whats REALLY being built!! cinder block walls with scattered residential type windows and doors ...at the sidewalk level. Gone are the large openings for retail facades. Typical! Newark Housing authority.with the elimination of retail, its safe to say Baxter park will NOT be as these BS renderings depict. In fact, its IMPOSSIBLE to find ANY accurate image on the web about this place. BTW its taken over 6 months just to finish the foundation....currupt NHA & capitulating union thugs......
Last edited by Newarkguy; October 8th, 2011 at 04:50 PM.
Some of my Newark pictures from Yesterday....
DSC07071 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
DSC07073 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
DSC07075 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
DSC07077 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
DSC07078 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
DSC07079 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
DSC07082 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
DSC07084 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
Newark Penn @ Night...
DSC07334 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
DSC07333 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
By Debra Hazel
NEWARK-Damascus Bakery has acquired the industrial building at 60 McClellan Street in the South Ward here for $3.5 million, says Brick City Development Corp.
The bakery creates and distributes pitas, roll-ups, wraps, and Panini flat breads to the retail and food service industry, including Costco and Garden of Eden, a gourmet NY-based grocer. Damascus, which is relocating from Brooklyn, NY, will bring more than 180 jobs to the city, and has committed to hiring Newark residents. The company will invest close to $1.2 million in site improvements and upgrades prior to an early 2012 opening. “We feed the region,” Lyneir Richardson, CEO of BCDC, tells GlobeSt.com.
BCDC worked with Damascus Bakery for almost three years to identify an ideal site with the proper transportation access. In addition to site location assistance, BCDC provided financial assistance, including facilitating an employment grant for job creation for Newark residents (up to $250,000) and funding for site improvements ($300,000). “They had very particular needs,” Richardson says. “We were just patient.”
According to Richardson, the Damascus project will also have an immediate impact on the neighborhood. The City approved the demolition of a blighted building directly across the street as part of the approval process.
The deal is the latest in a series of food-related businesses to lease or acquire distribution facilities in the city. Other recent deals including new headquarters buildings for The Manischewitz Company and Pacific Group Holdings (Bonita Bananas). In addition, Wakefern Food Corp. broke ground on a new 180,000-square-foot distribution center in August 2011. Bartlett Dairy is now operating out of its new 105,000-square-foot facility and will soon celebrate with a ribbon cutting in the South Ward.
“This has been a great year for us,” Richardson says. “We’re hoping for one or two more.”
Damascus Bakeries breaks ground on 100,000-square-foot site Newark building
By Melinda Caliendo
Another shovel went into the ground Monday in Newark, as Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Damascus Bakeries broke ground on a 100,000-square-foot facility.
The new building, which will open in the spring of 2012, is located at 60 McClellan St., where Brick City Development Corp. CEO Lynier Richardson said his agency took "several years" to find an appropriate tenant.
Richardson attended the event, alongside Newark Mayor Cory Booker; Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno; BCDC chairman and acting director of the city's Department of Economic and Housing Development, Adam Zipkin; and Damascus Bakeries owners Ed Mafoud and David Mafoud.
The facility continues to build on Newark's rising reputation as a food manufacturer: Wakefern Food Corp. broke ground on a new distribution center in Newark on Aug. 3, and Manischewitz relocated its world headquarters to the city earlier this year.
Damascus has said it anticipates employing roughly 200 people at the new facility. The company received Urban Enterprise Zone and other Economic Development Authority incentives to make the move to Newark.
taken from njbiz
I love the fact that Newark is stealing all these companies from NYC