The first renderings are up for One Theatre Square in Newark, which promises to accelerate the city’s renaissance; Dranoff Properties and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center are developing, and as of last check, BLTa was designing the site.
Phase I of the project will be located at Two Center Street, and will include a 22-story residential tower, with 244 apartments, 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and a parking component. The current conception represents a slight downsizing of original plans.
NJPAC also owns two adjacent sites, and while new renderings are lacking for the full build-out of the assemblage, BLTa’s previous plans were impressive. One Theatre Square is located near the new Prudential building, and the second and third phases will surround the Performing Arts Center with additional significant infill.
Newark’s resurgence has been discussed for many years, and with piecemeal development now transforming the Downtown area, the city’s renaissance finally seems to be happening. Crime has been a deterrent to significant infill, but with prices continuing to skyrocket in much of the New York region, construction is now pushing into non-traditional areas, promising new product that’s also relatively affordable — which is what the metro region sorely needs.
Given Newark’s accessibility, the city’s boom is likely just beginning. The new Prudential headquarters is already topped-out, and with residential projects like One Theatre Square and the Richard Meier-designed Teachers Village under construction, amplification of piecemeal revitalization would appear to be on the near-horizon.
Two Center Street’s brick and glass facade will be attractive, but most importantly, the development will build-out formerly empty space. Lateral expansion will be crucial to Newark’s resurgence, as eliminating vacant lots — and putting eyes back on the street — will reduce crime, and encourage additional growth.
The full build-out of Theatre Square will transform several vacant lots; the nearby New Jersey Performing Arts Center will provide an initial pedestrian draw, acting as a springboard for additional development. RBH Group’s SOMA plan may be slightly further off, but given continued progress, Newark’s potential is obvious.
Completion of Two Center Street does not have a set date, but construction appears to be imminent.
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