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Press Release
June 17, 2024
3 minute read

Mixed-Use Development in Downtown Newark Approved for NJEDA Aspire Awards


Will create much-needed housing, support local economy

TRENTON, N.J. (June 17, 2024) – Last week, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board approved a mixed-use residential development project in Newark for Aspire tax credits. The project, known as The Metropolitan, will create 207 residential units, 67 of which will be affordable.

“Thanks to Aspire’s flexible design and Governor Murphy’s commitment to reinvigorate communities, mixed-use projects will help spur development in neighborhoods across the state and create good-paying jobs. The added bonus of The Metropolitan’s downtown location and proximity to several major transit options makes it ideal for families and commuters,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The development will help generate economic activity in the neighborhood, with dedicated retail space aimed to attract diverse businesses and clientele. With this latest approval, the Aspire Program continues to support the expansion of affordable housing, while creating stronger communities.” 

The project, located at 260-272 Washington Street in Downtown Newark, was approved for up to $74 million in Aspire tax credits, which represents 60 percent of eligible project costs of $123.8 million.

“When we created the Aspire Program, it was designed with the intention of producing projects like the Metropolitan that benefit Newark families and commuters alike through job creation, transportation access, affordable housing, and business empowerment,” said Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex/Hudson). “This forward-thinking project is an exciting step forward in revitalizing downtown Newark in an inclusive, innovative way that respects the unique needs of our community. Its careful consideration for promoting equity in redevelopment will greatly benefit Newark residents and bring new visitors to our growing downtown.”

“The Metropolitan embodies the spirit of the Aspire program,” said Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Essex/Hudson). “It is our commitment to ensure that all residents have access to quality, affordable homes. As sponsor, I am proud to see the impact it is having in fostering economic growth and community in Newark and across the state of New Jersey.”

The Metropolitan will be a 23-story high-rise with 4,000 square feet in retail space on the ground floor. The retail component will be specifically targeted toward BIPOC businesses, helping to spur local economic activity in this area.

Additionally, the project intends to incorporate the Good Neighbor Program, which will allow tenants to receive credits toward their rent in exchange for volunteering at a local nonprofit organization in Newark.

The Applicant has demolished the site’s existing buildings but will retain the historic façade on the new development. The location is within walking distance of Newark Penn Station, the Newark Light Rail, and several bus stops.

“This mixed-use residential development project contributes to many of our goals: revitalizing our downtown, offering more affordable housing for our residents, and helping to strengthen our economy,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “With a nod to our past, this development project also retains historic features of the previous building’s façade and with eyes on our future, it encourages tenants to give back to Newark as volunteers with incentives connected to its partnership with the Good Neighbor Program. This is a win-win for our city. I thank the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Hanini Group, Shift Catalyst, and their partners for creating this project. They and the tenants who will live and volunteer here are what make us Newark and proud of it!”

The applicant is comprised of a partnership between The Hanini Group LLC, with a 75 percent stake, and Shift Catalyst, with a 25 percent stake. The Hanini Group and its affiliates have been a significant player in downtown Newark. Some of its notable projects include Hahne & Co., Hotel Indigo, and The People’s Bank Building in Passaic.

Aspire is a place-based economic development program created under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA) to support mixed-use, transit-oriented development with tax credits to commercial and residential real estate development projects that have financing gaps. As a performance-based program, projects must certify that all commitments established at time of approval have been met before receiving their first disbursement of tax credits.

In line with Governor Murphy’s and the NJEDA’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and transparency, the Aspire program rules include provisions, such as a gap financing review and excess revenue sharing requirements, to ensure tax credits are awarded responsibly. The Aspire program application, as well as complete rules, eligibility requirements, award sizes, and other information can be found here.

About the NJEDA

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses, call NJEDA Customer Care at 844-965-1125 or visit https://www.njeda.gov and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn

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