Next big project for Newark: Five-tower, 2,500-unit mixed-use community on old IDT property (RENDERINGS)

Souder: Transformative effort at 520 Broad St. by Sinai Equity Group will feature four 45-story towers in addition to revamped original property

Sinai Equity Group intends to turn the IDT building and parking deck at 520 Broad St. into a five-building, 2,500-unit, mixed-used community that stretches to McCarter Highway, according to Calvin Souder, the attorney representing the Brooklyn-based developer.

Many of the details still need to be worked out, but the overall plan calls for the existing IDT building to be a 16-story mixed-use building, with four 45-story buildings in what is the current 800-car IDT parking deck, Souder said.

The towers will be among the tallest buildings in the city.

Calvin Souder. (File photo)

Souder, the founding partner of what has quickly become one of the top real estate firms in Newark, Souder, Shabazz & Woolridge, said the plans for the project were submitted to the Newark planning board last fall. He expects them to be fully approved in the coming weeks.

A discussion on the project was expected to take place at the planning board’s regular meeting Monday night, but Souder told ROI-NJ those discussions may be pushed back a meeting or two to ensure everything is in order.

“We just want to make sure we have everything lined up,” he said. “The plans were submitted in September, and we are not asking for anything special, no variances or anything, so we expect to get all of our approvals.”

The approvals, Souder said, will lead to the creation of more detailed construction plans — a process Souder said could take six to nine months to complete due to a variety of issues, including ensuring the construction takes into account the needs of the city’s light rail (which runs near the area), adequate power (from Public Service Enterprise Group) and storm water management.

Agreements on union labor and prevailing wage also will be part of the discussions.

The breakdown of units per building also is still to be determined.

This much is clear: The first phase of the project will entail work on the original IDT building (the gutting of the interior already has begun).

Souder said that building, set to be 16 stories, will have five floors of retail and parking with residential units starting on floor six. There also is expected to be a top-shelf, destination restaurant on the top floor — complete with a view of New York City.

The current IDT building also is expected to be hollowed out a bit in the middle, giving it a unique look.

Souder said it has not been determined how many units will be in each of the five properties — or what percentage of the property will be affordable. But, he noted, the project will follow the inclusionary zoning ordinance and it intends to pursue a payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, from the city.

Transformative property coming to Ironbound

Sinai Equity Group, the same developer doing the IDT project, also is the opening stages of bringing 2,500 units to a transformative mixed-use property that formerly housed the Iberia Tavern & Restaurant in the Ironbound section of Newark.

In addition to the housing, the projects intends to bring numerous Portuguese and Brazilian restaurants and a mini city square that will re-create those found in Europe. Click here for more details.

“There’s still a lot to work out logistically,” he said. “But phase one is going to be the current IDT building.”

While that can start almost immediately, Souder said the hope is to be ready to start demolishing the existing parking deck next spring or summer.

Each of the 45-story towers will have ground floor retail and parking. More than anything, Souder said, they will be designed so they will have a view of New York City.

“It is going to be special,” Souder said.

Souder’s firm is tied to a dozen or so projects in Newark. This is the second major effort it is doing with Sinai Equity Group, which purchased the IDT property and deck last summer for $49 million.

In June, Souder announced that Sinai had purchased the former Iberia site in the Ironbound with the intention of turning its 5.2 acres into a mixed-used project that will build 2,500 units around an old-country town-square design.

Souder, born and raised in Newark, said he feels he brings a unique understanding of the city — as well as a passion to help it grow.

“These projects are incredibly meaningful to me, because I know the impact they will have on Newark,” he said.