Construction continues as 55 unions rise in Newark’s Ironbound
A two-block development that is by far the largest project in a predominantly low-rise Newark neighborhood is beginning to take shape after years of controversy over the size of the complex.
Construction is progressing well at 55 Union, a major revitalization undertaken by J&L Companies. The work involves replacing a surface parking lot along McWhorter and Union streets with a 12-story mixed-use building designed by Lambertville-based Minno & Wasko Architects that is expected to include 403 apartments and 190 parking spaces.
Jersey Digs broke the news of the development approval in 2019, which was somewhat controversial at the time. Newark officials created a zoning scheme called Mixed-Use Residential and Commercial Zone 3, or MX-3, on several of the properties that Ironbound neighborhood activists thought were out of scale with the community.
The development, being built by Bedminster-based Sordoni Construction, has already been completed and facade cladding work consisting of bricks and metal components has been completed on significant parts of the building. Along with two levels of parking and the apartments, the 506,549 square foot complex will feature an open courtyard and various rooftop amenities for residents.
In terms of the neighborhood, 55 Union will add 3,078 square feet of commercial space to the streetscape as well as a public plaza that will be located at the entrance to the building. J&L Companies issued a call for artists earlier this year seeking talent to build an outdoor sculpture that will anchor the plaza, also seeking talent to create artwork for the lobby, amenity spaces and the inner courtyard of the building.
55 Union will undoubtedly change the landscape of Ironbound in Newark and is one of the tallest buildings to be erected outside of the city’s downtown in generations. J&L Companies expects construction of the entire building to be completed in the summer months of 2023.