1 FINAL DRAFT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan for an Area in Need of Rehabilitation September 2007
2 Table of Contents I. Executive Summary II. Community Outreach Program III. IV. Property Overview Regulatory / Legal / Policy Issues V. Market Overview VI. VII. Market Assessment Conceptual Master Plan
3 NJIT Concept ional Redevelopment Master Plan Section I-1 Section I. Executive Summary 1) Executive Summary intends to perform the following activities to ensure the success of the New Jersey Institute of Technology s Campus Gateway Redevelopment Plan, which is part of Newark, New Jersey s Redevelopment Plan for an Area in Need of Rehabilitation. I. Represent Developers/NJIT Objectives A. Development of Conceptual Master Plan for stakeholder approval: Meet the needs and demands of the NJIT community, major NJIT stakeholders and the surrounding neighborhoods by implementing the vision of providing more retail amenities, housing, leisure space, hotel space and parking. Create a vibrant, 24/7 neighborhood. Develop design objectives that integrate the relationship between the surrounding neighborhood and the university campus as opposed to promoting an isolationist design. Uses and objectives that foster a Gateway on MLK, Central and Summit Avenues that account for several, distinct points of arrival announcing the arrival into a new environment representing retail, residential, entertainment, etc. B. Obtain Local Govt. Approvals Introduce local government and legislative authorities, including the Newark Department of City planning and the City of Newark to the redevelopment vision and master plan through communication and community outreach. C. Assemble necessary financial resources Obtain reliable revenue assumptions based on local market data as well as accurate cost estimates from a reputable, local construction company to produce a pro-forma cash flow of the project. D. Create phasing plan Assess the various components of the Master Plan and the challenges/requirements of implementing each component (e.g. Parking, Retail needs, etc.) Devise a construction and execution plan that functions in stages attentive to these needs. E. Execute plan Conscientiously oversee the execution of the phasing plan through soliciting information from the market place and seeking constructive feedback from the development community.
4 NJIT Concept ional Redevelopment Master Plan Section I-2 II. Conclusions: It is our opinion that the Conceptual Rehabilitation Master Plan for the NJIT study areas represent a significant enhancement to the quality of life to all residents and the to campus community at large. This plan will also be a catalyst for additional development in the James Street area and will provide approximately 700 jobs while this project is under construction. We project that over 800 permanent jobs will have been created once this project has stabilized. Next steps include NJIT being officially designated as the Developer while simultaneously exploring any and all subsidies.
5 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section II-1 Section II. Community Outreach Program Introduction To provide input on the needs of the MLK section of the James Street Historic District, and to help guide planning for the proposed Campus Gateway project, conducted a survey of neighborhood stakeholders, including The New Jersey Institute of Technology ( NJIT ) administration, NJIT Greek system members, NJIT faculty and staff, neighborhood residents, St. Michael s representatives, and other interested parties including area employers and employees and Rutgers students to determine a 27-question survey. This survey was completed between May 16 and May 21, was conducted online, through on-the-street polling, and included outreach programs held by the Historic James Street Commons Neighborhood Association. Overall, the survey demonstrated that among students, faculty and staff there is a strong need for increased retail opportunities, most notably cafes, restaurants and a grocery store. Area residents are less interested in dry goods type retail. The community as a whole does not use mass transit, and while transportation patterns may change if additional housing options are offered, it appears likely that automobile traffic and parking will play a significant role in any neighborhood evolution. Safety was a top-of-mind issue for students and a top priority for the St. Michael s Hospital community. While safety was important to the area residents, historic preservation and preservation of the traditional community structure held a higher priority. Article I. Respondent Profile Of the 751 total survey respondents, 57.2 percent were students attending NJIT (and Rutgers) and 32 percent were NJIT (or Rutgers) faculty and staff members. Workers and employees in the neighborhood accounted for nearly 10 percent of those who took the survey. A very small percentage of respondents, 4 percent, were non-student residents in the MLK section of the James Street Historic District, while 1.2 percent were business owners and 2.5 percent were property owners, respectively. The responses of these groups were not large enough to impact the results of the survey. However, the ongoing, in-person interviews enable the priorities of these groups to be reflected in the planning effort. Nearly 20 percent of non-student residents have lived in the area for more than 10 years. Nearly half or 45 percent of students, faculty and staff rent or own apartments or houses outside the MLK neighborhood, and just over 4 percent live within the neighborhood. Of student respondents, 28 percent live in on-campus housing. Of the faculty and staff who do not live in the MLK neighborhood, 47 percent said they are not likely at all to move to the neighborhood if there were more housing options available, and 6 percent said they would be very likely to move if there were more options. Of the students who do not live on-campus or in the MLK neighborhood, just over half said they would be somewhat likely or very likely to live in the neighborhood if there were more housing options available. Most, or 63 percent of students, faculty and staff, spend less than one hour each day in the MLK neighborhood. Many
6 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section II-2 vocalized that they merely pass through on their way to work or class. Those who spent five or more hours in the neighborhood did so because they held jobs or lived in the neighborhood. Article II. Amenities When asked about amenities, 60 percent of all respondents characterized parking as very important to quality of life in the neighborhood, and a total of 82 percent characterized parking as either very important or somewhat important. Likewise, half or more of respondents stated that retail and public transportation are very important to quality of life. Nearly 67 percent of property owners and nonstudent residents in the MLK section said cultural and entertainment centers are very important to quality of life in the area, while 43 percent of all respondents felt that way. Though only 13 percent of all respondents stated that hotel accommodations are very important to quality of life in the neighborhood, 43 percent of business owners and employees and faculty/staff members felt they are very important or somewhat important. More than 55 percent of all respondents host out of town visitors and nearly 30 percent do so more than five times a year. Commercial office space was not found to be particularly important among any of the respondent groups 57 percent of all respondents said that it was not very important or not at all important. Article III. Retail A remarkable 72 percent of all respondents felt that restaurants are very important to quality of life in the neighborhood -- only 2 percent felt that a restaurant was not at all important. Faculty/staff, business owners and employees felt most strongly about restaurant options in the area, with between 81 and 82 percent selecting very important. The prospect of cafes and coffee shops was equally popular percent of all respondents said they were very important. Similarly, 50 percent of all respondents felt that a grocery store was very important to their quality of life, while an even larger percentage, or 70 percent, of property owners and non-student residents in the MLK section felt that way. The importance of convenience retail outlets such as banks and dry cleaners, scored remarkably high, with 43 percent saying it was very important. A drugstore and pharmacy is also on the minds of respondents with 46 percent rating this service as very important. A movie theater was a lesser priority to respondents; 26 percent said it was very important and 34 percent said that a movie theater was somewhat important. Clothing stores received a mixed response: they were characterized as somewhat important among 34 percent of all respondents; however, nearly 73 percent of property owners and non-student residents felt clothing stores were not very important or not at all important. According to the survey, respondents shop in a variety of stores throughout the year. The vast majority, 77 percent, shop at mass market department stores such as Target, Kohl s and TJ Maxx, while 70 percent also shop at general department stores like Macy s and Lord & Taylor. The next most common shopping outlets were national chains such as Gap, J. Crew and H&M, which were visited by 62 percent of respondents. Boutiques were not characterized as frequent shopping choices. As for dining out, 90 percent of respondents go out for dinner at least once a week, and 17 percent go out three or more times per week. Business owners and employees dined out the most of all the groups, with 66 percent dining out twice a week or more. The majority of respondents, or 52 percent, spend approximately $11 to $20 per person when they do go out for dinner. However, 25 percent of respondents who go out for dinner spend $21 to $35 per person. Of the different groups, property owners and nonstudent residents spend the most on meals out, with 41 percent spending at least $21 to $35 per person.
7 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section II-3 Considering the large student population, it was surprising that 54 percent of respondents said they seldom or never go out to bars, lounges or live music. However, this is likely a reflection of the lack of nightlife options in the MLK section of the James Street Historic District. A combined 74 percent of respondents said a bar, lounge or live music was either very or somewhat important. Of the respondents who do have an active nightlife, 28 percent said they go out once a week on average. As a whole, local bars/pubs seemed to be the most popular kind of nightlife destination, with 40 percent of respondents frequenting them. The next most popular destination was a live music venue or dance club, which are visited by 30 percent of respondents. Lounges appeared to be popular among 47 percent of property owners and non-student residents. Article IV. Transportation A significant majority, 64 percent, of respondents drive themselves to work and school, while 26 percent use public transportation and 8.2 percent walk. Nearly 72 percent of faculty and staff members drive themselves to work and school. Thus, it is not surprising that 57 percent of respondents felt that automobile traffic was heavy in the neighborhood and that 92 percent felt that pedestrian traffic was light to moderate. Overall, respondents were disappointed with parking options in the area; 77 percent stated that parking is either not very accessible or not at all accessible. However, the majority, or 52 percent, of property owners and residents found parking to be somewhat or very accessible. All groups of respondents seemed to be relatively content with public transportation in the area, with nearly 20 percent characterizing it as accessible and 51 percent stating it was somewhat accessible. Article V. Quality of Life Most respondents, 85 percent, said that safety and security was very important in their decision to live/work/attend school in the area. A full 47 percent of respondents said they felt somewhat safe in the neighborhood, while 37 percent said the neighborhood is not very safe and nearly 11 percent said it was not at all safe. A full 57 percent felt that the neighborhood s character was very important, and 47 percent felt that town-university relations were very important. Nearly 78 percent of non-student residents and property owners felt that historic preservation of the neighborhood was very important. Interestingly, business owners and employees felt the strongest about open space, such as parks and courtyards, with 50 percent responding that they were very important to quality of life. Responses on affordable housing were mixed: 32 percent of respondents felt that affordable housing was not very or not at all important, and 41 percent felt that it was very important. Article VI. Personal Information For this survey, nearly 38 percent of respondents were between the ages of 18 and 25. The next largest age group was 35 to 44, accounting for 14 percent of respondents. There was a significant gender disparity: 65 percent of respondents were men and 35 percent were women. A majority of the population, or 35 percent, lives with related or unrelated roommates, and 27 percent of the households are comprised of couples with children. A majority of students, 56 percent, live with at least one roommate. Most, or 56 percent, live in homes with three or more bedrooms. Just over 37 percent of respondents get their news about the area from student newspapers, while 30 percent find news in the Star-Ledger.
8 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section III-1 Section III. Property Overview Parcel Physical Description Property Overview The project site is located along Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard between Central Avenue and Orange Street in Newark, New Jersey, on and about the campus of NJIT, which is located in Newark s Central Ward. The stakeholders of the project include the faculty, staff, and students of NJIT, St. Michael s Medical Center, NJIT s Greek organizations located along or near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and the Historic James Street Commons Neighborhood Association. The stakeholders collectively enlisted the services of to assist in formulating and executing a redevelopment plan for the project area. The overall Campus Gateway Redevelopment Plan can be broken into the following four separate projects, which span a sizeable portion of the area west of Downtown Newark: MLK Gateway, University Park, Greek Village and St. Michael s Medical Center. The center of NJIT s campus is centrally located within a half-mile of several other institutions of higher learning, diverse cultural institutions, several modes of transportation(subway, light-rail, commuter retail, bus and highway), access to parks downtown and the 360 acre Branch Brook Park. The following contextual map illustrates the current development sites of Downtown Newark on a city scale:
9 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section III-2 The targeted redevelopment parcels are broken down into various lots owned by several individuals/organizations located in numerous zones. The following parcels are broken down as follows: MLK Gateway: 52 separate lots owned by 11 organizations or individuals. The area is currently zoned I2, except at the corner of King Blvd and James Street which is B3. Major property owner: St. Michael s. Within the MLK Gateway project, a section of parcels have been identified for adaptive reuse/mixed use, including 30 separate lots owned by 17 organizations or individuals. These numbers reflect only those properties identified for adaptive reuse between Central Avenue and James Street along the western side of King Blvd., and leaves out those properties on the Summit Street side of the block. The other properties identified for adaptive reuse (in that section of the book) are included in other areas listed above. The area is zoned R4, except at the corners of King Blvd and James Street and King Blvd and Central Avenue which is B3. University Park: 24 separate lots owned by a minimum six (6) organizations or individuals (most of the lot s owners are unknown). The area is currently zoned I1. Major property owner: Mueller s Flowers. Greek Village: 31 separate lots owned by NJIT. The area is zoned I1. St. Michael s Medical Center: 21 separate lots owned by St. Michael s. The area is zoned R4, except at the corner of King Blvd and James Street which is B3.
10 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section III-3 Existing Conditions A greater refinement of the greater site context map, the following drawing shows the existing civic, cultural and educational institutions which border the study area.
11 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section III-4 The following map is an aerial depiction of Downtown Newark as per local.live.com and was taken in The study area for the Campus Gateway Redevelopment Plan is contained within the boundaries defined by the dashed red line. The outlying area, or Society Hill, is a relatively recently completed residential town house community located to the South and West of the NJIT Campus. This community of market rate housing appears to be very successful and functions as both owner occupied housing and investment rental property. The southern site, or St. Michael s Medical Center, is bordered by University Avenue, James Street, Central Avenue and MLK Boulevard and is comprised of two parking lots owned by NJIT. The main site, or MLK Gateway, which is organized about Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and is bordered by Orange Street and James Street, consists of several lots represented by multiple stakeholders. The western site, University Park, is bordered by MLK Boulevard, Sussex Avenue, Summit Street and Bleeker Street. The detached, western-most site, Greek Village, is currently a quarter-circle shaped parking lot and will become the new home for Greek life with the appropriate retail uses. Also highlighted but not outlined in red on the aerial view is the Baxter Terrace Housing area. Baxter Terrace is comprised of 540 units of senior and affordable housing. The Newark Housing Authority is in the process of redeveloping this site to include senior and mixed income housing with complimentary commercial uses. To the northeast of the main site and along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the south, is the area designated as the future site of a Mormon church facility. These areas are identified as having a significant role in the future Gateway Redevelopment plan.
12 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section III-5 These boundaries were adopted from the NJIT Campus Gateway Plan developed by the planning firm Newwork in The following map shows, through simple contrast, buildings on the site (in black) and the space at grade between buildings (in white). On this site, the white space of the city blocs shows the predominance of surface parking lots. Conceptually, extents of white space make for less desirable places to live, work and play. When streets are lined with buildings through, the public realm is defined, activity concentrated, and neighborhoods connected.
13 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section III-6 Existing Parking Capacity The following map shows the location and quantity of the parking capacity currently on both the NJIT and St. Michael s Medical Center campuses. Apart from any future development paring needs, both institutions are near to or have reached the limit for the parking spaces they can offer. Parking is one of the central issues for all of the development proposals for the study areas and the Master Plan addresses this issue specifically Lot #18 is leased by NJIT from a local church to handle occasional overflow
14 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section III-7 Topography The following map identifies the topographical landscape of the subject site: Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard parallels a topographical shift upwards from the lower downtown area to the University Heights Neighborhood. Prior to it being renamed, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was named High street, a name derived undoubtedly from its location overlooking the downtown. On the site there are instances where the grade increases twenty feet over the length of a block from east to west. On those sites affected, this change in grade has been used to insert a parking garage underground and create a variety of public spaces above ground. The topography of the site will have an impact on the location, scale, height and density of the proposed development.
15 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section IV-1 Section IV. Regulatory / Legal / Policy Issues Regulatory Issues Current Zoning The proposed sites for the NJIT Campus Gateway project in Newark, NJ are located in the following districts: MLK Gateway 1. Fourth Residence 2. Third Business 3. Second Industrial University Park 1. Fourth Residence 2. Third Business 3. Second Industrial St. Michael s Medical Center 1. Fourth Residence 2. Third Business 3. Fourth Business Greek Village 1. Fourth Residence 2. First Industrial 3. Second Industrial Baxter Terrace 1. Fourth Residence 2. Second Industrial Fourth Residence District Regulations A building or premises shall be used only for the following purposes:
16 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section IV-2 Single and multiple family dwellings, parks and playgrounds, churches, publicly owned museums and libraries, home occupations, medical offices, townhouses, philanthropic institutions, nursery schools, insurance underwriting offices, publishing offices, colleges and universities except business, trade or industrial colleges, dormitories when located upon campus proper. Third Business District Regulations A building or premises shall be used only for the following purposes: All Fourth Residence District uses, bakeries, barbershops and salons, funeral homes, appliance repair shops, laundries, offices, restaurants, sales show rooms, cleaning establishments, retail stores, studios, theatre and motion picture houses, cemetery, storage yards/houses, billiard parlors, public parking, manufacturing facilities, tire changing facility. First Industrial District Regulations A building or premises may be used for any purpose, except the following: Acetylene gas manufacture or storage, alcohol manufacture, ammonia manufacture, arsenal, asphalt manufacture or refining, laundries, blast furnace, boiler works, brick, tile or terra cotta manufacture, cement, lime, gypsum or plaster of Paris manufacture, central mixing plant for cement, plaster, mortar, or building materials, commercial garage, coke ovens, crematory, creosote treatment or manufacture, cotton oil manufacture, distillation of coal, wood or bones, dyestuff manufacture, explosives or fireworks manufacture, fat rendering, fertilizer manufacture, flour and grain milling, forge plant, fur cutting and pasting, garages where body and fender work and spraying is done, gas manufacture and storage, glue, size or gelatin manufacture, incineration or reduction of garbage, offal, dead animals and refuse, iron, steel, brass or copper foundry, lamp black manufacture, match manufacture, narcotic, alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers, oilcloth or linoleum manufacture, paint, oil, varnish, turpentine, enamel, japanning or lacquer manufacture, petroleum refining, or the storage of petroleum or its products in excess of thirty thousand gallons, planting mill or saw mill, plastics, billiard parlors, potash works, ink manufacture, skin curing, tanning, pickling, rock crusher, rolling mill, rubber manufacture from crude materials, slaughtering, foundries, manufacture of cleaning materials, starch, glucose or dextrin manufacture, stock yards, sugar refining, acid manufacture, tar distillation or manufacture, dismantling or storage of automobiles, truck terminals, welding, wool pulling, yeast plant, any trade, industry or use that is noxious or offensive by reason of the emission of odor, dust, fumes, vapor, smoke or noise, public parking areas, go-go establishments, nursing homes, check cashing establishments, storage, manufacture or mixing of chemicals. Second Industrial District Regulations Any use permitted in First Industrial District, except that no building or premises shall be used for dwelling purposes, except when used for security person upon the premises and hotels and facilities which provide congregate living arrangements.
17 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section IV-3 Site Plan Approval Process Upon submission of a complete application for a site plan which involves ten (10) acres of land or less and ten (10) dwelling units or less, the Central Planning Board shall grant or deny preliminary approval within forty-five (45) days of the date of such submission or within such further time as may be consented to by the developer. Upon submission of a complete application for a site plan which involves more than ten (10) acres, or more than ten (10) dwelling units, the Central Planning Board shall grant or deny preliminary approval within ninety-five (95) days of the date of such submission or within such further time as may be consented to by the developer. Otherwise, the Central Planning Board shall be deemed to have granted preliminary approval for the site plan. Application Process An application for preliminary site plan approval shall be deemed to be complete upon submission of: 1. An original completed City of Newark site plan application form. 2. A copy of a completed Essex County Planning Board site plan application form. 3. Thirteen (13) sets of site plan drawings complying with the requirements of the site plan ordinance. 4. A statement of responsibility for all off-tract improvements required by the proposed project. 5. An original and two (2) copies of a list of property owners within two hundred (200) feet of the subject property, certified by the Tax Assessor, when a hearing is required. 6. Appropriate fee, paid by certified check, cashier's check or money order. 7. A corporate or partnership disclosure statement when required by N.J.S. 40:55D-48.1 et seq. 8. An original affidavit of service of notice, when a hearing is required. Application for final site plan approval shall be granted or denied within forty-five (45) days of submission of a complete application or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. Failure of the Central Planning Board to act within the period prescribed shall constitute final approval and a certificate of the secretary of the Central Planning Board as to the failure of the Board to act shall be issued on request of the applicant. An application for final site plan approval shall be deemed to be complete upon submission of: 1. Four (4) additional sets of signed any sealed site plan drawings indicating modifications, if any, required by preliminary site plan approval. Variance Approval Process In particular cases and for special reasons, to grant a variance to allow departure from the zoning ordinance to permit 1. a use or principal structure in a district restricted against such use or principal structure; 2. an expansion of a non-conforming use; 3. deviation from a specification or standard pertaining solely to a conditional use; 4. an increase in the permitted floor area ratio 5. an increase in the permitted density except as applied to the required lot area for a lot or lots for detached one (1) or two (2) dwelling unit buildings which lot or lots are either an isolated undersized lot or lots resulting from a
18 NJIT Conceptual Redevelopment Master Plan Section IV-4 minor subdivision. A variance under this subsection shall be granted only by affirmative vote of at least five (5) members of the Board. Application Process An application for a particular variance shall be deemed to be complete upon submission of: 1. An original completed City of Newark variance application form with sign off approval for the application to go forward by the Central Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, Fire Department, and the Building Code Official. 2. Nine (9) sets of plans, including plot plan, floor plan and elevations and indicating on-site parking for proposed new buildings, alterations, additions, extensions or conversions. All plans shall be prepared by a New Jersey Licensed Professional Architect or Engineer. Where no conversions or structural changes are involved, nine (9) plot plans indicating the size of the property, all structures and other improvements and other permanent objects on the premises including driveways, fences, lighting, landscaping, paved areas, parking area and bumper guards shall be submitted if proposed. For any proposed new buildings, alterations, additions, extensions, conversions of existing building or structure plans shall include complete floor plans and full elevations and plot plans. If application is for a church, auditorium, theater or other place of public assembly, plans shall indicate all entrances and exits, seating arrangements, number of seats proposed, interior and exterior alterations. If application is for a use which emits odors, dust, fumes or vapor, plans shall indicate exhaust system. A spray booth shall be shown if use includes spraying of paint, lacquer, enamel or similar substance. If application is for automobile body and fender repair and painting, plans shall include location of spray booth, exhaust system and all exits. If application is for automobile repair shop, mechanical repair or body and fender repair and no painting, plans shall include location of all exits. All plans shall be neat, concise and acceptable to the Zoning Officer. 3. Nine (9) copies of a block diagram showing all properties and buildings within a radius of two hundred (200) feet from the perimeters of the subject property and indicating, with respect to each property, the uses thereon and the street and number. 4. Original and four (4) copies of a list of property owners within two hundred (200) feet of the subject property, certified by the Tax Assessor. 5. Appropriate fee, paid by certified check, cashier's check or money order. 6. A corporate or partnership disclosure statement, when required by C. 40:55D-48.1 et seq. 7. An original affidavit of service of notice.