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The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

A Rising Metropolis: How Newark’s Horizontal Housing Expansion Is Changing the City

Sean Slusarz

Driving through Newark’s streets will soon be a very different experience from what it is today, as the city is in the midst of a development renaissance. The city has initiated a multitude of new development projects throughout its downtown area to create a skyline that matches its much larger neighbor just across the river, New York City.  

Development at this scale is new territory for the city of Newark, as the current tallest building in the city, the National Newark Building, stands at only 35 stories and 466 feet tall. The second tallest building is Eleven 80, which stands at 34 stories and 448 feet tall. While these buildings are certainly not short, they are not skyscrapers either.  

Touching the sky, however, is something that Newark will be doing quite soon. The Halo was designed by New York-based firm INOA Architecture; this is a new residential project under construction at 289 Washington St., currently in its first phase of construction, and is scheduled for completion this year. The firm also notably designed the project on Sussex Avenue, which is nearing completion just past the east edge of NJIT’s campus. 

Once completed, The Halo will top out at 46 stories and 573 feet tall, making it the first building in the city to surpass 40 floors and be considered as a skyscraper. According to today’s minimum standard, a skyscraper is a building that reaches 40 stories and 490 feet in height.  

When it reaches full completion in the next few years, The Halo will be made of three height-ordered towers which will be 38 stories, 42 stories, and 46 stories. Within the structures, there will be 949 residential apartment units, including studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units sprawling across 962,000 square feet. There will also be a host of amenities, including a rooftop swimming pool, multiple outdoor lounge areas, a party lounge, a gym, and a sauna, making the building not just revolutionary but also a luxurious place to call home.  

Those in Newark’s growing apartment market who are not able to book one of the 949 units, 297 of which will be available in the first phase of project completion, need not worry, as they will have plenty of options in the coming years. This is because The Halo, staying true to its name, is a shining example of one of many future luxury high-rise developments. Just a few steps from the Harriet Tubman Square Light Rail Station and Museum of Newark sits the site of one of the projects recently approved, Arc Tower, also designed by INOA Architecture.  

While smaller in scale than The Halo, the Arc Tower project at 571 Broad St. is certainly nothing to dismiss, reaching 45 stories and 520 feet in height. It will boast 344 residential apartment units, including studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and two three-bedroom apartments. It will also provide many of the same amenities that The Halo residents will enjoy.  

Just around the corner from Arc Tower on McCarter Highway sits the future home of four 40 story apartment developments, which when constructed, will total a shocking 2,184 residential apartment units. Within a few minutes from the site across Raymond Boulevard, in a prime location directly behind the Prudential center sits the lot of the recently approved Newark Summit Tower by INOA Architecture. This tower will include 579 residential apartment units and many in house amenities just as every other building above will include.  

Each of these new towers will have modern designs with defining features that will help them to stand out from the rest, even when bearing in mind that they will be skyscrapers towering over the city. INOA Architecture, which is designing three of these large towers, has given each of them distinctive designs with features such as a second layer of glass to create zigzags, which are present in both Arc Tower and The Halo. Additionally, there are unique features such as soft concrete building angles cradling levels of glass in the Newark Summit Tower. 

Many find that these projects are exciting to see developing across the city, as they will breathe new life into a city long in need of investment. However, locals have voiced the question of what the area will look like when the buildings are completed, and whether the projects will leave damage behind. Nevertheless, Newark will clearly begin to look like an entirely different city within the coming years.  

The new group of four apartment towers will be constructed directly in front of the well-known row of buildings featured in the series “The Sopranos,” including 520 Broad St. and the IDT headquarters building, which can be seen from much of downtown. The latter is of interest because its structure will be changing; while this does not imply demolition, it will be retrofitted with a fifth housing project, which will tie into the construction of the four new apartment towers. 

However, while the shell of the IDT building is being spared, the same cannot be said for the other construction locations, which will be demolished to complete these new structures. This has led to some issues in constructing these projects. For instance, the Arc Tower faced rejection from the Newark Landmark and Historic Preservation Commission, which rejected the application to demolish the buildings currently on the site of the new tower. Beyond the appearance of the study, these new developments will bring over 4,000 new housing units which will bring new challenges for current and prospective residents, from space for the light rail to street traffic to the function of utilities. 

While Newark will be rising from the ground in the coming years, it is unclear what these changes will look like to those who visit the city, and those who call these buildings home will be part of a new landscape. Newark will now have touches of a vastly modern landscape sprinkled across the horizon, which will disconnect heavily from the structures present now. 

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  • K

    Kaleb JacksonFeb 27, 2024 at 12:54 am

    Um so the current Halo tower is 454ft, it’s the second tallest in Newark. The other halo towers in phase 2 will be 619ft, and 587ft. Arc tower should be breaking ground soon and we also have Newark Summit Tower!!