Newark Municipal Council Grants Tax Exemption to Vibe, a Resort-Style Apartment Complex



The Newark Municipal Council today voted to approve a 30-year tax abatement for Vibe, a 270-unit resort-style apartment complex slated for development in the Living Downtown Redevelopment Area—the city’s hottest district. The ordinance establishing the PILOT (payments in lieu of taxes) authorizes the execution of a financial agreement and the issuance of up to $1 million in redevelopment area bonds for the project.

Proposed in 2018 by Strategic Development Partners, the 19-story tower will offer resort-style living with magnificent views of the Manhattan skyline and the New Jersey coastline, all the way to Sandy Hook. Vibe will feature 243 market rate residential units—including a luxury penthouse floor—and 27 affordable housing units, as well as 156 parking spaces. In addition, the ground floor will include approximately 8,150 square feet of space to accommodate two restaurants. Several entities, including Studio Hillier and The Marketing Directors, have partnered with Strategic Development Partners to advance the project.

Anthony V. Bastardi, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Strategic Development Partners, hailed the tax abatement as good news for Vibe’s reigniting Newark’s renaissance. “This agreement will revive the City of Newark’s redevelopment efforts, which had slowed as a result of the pandemic,” said Mr. Bastardi, who noted that just one significant high-rise project has broken ground in Newark in the past five years. “City officials have demonstrated their commitment to supporting this development and creating a favorable economic environment to bring exciting projects such as Vibe to market.”

Mr. Bastardi noted that the New Jersey Aspire Program, which is part of the Economic Recovery Act in 2020, the successor to the States Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Program that expired in 2019, was signed into law last month, a pivotal action that has paved the way for Vibe’s planned groundbreaking later this year. Aspire encourages economic development projects such as Vibe through the provision of additional tax incentives to assist developers to close financing gaps and bring projects to fruition.

Designed to appeal to Millennials, Vibe will offer a technology-rich environment with abundant lifestyle amenities for those who prefer the energy and convenience of cities like Newark. Located at the intersection of Halsey and William streets, Vibe will contribute to a high-energy neighborhood that has already sparked Newark’s dining renaissance, minutes from diverse dining options, world-class cultural events, sports and transportation, all of which will make Vibe an enviable address.

With a Walk Score® of 99 and a Transit Score® of 94, the neighborhood is unrivaled for convenience. Just two blocks from the epicenter of downtown Newark, Vibe will provide easy access to cultural offerings, pro sports teams, transportation and a variety of gourmet restaurants downtown and in the city’s famed Ironbound.

Amenities will include a rooftop pool and whirlpool spa; large outdoor dining area with barbeque grills and fire pits; communal party room with chef’s kitchen and bar; fully-equipped gym and fitness center; indoor and outdoor yoga and Pilates studios; conference room with high-tech A/V systems; large game room for playing billiards, ping pong, foosball and shuffleboard; covered dog run; and children’s play area. Socializing with neighbors before work at the coffee bar in the street-level lobby or after work for a glass of wine in the rooftop lounge will make Vibe a special place where new friendships will abound.

Vibe will feature building-wide wi-fi; Alexa built into all apartments and common areas; smart-phone, app-driven apartment entry; temperature controls and package-receipt notification; and a concierge to round out Vibe’s world-class amenity package.

Vibe’s location is ideally situated for convenience. The proposed building is the closest new residential development to the Prudential Center—home of the New Jersey Devils—and host to concerts by well-known performers. Also within easy walking distance are the cultural and arts offerings at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and New Jersey Symphony Hall. Outdoor recreational spaces and venues nearby are the newly-renovated Military Park and Riverfront Park, as well as Mulberry Commons. Red Bull Arena is a quick PATH train ride across the river to Harrison.

The building’s location will be minutes from transportation hub Newark Penn Station, with PATH trains into Manhattan, NJ Transit train, bus lines and the Newark Light Rail, with stations throughout the city and connections to Newark Liberty International Airport.

Check out Vibe’s new video at VibeNewark.com.