Somerset Brownstones

Newark, New Jersey

Owner: The Michaels Organization

Project Value: $19 million (estimated)

Est. Completion: November 2020

Architect: KNTM Architects

Somerset Brownstones is a $19 million affordable housing project that broke ground in the Central Ward neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey. The new community will bring 60 new affordable units to the city. As part of the two-phase project meant to revitalize the neighborhood, the new complex aims to bring new families to the community.

Somerset Brownstones is funded partly by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development to construct an affordable housing project in the neighborhood. As general contractor, Arc Building Partners brought experience to the team, completing developments meant to bring old neighborhoods back to life.

The Michaels Organization, owner and developer of the project, and their nonprofit partner, Better Tomorrows, are looking to provide mixed-housing units to the residents of Newark. The site, at 140 Spruce Street, will employ four new buildings. Each 3-story building will consist of 15 new units and include 60 apartments-40 will be two bedroom, while the remaining 20 will be three- bedroom units. All of the 60 units will be reserved for those earning below 60 percent of the area median income. Additionally, 15 of the new apartments are being reserved for permanent homeless housing and veterans.

Amenities included in each apartment will consist of air conditioning, dishwashers, and washer and dryer hookups. Better Tomorrows also plans to develop supportive programs for residents such as after-school activities, financial literacy seminars and health fairs.

The goal of the Somerset Brownstones is to provide an inclusive community for the current residents of Newark. This housing is meant to provide new affordable space for people in the city, rather than force them outward, the way other development projects tend to do.

Arc Building Partners' team broke ground on this project in December of 2019. Despite the unforeseen circumstances of COVID-19, our team managed to continue to work diligently to remain on schedule. With our efforts, our team is anticipated to complete the Somerset Brownstones ahead of schedule in November, roughly four weeks prior to the initially planned completion date of December 2020.