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Newark City Council rejects 6-story apartment building proposal on Main Street

Newark City Council rejects another massive development plan for Main Street. But it might not be the end of this proposal.

The planwas for a six-story mixed-use building in the middle of Main Street. It featured 80 apartments, retail space and a public parking garage that would be managed by the City. 

But Newark City Council members rejected it, voting 4-3 against it Monday night, after hours of presentation and discussion. 

Corinth Ford, a member of the public, worried the development would contribute to what she saw as a trend toward Newark being “overbuilt.” 

“It is overwhelming,” Ford said. “The size is overwhelming.”

Councilman Travis McDermott supported the project, arguing Newark needs more student housing downtown.  

“We talk about, there’s 300 students, they’re going to live in this place—well those students are coming to the City of Newark no matter what,” he said. “So whether this building gets built or does not get built, those students are going to come here and they’re going to reside in this city. It is my opinion that they should be centrally located."

The plan required a parking waiver, which Council approved, and a density variance to allow an extra handful of units.

Lawyers for the developers vowed to come back before Council with another proposal of the same size, but with fewer elements Council has discretion over—and no public parking.

Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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