Newark’s Changing Skyline
The many high-profile changes occurring in Newark are an affirmation of the city’s ongoing redevelopment efforts. For example, when Whole Foods signed a lease for its first store in downtown Newark, it was a nod to the city’s shifting demographics. The upscale retailer normally chooses high-traffic, affluent locales such as the Time Warner Center in Manhattan. The 29,000-square-foot Whole Foods will anchor the conversion of the former Hahne & Co. department store building into a multi-use building, featuring residential units on the upper floors, and retail and office space on the main level.
Rutgers University also plans to take roughly 50,000 square feet of the redeveloped Hahne building for an arts center. The university plans to create collaborative space with the community, providing studio, classroom and gallery space for campus programs and local organizations.
Newark: A New Urban Enclave
The renovation of the Hahne building and the momentum behind the redevelopment activity occurring in Newark was a topic of discussion recently at the New Urbanism Conference, hosted by the Rutgers Business School Center for Real Estate. Newark was described as a new urban enclave where public-private partnerships are fuelling roughly $2 billion worth of investment in just one section of the downtown.
Newark’s has an amazing number of assets including its strategic location in the New York metropolitan area, cultural amenities, corporate anchors, community organizations and an exceptional transportation infrastructure. In areas such as Military Park, Washington Park, Rutgers and the James Street Historic District, there are a number of key investments being made from new development to commercial businesses moving into the downtown.
These assets along with public-private partnerships are driving the turnaround Newark is experiencing. A big part of Newark’s renaissance are the expansion plans undertaken by the city’s colleges and universities. The iconic building at 15 Washington St., for example, is getting a $80 million facelift to create housing for more than 330 students. Rather than tearing down the former American Insurance Co. headquarters, the 22-story building is being repurposed to create housing for Rutgers University students.
Office Space Users Flock to Newark
Office location in Newark offers businesses the best of both worlds, an affordable site with easy access to New York City. Downtown Newark offers prime office locations such as the Military Park Building at 60 Park Place. The Newark Downtown District (NDD) recently leased 11,400 square feet for its headquarters and other operations in the 250,000-square-foot building.The NDD’s 12-year commitment at 60 Park Place includes the entire 5,000-square-foot 21st floor, which will be the organization’s executive offices. A 1,400-square-foot space off the lobby, which has its own street and lobby entrances, will be utilized as a police substation, and a 5,000-square-foot basement space will also be utilized by the police, as well as NDD’s Ambassador Program.
Nearby, at Robert Treat Center located at 50 Park Place, Neurotrope, a biopharmaceutical company, leased 4,000 square feet, and law firm Jacoby & Meyers, renewed its lease and added 1,000 square feet for a total of 2,900 square feet. The 15-story Robert Treat Center sits adjacent to the Berger-owned, 176-room Best Western Robert Treat Hotel. Its tenants also include the Associated Press, the City of Newark, the State of New Jersey and Teach for America.