NEWARK, NJ — Development and real estate deals continue to change the face of New Jersey’s largest city. Catch up with three important pieces of real estate news in Newark below.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR SENIORS, FAMILIES
Earlier this month, Fairstead and LIHC Investment Group announced the acquisition of the Essex Plaza portfolio, a 691-unit, “fully affordable” housing portfolio in Newark.
According to a news release, Fairstead and LIHC will invest more than $27 million for sustainable renovations and improvements – as well as on-site support services – for a 450-unit senior housing residence at 1060 Broad Street, also known as Essex Plaza One.
Those improvements include:
“Seniors will get brand new Energy Star appliances, upgraded finishes including quartz countertops, new window treatments, flooring, and more to make their apartments look and feel brand new. Fairstead will also provide internet and cable access to all units with service included in residents’ rent. A portion of the units will be brought up to UFAS accessibility standards so that residents with mobility challenges can have accessible homes. Across the site, new lighting and signage will be installed as well as new security cameras, new windows, upgraded elevator equipment, and sidewalk repairs. The community room and accompanying kitchen will be completely refurbished and a brand new fitness center will be created for resident use. A full-time resident services coordinator will be on-site to provide access to health, medical, and other social services as well as curate events and programming for residents.”
Additional improvements are slated for the rest of the portfolio, which includes 241 units of family housing across 12 buildings in the surrounding blocks. Those upgrades will also be financed through the New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency; the portfolio is supported by a rental assistance contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The Essex Plaza portfolio is located in the Lincoln Park Historic District of Newark, just steps away from Newark City Hall, Newark Symphony Hall and the Prudential Center.
The revitalization of the Essex Plaza portfolio is being done in partnership with the state of New Jersey, the City of Newark’s Department of Economic & Housing Development, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and the HUD, with financing for Essex Plaza One provided by the Urban Investment Group within Goldman Sachs Asset Management (Goldman Sachs) and Berkadia.
Fairstead will serve as the lead developer, general contractor, and property manager for Essex Plaza One.
“Part of our commitment to a stronger and fairer New Jersey has always been to provide basic necessities to those in need,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.
“Fairstead’s acquisition and renovation of affordable housing stock in Newark will go a long way toward ensuring that residents of the state’s largest city, in particular its senior citizens, have a reasonably priced place to call home,” Murphy added.
Fairstead will put on a “Fall Festival” – for residents of Essex Plaza only – from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 in the courtyard of Essex Plaza One, 1060 Broad Street. It will include music, food, arts & crafts, dance performances, games, a photo booth, caricature drawings, hot chocolate, a dessert bar and a speaking program.
RUTGERS BUYS DOWNTOWN OFFICE BUILDING
NAI James E. Hanson recently announced it has negotiated the sale of a 3,700-square-foot professional office building at 45 Bleeker Street in Newark. The firm represented the seller, ChildSmiles, and the buyer, Rutgers University.
The firm provided the following statement about the sale:
“Located in the heart of downtown Newark, 45 Bleeker Street is located within the James Street Commons Historic District and was originally owned by the Archdiocese of Newark. Since that time, the building has had several owners and has recently undergone some upgrades, including renovations to four restrooms, new data wiring throughout the building, and a new HVAC system. Already owning many of the neighboring properties, Rutgers University-Newark recognized 45 Bleeker Street’s location as desirable for its use as administrative office space.”
The firm continued:
“Positioned in the heart of University Heights and the Rutgers University-Newark campus, 45 Bleeker Street is highly accessible to both students and staff. It is also nearby the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and Essex County Community College. Additionally, the building is walkable to the Broad Street and Newark Penn NJ Transit stations as well as the Superior Court of NJ and Essex County New Jersey Courthouse.”
“It comes as no surprise that Rutgers University-Newark jumped on the opportunity to buy this property to grow their presence in the surrounding area,” Andrew Kirshenbaum of NAI James E. Hanson said.
“High-quality office spaces in resurgent downtown areas like Newark continue to be in high demand, and we are pleased to have leveraged our understanding of the market to identify both a buyer and new use for this historic building,” Kirshenbaum added.
FREEZER WAREHOUSE FACILITY
Last week, representatives from Fidelco Realty Group, the Elberon Development Group and FreezPak Logistics released details about a new construction project near the border of Newark and Elizabeth.
According to a news release, the project – a 140,000 square foot, “state-of-the-art freezer warehouse facility” – will be FreezPak’s fifth New Jersey location. It will provide a “broad range of services,” including storage and retrieval, repacking, transportation, and overseas container plug-in, as well as on-site USDA, FDA and Food Safety and Inspection Service inspections.
Elberon and Fidelco are co-developers in the project.
Developers said the new structure will deliver 10.5 million cubic feet of space, 18 docks and 30,000 pallet positions. Prior to the start of this project, the property had been abandoned since dye and pigment manufacturer Magruder Color moved out of Newark in 2006.
The new building is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021.
Newark Deputy Mayor and Director of Economic and Housing Development Allison Ladd said the city is seeking to “accelerate development” in the area.
“We believe this project will help re-vitalize an area that has been stagnant for many years, and perhaps serve as a catalyst for further redevelopment,” said Dave Gibbons, president of Elberon Development Group.
“Newark’s strategic position as a transportation hub combined with our available land for commercial development has made us a center for state-of- the-art warehousing and the jobs it creates,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said.
“Once again, Fidelco has recognized the opportunity for economic growth that Newark offers and has acted to help us collectively move Newark forward,” the mayor added.
Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said the city has worked with developers on the project for two years.
“This (project) is an expansion of the warehouse industry in our city outside the comfort zone of the port in an area that would have otherwise been hard to develop,” Bollwage said.
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