$70M Investment Planned for Two Historic Downtown Newark Buildings Through Partnership

Just around the corner from the buildings is the Prudential office building on Broad Street. The Rutgers University-Newark campus is also located further down Halsey Street. About a 10-minute walk away from the Halsey Street building is the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

“By deploying our Next Gen Impact Platform with a local emerging developer, like Hanini Group, we are able to leverage our tools and expertise in equitable development between teams to best serve communities,” said Brian Murray, CEO of SHIFT Capital. “The power of our investment in Newark comes from our symbiotic partnerships and united dedication to delivering for the community.”

Part of this platform will call on millions of dollars of investment into the properties. At the Broad and Halsey street properties, officials said they plan to invest approximately $70 million in environmental and wellness building upgrades. Part of the goal for these upgrades, officials said, is to spur job growth and drive new businesses to the downtown’s main corridors. 

The partners also plan to reactivate the street-level storefronts with community-focused retailers, aiming to create a robust commercial corridor and serve as destination and amenity access points for the Central Ward neighborhood.

For Samer Hanini, a managing partner with the Hanini Group which has headed a number of development projects around the city, he sees the recent portfolio acquisition as an opportunity to welcome companies that will launch a new generation of entrepreneurs in the city. 

“Hanini Group has been investing in and with the Newark community for over a decade,” said Hanini. “Our investments at Broad, Halsey and University open new doors at the intersection of technology and community, and strengthen our neighborhood commitments by creating untapped opportunities to activate these spaces for our neighbors, add jobs, and boost the vibrancy of the streetscapes.”

Investment in these properties also comes at a crucial point in the city’s efforts to rebound from the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the height of the pandemic, city data reported that approximately 16,000 residents lost their jobs between February and May. At its peak, Newark’s unemployment rate rose to 19%. The pandemic wreaked havoc on job losses most notably in four sectors: hospitality, healthcare/social services, retail and other services. In total, these four sectors alone comprised 60% of all jobs lost, resulting in nearly $60 million to $100 million lost in consumer spending, according to the city.

In June, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced plans for a two-year economic recovery effort that would be aimed to help the city bounce back in the post-pandemic era with a strong focus on revitalizing small businesses and neighborhoods.

Piyush Bhardwaj, founder and managing partner of CoIP, is confident the portfolio acquisition could complement the city's pandemic recovery efforts. 

“In a post-COVID-office environment, these properties combine – the accessibility to New York and talent-rich neighborhoods of New Jersey with a spirit of Newark’s rebirth,” said Bhardwaj. “We believe that our acquisition will provide the city with another set of world-class buildings that blends Newark’s history with its future in a way that will continue to launch it forward. Having been a resident of Newark, it is satisfying to see the city conform towards its potential.”

Development on 707 Broad and 153 Halsey streets is scheduled to begin early next year which will include activating the rooftop at 707 Broad, upgrading the systems and renovating almost all the spaces throughout the buildings, according to officials.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-12-09 03:06:31 -0800