Time for Newark

From the Commercial Observer:

Five Reasons to Pay Attention to Newark

Of all the commuter cities west of the Hudson River, Newark, N.J., gets the least respect from real estate professionals.

Some of the reasons for this are understandable; Newark is more of a pain in the posterior to commute to than Jersey City. It doesn’t have the stock of brownstones of Hoboken. The city was devastated by riots a half-century ago and never quite regained its footing.

But those objections look puny when you consider that major real estate players like Edison Properties and Lotus Equity Group and basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal are investing tens of millions of dollars into hundreds of thousands of square feet of real estate. And the fact that the crime rate is the lowest it’s been since 1967.

“We think the way to change the dynamic is to create critical mass,” Ben Korman, the chief executive officer and founder of Lotus, told Commercial Observer. “It can’t happen organically.” And Korman is not the only one doing his part.

Beit started assembling lots for the project in 2005. The idea behind Teachers Village was that education and educators would be at the heart of the project. “Our goal is to get 70 percent teachers [as residents],” Beit said. They’ve marketed it directly to educators and found that the reaction has been extremely positive. “Just the fact that we have a community for them makes teachers feel supported.”

All but a handful of the apartments are leased, and Beit is gearing up for the next phase of his master plan: Four Corners, three ground-up buildings consisting of a 130-key hotel, 107 rentals and retail, which he’s aiming to have finished in the second quarter of 2019.

Can an area gentrify without the requisite Whole Foods? Well, Newark won’t need to worry about finding out. A 30,000-square-foot Whole Foods opened earlier this year at the old Hahne & Company building, just across Military Park from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC).

But the Whole Foods is only one reason to get excited about that particular building; it is the anchor of the 115-year-old, 400,000-square-foot namesake department store (with another 100,000 square feet tacked on) that had been vacant since the 1980s and has been converted into a mixed-use extravaganza.

“Rutgers [University] is taking about 50,000 square feet for a collaborative arts space,” said Jonathan Cortell, the vice president of development for the building’s developer, L+M Development. “They’re one of the vital anchors of the project.” But there’s more: Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster is opening up a 2,250-square-foot restaurant on the project’s Halsey Street border. There’s also a Petco; a Kite + Key (the Rutgers equivalent of an Apple store); and a coworking space all in the works.

However, the stadium made for an enticing piece of real estate for Lotus’ Korman, who is taking a big swing at the property when he picked up the stadium last fall for $23.5 million.

The plan that Korman has drawn up is for a 2.3-million-square-foot mixed-use development, consisting of housing, office, retail and cultural space. (Sorry, baseball lovers; the stadium will be razed.)

“We’re doing everything we can to break ground in 2019,” Korman said. “We hope to start the permitting process later this year.”

“Brooklyn has a lot of housing and not much office presence,” Korman noted. “It’s the opposite problem here.”

Amen to that.

The list of corporate behemoths that have chosen Newark as their home would impress the most skeptical observer: Prudential has their world headquarters in Newark. (The insurer has been in the city since the 19th century, and the city’s indoor arena that opened in 2007 and hosts the New Jersey Devils is named the Prudential Center.) There’s Audible, which has 1,000 employees and is gearing up to expand its office space dramatically. (Last month, The New York Times ran a story about how Audible was paying $2,000 a month in free rent at the Hahne Building for 20 of its lucky employees as part of a housing lottery.) Panasonic’s North American headquarters is in Newark.

Richard Meier isn’t the only Newark son who came back to make his mark on his hometown’s skyline.

Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal has also returned to spread some of his largesse with the under-construction One Rector, the 168-unit rental on which he is a backer along with Boraie Development.

The $75 million ground-up project adjacent to NJPAC will feature market-rate studios starting at $1,400 per month, one-bedrooms beginning at $1,700 per month and two-bedrooms starting at $2,300 monthly. “It’s an affordably priced building,” said Wasseem Boraie, the vice president of development at Boraie.

Of course, O’Neal has been “involved with a lot of things in Newark,” Boraie said. “We developed a movie theater, CityPlex 12, with him.” This replaced a six-screen Loews multiplex a few years ago. As for One Rector, the project is expected to be completed next year.

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, New Development, New Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Time for Newark

  1. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Pending home sales tumble as supply crisis worsens

    Fewer buyers signed contracts to buy existing homes in May, likely because they can’t find or afford what they want.

    The pending home sales index from the National Association of Realtors dropped 0.8 percent month to month and is now 1.7 percent lower than May 2016. Expectations had been for a slight gain, but even April’s reading was revised lower.

    “Monthly closings have recently been oscillating back and forth, but this third consecutive decline in contract activity implies a possible topping off in sales,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the Realtors. “Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand. Prospective buyers are being sidelined by both limited choices and home prices that are climbing too fast.”

    The number of home sales that closed this spring was slightly higher than a year ago, but the lack of listings clearly held the market back. The supply of homes for sale at the end of May was down more than 8 percent from a year ago, and homes that were listed sold at the fastest rate on record.

    The tight supply is pushing home prices higher, considerably faster than income growth. Low mortgage rates have not been much help in offsetting these big price gains, and in fact may be exacerbating the problem, especially if rates begin to rise as is widely expected.

    The inventory crisis is worst on the low end of the market, where demand is highest. The number of starter and trade-up homes currently on the market is down 15.6 percent and 13 percent, respectively, compared with a year ago, according to Trulia, a real estate website. The inventory of premium homes has fallen 3.9 percent.

    The supply situation has buyer confidence in the housing market dropping. Just over half of renters say they think now is a good time to buy, according to the Realtors. That is down from 62 percent one year ago. While about 80 percent of current homeowners think now is a good time to buy, they are not listing their homes for sale. This may have more to do with weakening affordability than anything else. They don’t want to sell if they can’t afford a move-up home.

  2. D-FENS says:

    Newark (Saturday)

    New Jersey Residents March For Slavery Reparations (WATCH)


  3. The Great Pumpkin says:

    The iPhone turns ten – The Economist

  4. The Great Pumpkin says:

    D, wtf is wrong with these people? What’s next? Native Americans wanting compensation for the land they lost when they were conquered? It’s history, things happen, but you need to move on. This reparation movement can be compared to someone that got screwed over in a relationship, but can’t get over it and move on. So they waste away their life worrying about yesterday and how this person ruined their life. No, you ruined your life by dwelling on the past and not moving forward. Time is precious and it shouldn’t be wasted about crying about the past 200 years later. These African Americans could have taken that energy and created something of value that would generate income, but instead, they are wasting their valuable time and energy on going backwards, and not forwards. This is why they will never be successful as other races in America when it comes to wealth building, they just don’t get it.

    What’s sad, they are successful in sports because they focus on bs like that. They don’t want to do good in school or put in the time to start a business, instead they focus on sports. So they are very successful at sports, but not much anything else. It’s funny, their skin color or heritage didn’t prevent them from killing it at sports, but it prevents them from being successful at anything else? What a lame excuse and justification for a pity party.

  5. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Its inevitable that Newark will rise from the ashes and be the most powerful city in nj (and one of the most powerful in our country…it’s inevitable that northeast nj will become one of the most lucrative urban areas) in our lifetimes. The location is too valuable to stay the way it is. Those people will be pushed out in time, so value can once again be created.

  6. The Great Pumpkin says:

    That’s what is sick about the African Americans living in Newark. They are sitting on a gold mine, and the only thing preventing them from seeing this is how they live and take care of their community. If only they could live like normal human beings instead of scaring everyone away. But somehow, someway, they blame other races for this. Once again, they just don’t get it. Keep embracing that culture that is holding you back.

  7. LurksMcGee says:

    I strongly disagree Pumpkin. People that are conquered and “stay” in the same country that conquered them never succeed. They’re running a race with a ball and chain and 10 seconds after the gun goes off.

    The results of that situation reverberate and take longer to dig out of. Same reason Native Americans are behind. Every other race didn’t have that same result. Now if there was a way for them immigrate to some other land, things would be different.

    I agree that holding on to the past won’t get them anywhere, but simply saying “be like everyone else” isn’t as clear cut as you think.

  8. No One says:

    It’s so cute to see Pumpkin’s two personalities inanely arguing.

  9. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Lurks, the ball and chain is all in their head. Plenty of pockets of very successful African Americans, but what about the race as a whole? There is a reason the Ben Carson types blame the mindset as the problem and not the race. How exactly can a white man hold down an African today? It’s the opposite, they are given tremendous opportunities based on the color of their skin, that other races are not given, and they are still using the damn race card for their failures. It’s 2017, it’s time to look in the mirror and start blaming yourself instead of the color of the skin. The opportunities are there. The African fathers need to create a nuclear family and stop blaming others for their terrible choices.

  10. D-FENS says:

    you are nuts.

  11. Bystander says:

    You are a complete racist twit. Indian situation was a govt sanctioned Holocaust not a “conquering”. There is a huge difference. African Americans had no rights until the 60s and white America still had to be pulled by the hair for decades to allow integration. Look up Newark riots too, dimwit. I am not for reparations but it is ignorant to think that centuries of suppression and slavery can be fixed in a generation. Racism moved from in your face govt backed variety to submersive which is much harder to call out. Thinking it does not exist shows your stupidity.

  12. LurksMcGee says:

    What you’re describing is exceptions to rules. Similar to when people say “You don’t need a degree to succeed”. While that statement is correct, they not looking at the averages and percentages for success.

    I also agree that no one is currently holding them back. What I’m saying is that the damage done makes it difficult for them to get through it.

    Think about people that are abused as children. Moving forward, no one is holding them back. However, they are damaged/scarred. At that point if they do get to move forward, its RARE they succeed as much as the people next to them. Even worse, if they fail, their offspring will most likely fail too. It will take a few generations to reverse those effects as a whole.

    What you’re saying is “Why don’t those kids that were touched by priests go on to be wild successes!? They’re only looking at their past.”

  13. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I’m nuts? You think I came up with this on my own? Any successful African Americans that I am friends with says the same thing. They state, why didn’t race hold me back? Every unsuccessful African American I have come across takes the position that they are unsuccessful because whites are holding them down. Do they even understand it’s a capitalist based system. Just because you are poor and black, it doesn’t have to do with your skin color, it has everything to do with what kind of value you bring the system and the choices you make. Blaming your skin color for your lack of success is lame. Who are the poor whites in Appalachia going to blame for their bad choices? They are no different from poor African American besides the color of the skin. Both made the same bad choices that leads to generational poor. Has nothing to do with their skin color.

  14. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Bystander, the 1960’s was almost 60 years ago. It’s not a “generation ” ago. It’s 2017, no one is being held back on the color of their skin. To say otherwise is crazy. Wtf do I or my kid have to do or my kid with something that happened when we were not alive. So stupid

  15. LurksMcGee says:

    Pumpkin, maybe you’re taking offense because they used the word “nuts” but they’re right.

    Your anecdotal Black friend is equivalent to a rich person born on third base saying “If I made it, why can’t others”. They’re not recognizing the rarity of their situation.

    Native Americans live in “rural Newarks” with the same level poverty – if not worse. Again, there are exceptions, but overall they’re in the same boat.

  16. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Lurks, agree, there is an impact. But the point is, life isn’t fair. Everyone is given challenges. Successful people overcome these challenges and never dwell on the past and what they can’t control.

    Look at India. That caste system was something to complain about. No matter how hard you try, you can never move up. Simply not the case in America.

  17. LurksMcGee says:

    If what you’re saying is true, your previous complaints about Capitalism are null and void.

  18. Nomad says:

    Starting July 10th at an NJ Transit line near you…


    How many good wage jobs are waiting if we start to work on infrastructure? Civil engineers, foundations, structural steel, concrete, electric and the list goes on. 96 yo bridge that should have been replaced what, 40 years ago? What happens when one of the main arteries has a catastrophic structural failure? You can only shore up antiquated infrastructure so much as there is nothing strong enough to shore up the old weak stuff to.

  19. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Lurks, I will take your advice and reaxmine the situation. You are not one to mess with me to have some fun.

    I just believe it’s a bad idea to teach someone that their skin color is to blame for their failures. Instead of working harder to become successful, they will just give up and blame their skin color for their failures. Terrible seed to plant in someone’s head. An excuse to use as a crutch for any of life’s failures.

  20. 3b says:

    Bizzaro land in here today!! Or more bizarre I should say!

  21. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Law enforcement officials have indicated the arrests are just the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of people have called township officials wondering how they can avoid arrest.


  22. Walking bye says:

    Strange days indeed. Speaking of infrastructure I was listening to that god awful mark Simone while driving this week and he was going off on the governor on ny, how all the transit problems his fault. Then he starts with why he thinks tolless lanes are a conspiracy by the mta so that you never know how much the toll is. Better off paying in cash to a real human he is ranting so they can’t raise tolls without you knowing. I wanted to punch the guy, really want to gridlock a whole state cause you can’t google how much a toll is before leaving the house. What a schmuck. Are you that far right you can’t even acknowledge a good idea because the current go is democrat.

  23. No One says:

    So these jewish scammers think their god will get upset if he looks down and sees them without hats or wigs, or sees them eat bacon, but he won’t get upset if he sees them scamming welfare? I cannot imagine what’s going on in their screwed-up brains.

  24. R We Great Yet? says:

    Looks like Lakewood might have some inventory soon……

  25. Pr0udL1beral says:

    Grating Pee kin, Maybe you can tell us a little more about your own background and race and we can tell you why you have been raised as an arrogant, ignorant scum bag? I am sorry you have been raised with a total lack of compassion.

  26. grim says:

    They extended the eruv wire around the welfare office, it’s all good.

  27. The Great Pumpkin says:

    For everyone judging me, I grew up poor (middle class poor) and in one of the most diverse areas in our state…Clifton. I think I know from first hand experience more about this issue than most. I grew up with these people, I think I know a thing or two about how they think. I obviously made it out on hard work and education, if I can do it, so can they. So call me a racist or whatever ignorant label you want to throw on me. Go for it if it makes you feel good.

  28. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Nomad, my thoughts exactly. How many jobs can be created from the modernization of infrastructure. It’s criminal that they let it go this far on the basis of not wanting to pay for it. The “short term” profit mentality is strong within our American society.

  29. The Great Pumpkin says:

    You know what is sad(lesson learned today)? Don’t ever mention anything about race, even if you are correct, they will resort to calling you a racist. It’s the American way!

  30. LurksMcGee says:

    Pumpkin, you’re reinforcing your ignorance (I say ignorant in its purest form – you literally don’t know that you don’t know).

    You literally repeated my “If I can make it so can they” statement that I alluded to.

    I promise you, you wouldn’t say that about people Vietnam vet with PTSD/the kids that they raised. This is no different.

    We’re not saying its “impossible” to succeed. We’re saying its not as simple as you’re making it.

  31. No One says:

    I actually agree with some of punkin’s points on race victimization mentality and the self-destructive culture within some ethnic communities. Active cultural hostility to education, accusations of “acting white”. I just saw a black comedian on the Comedy channel last night making fun of the Star Spangled Banner, saying it was “the whitest song” and that like the USA it was “created by white privilege”. And the rainbow millennial audience was eating up this SJW “comedy”.

    Black people I know who took their education seriously and had ambition have done very well. I cannot call them all “African American” because they aren’t all Americans.

    See also the book “Losing Ground” which detailed how “Great Society” welfare programs created incentives for short-sighted behavior and government dependence that appeared to especially ravage African-Americans, but has probably spread to all races over time.

  32. 3b says:

    Pumps what is middle class poor? And as for Clifton bring diverse as of the 2010 census it was still almost 70 percent white.

  33. LurksMcGee says:

    No One,

    I think everyone agrees that the victim mentality isn’t productive. It stops you from moving forward.

    What we disagree with, is how “easy” for Black people to succeed coming from families that have had historical set backs.

    The comedy you’re mentioning is equivalent to people venting and not solving their problem. Sure, it makes some people feel good to demonize someone else when they have their own shortcomings. However, to act like those shortcomings aren’t the result of generational set-backs is a bit narrow minded.

    You mention the people that dusted themselves off and moved forward. Sure it happens, but how often? For every 1 child that’s been abused and had a rough life and goes on to succeed, their might be 9 more that live in a trailer park and reproduce 3 trailer park destined children – with only 1 going on to succeed.

    Further, if what you and Pumpkin are saying is true – there’d be no poor people in general. Every new generation would magically say “I’m not going to follow in what my parents did and I’m going to succeed”

  34. grim says:

    Clifton is currently about 50% non-hispanic/asian white.

    In terms of racial, and ethnic diversity, it is more diverse than Montclair or Maplewood. The diversity “shining stars” of NNJ.

    It’s also less economically segregated – this applies to both income inequality and geographic segregation.

    When I was in grammar school, it was nearly entirely white. Diversity was the two asian kids, one became one of my best friends. Pretty white bread middle class.

    When I graduated in 94, it was clear that the demographic shift was largely underway.

    Too bad Clifton High is a shit-hole today, it would have a lot going for it otherwise. Clifton is located in what could arguably be the most advantageous and convenient location in NNJ, at the intersections of 80, 46, 3, 21, 20, 19, Parkway, and NJ Transit.

  35. LurksMcGee says:

    With that said,


    Did you come from a two-parent household? Did both parents work? Were your parents unstable? Did they instill in you the idea that you should do well in school to go on? do you have siblings? Are they as successful as you? If not, the ones that aren’t, are the older or younger? Did they grow up around a time when your parents were harder on their luck? Were you consistently poor throughout the childhood or did you have “bursts” of poor feelings?

  36. LurksMcGee says:

    and I’m not asking these questions related to race. I’m asking related to general middle of the road success.

  37. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Lurks, I agree. That was my point, it’s much more difficult for the poor to move up, but it’s the same challenge whether you are Latino, African American, European, or asian. Skin color is not the problem, but class. Anyone stating otherwise is not looking at the issue at hand. Do you think poor whites are treated any differently from poor African Americans? I don’t think so, hence, why I state the color of skin is not the issue holding them back.

    They are not being held back based on the color of their skin, but because they are the “poor” in a capitalist based economic system that punishes the losers (poor) and rewards the winners (rich). The economic system is based on earning off the backs of the poor, isn’t that exactly how someone gets rich in a capitalist economic system? Start a business, hire workers, profit off their hard work, and then profit off these same people as customers. If everyone is rich, who the hell will work, and work for below market wages that you can’t even survive on? You need desperate poor people for capitalism to work.

    I rant about income inequality on a regular basis, not because I want to eliminate poverty, but because I want to maximize the efficiency of the system by putting enough capital in the consumers hand to produce good growth in the economy. There is no way to end poverty, without eliminating the rich. I’m not about to be a part of that kind of system that will end in destruction.

    So maybe I’m wrong, but I think 2017, class has more to do than race, but what do I know.

    “We’re not saying its “impossible” to succeed. We’re saying its not as simple as you’re making it.”

  38. LurksMcGee says:

    I wanted to separate the skin color issue to draw out my next point.

    Now that you understand how things set poor people back, factor in the systematic setbacks. The difference between a cut that needs a band-aid and a deep gash that needs stitches.

    Again, look at Native Americans and Black people and you’ll see the similarities vs others that can be afflicted with bad luck of the draw.

    In 2017, things are getting better and Black people are pretty close to the same starting line. I don’t even know how much longer Native Americans can exist in their current situation.

  39. LurksMcGee says:

    I’m sure there’s similarities to the Aborigine in Australia.

  40. JCer says:

    Pumps normally I think there is little merit in what you post but I agree with one thing you are saying, racism or not the victim mindset of the African American community in America is tremendously damaging. In my professional career most Black people I’ve come across are immigrants, and instead of the victim mentality they have a I want to make as much money and be as successful as I can mentality and it serves them much better. You are absolutely right that successful black people focus less on racism and more on performing. If you keep doing eventually you’ll be compensated for it.

    Here is the issue racism is largely no longer acceptable and what they refer to as “White Privilege” really is fundamentally part of our biology, we are more likely to trust someone who resembles us physically, it is just how we are wired. If we are going to talk about white privilege, how about tall privilege, etc. Inherently tall, good looking, thin, white people have a huge advantage…. the rest of us, well not so much. At the end of the day a bald, fat, ugly white man faces more discrimination than a good looking African American man…no joke.

    As for Newark, the elephant in the room is the giant tax breaks everyone has gotten for moving there. I don’t know if Newark’s day has come, or if the critical mass dies when the Tax breaks do. Fundamentally at least downtown Newark by Penn and North Newark should be viable but unfortunately the city is run poorly and half the residents are illiterate including current Mayor Ras Baraka. If you look at Harrison and what has happened there as well as JC, they are unrecognizable now….literally cities have sprung up overnight where they didn’t exist before. Newark hasn’t been able to replicate that success, part of it is reputation and part of it is the crime problem.

  41. LurksMcGee says:

    While I don’t disagree with you all as a whole, I find it interesting that no one ever tells someone to stop being a victim when they’ve been abused by priests, or raped, or any of the above.

    Not saying people should tell them to “get over it”, but its interesting that it applies to skin color and not all sorts of atrocities that have granted immunity to the victim mentality.

  42. LurksMcGee says:

    Secondly, how about that real estate news?

  43. Formerly Essex says:

    Hi Everyone! Just checking in from LA LA Land. Where the weather is perfect, the people laid back, and I just can’t seem to find my keys….

  44. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Excuse me, waitress? Could I please have a nothing burger with a little bit of whitelash on the side?


  45. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    LOL. Hahahhahahahahahahahahaha! Clifton!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    You win the crown as the most out of touch douchebag EVER!!!!!!!!!!

    For everyone judging me, I grew up poor (middle class poor) and in one of the most diverse areas in our state…Clifton.

  46. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    What exit(s)?

    Too bad Clifton High is a sh!t-hole today, it would have a lot going for it otherwise. Clifton is located in what could arguably be the most advantageous and convenient location in NNJ, at the intersections of 80, 46, 3, 21, 20, 19, Parkway, and NJ Transit.

  47. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Pumps did better, he came from a three parent household. One mother, one grandmother, one absentee criminal father.


    Did you come from a two-parent household?

  48. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Wow. I never really considered that Pumps got it up the ass multiple ways.

    I find it interesting that no one ever tells someone to stop being a victim when they’ve been abused by priests, or raped, or any of the above.

  49. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Maybe his great room is a euphemism for his ass? Just sayin’

  50. Blue Ribbon Teacher says:

    So, pumps, how do you take your rippers?

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