Wednesday 18 September 2019

Newark gets a lift with promise of $1bn investment

Newark, New Jersey, has suffered from decades of neglect
Newark, New Jersey, has suffered from decades of neglect

David M. Levitt

SJP Properties Co. and Aetna Realty are set to spend up to $1bn on a project beside a Newark, New Jersey, commuter-rail hub, the latest in a spree of upscale developments that have brought new optimism to the long-suffering city.

SJP, of Parsippany, and Aetna, of New York, envision offices, stores, a hotel, homes and a large public plaza next to the Broad Street hub. The station is one of two in New Jersey's largest city, the other being Newark Penn Station, a mile to the southeast.

Steven J. Pozycki, founder and CEO of SJP, said it will be critical to find a company to anchor the development. The location, which is accessible by mass transit and car, and minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport, should act as a magnet, he said.

The 2 million square-foot (185,000 sq m) project will run along University Avenue and Orange Street, on the site of a former Westinghouse Electric Co. factory.

Back in the 1960s, riots scared developers away from Newark. With a reputation for crime and poverty, the city, just 10 miles (16 kilometres) west of Manhattan, has largely missed out on the urban revival other US cities have enjoyed. Developers plan to spend $700m to $1bn on the project.

Other projects include the construction of a new Prudential Financial office tower, the development of an abandoned department store into a mixed-use property that includes a Whole Foods supermarket, and the conversion of the old New Jersey Bell skyscraper into apartments. SJP helped build the Prudential tower and a headquarters for Panasonic Corp.


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