Experience the New Hahne and Co.

Experience the New Hahne and Co.

Thirty years, $174 million dollars, and 400,000 square feet of redesigned retail and residential space—that’s what it took to complete the new Hahne & Co. mixed-use redevelopment project.

The iconic, upscale department store located at 609 Broad Street that became an abandoned eyesore in the community, has become one of the first, new large-scale investments in Newark, a contemporary dwelling for
residents, and a symbol of economic growth for the city’s downtown area.

The flagship store was erected in 1901 by prominent local businessman Julius Hahne and became the first commercial building in Newark designed specifically as a department store. When it opened its doors 116 years ago, it attracted affluent families from Newark and surrounding cities, and was a successful business well into the 1960s. The store closed permanently in 1986.

The new Hahne & Co. building, though completely renovated, still features key elements of the original store, including its street-facing façade, the original signage in the windows, and an expansive skylight in the building’s entryway. Among the new features and amenities of the restored building are a Whole Foods supermarket, a Barnes and Noble college bookstore, and Express Newark, a 50,000-square-foot arts and cultural incubator operated by Rutgers University-Newark. Celebrity restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson—perhaps most notably the proprietor of Harlem, New York’s Red Rooster restaurant—plans to open a 2,250-square-foot restaurant on the Halsey Street side of the building. Additionally, the development includes a 160-unit residential component, 40% of which is dedicated for affordable housing spaces.

The venture was completed through the joint efforts of Mayor Ras Baraka, former Mayor Cory Booker, local and state officials, and a consortium of funders. Renovation was financed through a collaboration of public, nonprofit and private groups, including the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Private equity was provided by L+M Development Partners, Prudential Financial Inc., and Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. Additional construction financing was provided by Citibank, local developers Hanini Group, Crawford Street Partners, and three nonprofit CDFIs.

 

Celebrity Chef Expands in Newark

Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson

With much left up to the imagination as far as the name and food concept of Marcus Samuelsson’s new establishment, one thing is certain—it will open this year, right here in Newark’s renovated Hahne & Co. building. Samuelsson is perhaps best known for Harlem, New York’s Red Rooster restaurant, which opened to wide acclaim in 2010, but he’s actually world-renown for several restaurants, both in the states and abroad. He has hosted and appeared on several food shows and networks, created a cooking video series, and written several books both autobiographical and culinary in nature.

The award-winning Ethiopian-born and Swedish-raised chef will look to the farms and farmers markets of Newark’s neighboring communities to source local ingredients for his restaurant, as well as local vendor opportunities for the business overall. He will also be seeking food inspiration from Newark’s East Ward—a.k.a. the Ironbound section—which has a culinary and cultural tradition heavily influenced by its thriving Portuguese population.

Samuelsson, who has been working on his Newark location for the past three years, may model it after his Harlem establishment, bringing not just good food, but a warm dining and social atmosphere to the community.

Whole Foods Feeds the Community in More Ways Than One

Whole Foods Market

The doors have opened! Whole Foods Market fresh food options are now available to Newark residents and commuters. This business has brought to the city: approximately 110 jobs, various vendor opportunities, community grants, and a micro lending program to fight poverty.

Stationed in the new Hahne & Co building, the 29,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market will bring the city a step closer to resolving the “food desert” crisis—the lack of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthy foods in many urban areas—that plagues Newark. With only three Whole Foods Markets in Essex County, the Newark location is poised to attract many newcomers to the city.

Through its foundation, Whole Foods is granting between $5,000 and $15,000 to community-led nonprofits, in each of Newark’s five wards, that support healthy food projects. The grocer is also offering microloans up to $250,000 to Newark-based entrepreneurs for training and support and to help transform their communities and fight poverty.

And the store’s community-minded focus doesn’t stop there. The Newark Whole Foods location will offer lower prices to shoppers—mirroring the economically sensitive model it implemented in its New Orleans and Detroit locations—all while maintaining the brand’s standard of quality.

Home Sweet Hahne & Co.

New, contemporary living spaces are taking over Newark’s downtown area. One of the newer constructions is a nine-story building located on New and Halsey Streets, which connects to the Hahne & Co. building through a shared lobby and atrium, where additional residential units are located on the third and fourth floors.

Revamping the standard of living, this 100% smoke-free property includes a shopping experience and attractive amenities, including a fitness center, outdoor living areas, and a lounge. To ensure that the residences were accessible to all Newarkers, 64 of the 160 units—ranging from studio to three-bedroom apartments—were designated as affordable housing units for low income and working families. Residents were selected through an application and lottery process and move-in began in January 2017.

Experience Newark Through Multimedia

You don’t often hear of multidiscipline arts incubators popping up in New Jersey, not to mention Newark. This is why Rutgers University–Newark took advantage of the opportunity and wasted no time making themselves at home as the first major tenant inside the new Hahne & Co. building.

The $25 million Express Newark initiative occupies approximately 50,000 square feet and three floors of creative space that includes a portrait studio, a lecture hall, a communications media center, a print shop, gallery space, and the relocated Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies. The university hopes that the space will inspire new local talent and give Newark residents and students an opportunity to use multimedia to express the rich history and diversity in the city.

A collaboration between Rutgers–Newark students, Newark residents and community leaders, Express Newark is a bold approach to cultivating local artistic expression through engagement. It’s meant to serve as a literal and figurative hub for all the imagination and creative ideas in the minds of Rutgers–Newark students and beyond.

Living & Working in Teachers Village

Living & Working in Teachers Village

Nestled in the heart of Newark’s downtown arts and education district is a burgeoning commercial and residential community called Teachers Village. A mixed-use community comprised of seven buildings that take up five blocks along Halsey Street, Teachers Village is unique among Newark’s development boom.

The $150 million dollar community, designed by world-renown architect Richard Meier, is distinguished by its education-focused theme. It’s surrounded by six universities and houses a daycare center and three charter schools. And Teachers Village isn’t just a charming name for the development—residential preference will be given to those in the education profession. To date, 70% of the community’s residents work in education.

Of the seven buildings that make up Teachers Village (five have been completed at press time), residential space is being built into four of them. At press time, three of those four buildings have apartments available, totaling 123 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with one-bedrooms going for a little under $1,500 per month.

And along with amenities such as central air conditioning and heat, on-site parking, and a 24-hour fitness center, the buildings are going to be equipped with “smart classrooms” that teachers who live in the community can use to host students after school or as a quiet place to study, perhaps in pursuit of their own advanced degrees.

Teachers Village also boasts 65,000 square feet of retail space that’s already begun to fill up. A variety of goods and services will be available, including banks, clothing stores, convenience and grocery stores, medical facilities, beauty services, and restaurants and eateries.

At press time, about 20 storefronts had already been established. Meet a couple of entrepreneurs who have already moved into the neighborhood.

 

MEET ISABEL LIVINGSTON, owner of Closet Savvy Consignment in Teachers Village

Name: Isabel Livingston

Business: Closet Savvy Consignment

Location: 37 Maiden Lane, Newark NJ 07102

Website: www.closetsavvyconsignment.com

Isabel Livingston is a Newark native who attended University High School and graduated from Jersey Preparatory before attending Essex County College. Upon graduation she landed a job with Blue Cross Blue Shield as a customer service representative and used her income to purchase her first home at the age of 22 in Orange, NJ.

In 2012, Isabel began Closet Savvy Consignment as an online boutique. In 2016, she moved her designer wears by top designers such as Burberry, Gucci and Balenciaga into the bricks and mortar of Teachers Village in Newark.

“I love it (Teachers Village), I walk to work and I am close to Penn Station and public transportation. People (typically) spend so much time traveling and commuting and I don’t have to do it. I can support the local business community. There are fabulous retailers here.  It is literally the best thing since the Internet!”

Isabel grew up in Newark but moved with her daughter in the early 2000s to Maplewood, New Jersey. She moved back in late 2016, in part, because of the city’s new real estate projects. After seeing all the improvements the city was making and exploring some of the new housing options, Isabel settled on Teachers Village. “It seemed like a no-brainer,” she remarked.

 

MEET TONNIE ROZIER, owner of Tonnie’s Minis Cupcakes

Name: Tonnie Rozier

Business: Tonnie’s Minis

Location: Coming soon to Teachers Villiage, Newark, NJ

Website: www.tonniesminis.com

“I wasn’t sold on Newark at first, because I never went past Penn Station. But when I started looking around at all these major businesses coming [into town]—I saw an opportunity. Newark’s rich history is why I stayed for over 10 years,” says Tonnie Rozier, owner of Tonnie’s Minis cupcakes that is coming to Teachers Village later this year.

Tonnie was living in the Ironbound section of Newark when he opened his first cupcake shop in Harlem in 2006. He opened another location in the Inwood section of the Bronx in August 2013. But business was growing too big too fast and he found himself struggling to keep up.

Part of the reason Tonnie was able to open his brick and mortar shops was the success of the private and corporate business he’d been cultivating for years. But a large corporate deal he entered into with Dallas BBQ restaurant—Tonnie was to produce 60,000 cupcakes a week for the restaurant chain’s 11 New York City locations—shifted his focus away from his own shops and led to their closing in late 2013.

Tonnie re-opened his Bronx location a few months later but had to close again when the Department of Health indicted him for not having a particular sink. Later in 2014, making savvier business decisions and with the necessary equipment installed, he opened for business again and remains open.

In 2015, Tonnie’s Minis was a featured business on CNBC network’s The Profit,” where show host, businessman and angel investor Marcus Lemonis revamps and revitalizes a small business in exchange for a percentage of ownership in the business. Now, working toward a more stable entrepreneurial base, Tonnie is ready to expand in Teachers Village.

Still living in Newark all this time, Tonnie was approached by a business developer with the idea to re-open in downtown Newark.

“Michael Vann was the go-to guy in the ‘90s if you wanted to open a restaurant. He is the one who told me about Teachers Village and wanted to help me. He truly believed in my product and was a great sounding board and conduit.”

So in 2016, Tonnie moved his wife and two daughters into Teachers Village. He loves that his family is surrounded by educators in what he calls “a melting pot of teachers, each bringing different energy to the table. I know this works!”

Newark’s Teachers Village gives him the  sense of community he felt in Harlem, of people coming together to enjoy themselves, then going home in the same neighborhood.

Tonnie plans to employ 11 Newark residents in his store, which open later this year. “I always employ people from the neighborhood where my business is located. I am going to scout the best talent that resides in Newark.”

Ask the Mayor

Ask the Mayor

Is Newark the new Brooklyn?

Newark is not Brooklyn. The market forced Brooklyn to become one of the most expensive counties in the country. The development in Newark is being done very differently. It’s very deliberate. And we have local residents in mind.

We are pushing an inclusionary zoning ordinance that requires developers to have affordable units in all of their residential construction. Take the Hahne & Co. project, for example. The [residential] development in that building has a 40% affordability clause in it. We’re not displacing people. So it’s really not accurate to say that we’re gentrifying these neighborhoods. We’re going to make a better Newark for the residents of this city.

 

What do you say to those who are skeptical?

You can’t just be against development and not for the betterment of the conditions we’ve been living in. We’re being very creative about how we’re making these things happen and we need you to be involved. We need you to take part in making this happen, not be cynical about it on social media.

Many of us have the privilege of going shopping and to restaurants in South Orange, Livingston or New York City—while the majority of Newark residents have to go to overpriced, poor quality establishments. We can no longer tolerate that. We have to create better places to shop and to live, better opportunities for work. And that’s what we’re doing.

 

How is development  going to benefit low-income residents?

We’re creating cooperatives in the city of Newark, getting direct sales from the federal government so people are able to buy homes at low rates. We’re continuing to make Newark property available to Newark residents at low prices and get residents the financing they need. And we’re working with corporations to hire more Newark residents, get them to invest in Newark businesses, and get their employees to live in Newark.

Newark residents deserve great stores and restaurants. They deserve to have a nightlife. They deserve places to live that aren’t rat-infested, or where the ceiling isn’t falling in, or that doesn’t contain lead and asbestos. And we’re going to fight for them to get these things.

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