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
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
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.