Photograph of the front façade of a four-story, Renaissance revival commercial building.
Photograph of a living room with two sofas and other furniture and large windows along one of the walls.
Photograph of a two-story atrium and a group of people milling about temporary seating on the first floor.
Photograph of a courtyard around a skylight and enclosed by the upper two-stories of a brick building.
Photograph of the exterior of the Hahne & Co. building, showing the upper two stories of two façades at a corner of the building where a wall sign reading “Hahne & Company” is placed.

 

Home >Case Studies >Newark, New Jersey: Renovating a Historic Landmark for Revitalizing Downtown

 

Newark, New Jersey: Renovating a Historic Landmark for Revitalizing Downtown

 

What was once a good location for a department store in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is now an opportune site for a mixed-income, mixed-use development. The Hahne & Co. building, built in 1901, had been vacant for nearly 30 years, languishing near the new 20-story office tower of Prudential Financial, an insurance and investment management company committed to the economic health of the city. With acquisition capital from Prudential Financial, the project’s developer, L+M Development Partners, completed the $175.5 million project in early 2017 through the rehabilitation of the 4-story department store and the construction of a new 9-story building. In total, the development offers 160 rental units, including 64 affordable units, retail space, and an arts and cultural space operated by Rutgers University. Directly addressing a lack of after-hours activities in the city’s core, the Hahne & Co. project contributes a mix of uses to revitalize the downtown area and benefit all of Newark.

The Hahne & Co. Development

Located in the downtown near the city’s restored Military Park, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Rutgers University-Newark, the Hahne & Co. building, which was the city’s first building designed specifically as a department store, is well-positioned to contribute to achieving the goal of the city’s Living Downtown Plan: to create a mixed-use downtown filled with 24-hour activities. The 4-story department store provides nearly 110,000 square feet of residential space and 199,000 square feet of commercial space, including common areas totaling 36,000 square feet. The new 9-story tower consists of 83,000 square feet of residential space, 17,000 square feet of commercial space, and 7,000 square feet of common space.

The development includes 160 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. The residential units, which are located in the new tower and on the third and fourth floors of the historic building, are equipped with washers and dryers, stainless steel appliances, hardwood flooring, and patio seating. Residents also have access to an onsite fitness center and billiards lounge. In addition to 96 units available at market-rate rents, 54 units are available to households earning up to 60 percent of the area median income and 10 units are available to those earning up to 40 percent of the median income.

Commercial uses in the Hahne & Co. project add valuable community amenities including a full-service grocery store, which the downtown lacked. The developer selected Whole Foods Market to locate on the first floor of the department store. In addition to being the downtown’s only provider of high-quality and healthy fresh food, Whole Foods agreed to hire local staff. Other important retail tenants followed, including an urgent care center, a pet retailer, and a chef Marcus Samuelsson restaurant. Adding to the mix of uses, Rutgers University-Newark operates Express Newark, a university-community collaborative arts space, on the second floor of the historic building. The “collaboratory” includes conference rooms and a lecture hall, as well as exhibit, performance, and workshop spaces, engaging faculty, students, and community artists and residents.

Renovation of the Hahne & Co. building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, maintained features contributing to the structure’s historic significance in conformance with the Secretary of Interior’s standards for historic rehabilitation. The building’s 200-foot-long skylight was restored and lowered from the roof to create a 2-story atrium, the Grand Court; with the restoration of staircases and banisters, the atrium became a central organizing feature of the building’s commercial space. A courtyard around the skylight creates open space for the residents of the building’s upper two floors and the new tower. The project also restored the department store’s limestone façade, signage, windows, and other historic elements.

Financing

A public-private partnership financed the $175.5 million project, including $66.8 million from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (table 1). Federal and state tax credit programs contributed more than $62.2 million. The federal historic tax credit program required the developer to maintain, repair, and reuse the Hahne & Co. building’s existing elements to preserve its historic significance. Funds from the Economic Redevelopment and Growth program of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority required the Hahne & Co. project to meet the Green Building requirements, and the use of low-income housing tax credits dictated the project’s affordability level. Private investors contributed $46.5 million in equity and loans.

Table 1. Financing for the Hahne & Co. Project

New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency

$66.8 million

Low-income housing tax credits

13.2 million

Historic tax credits

20.5 million

Economic Redevelopment and Growth tax credits

28.5 million

Other sources

46.5 million

Total

$175.5 million

Catalyst for Downtown Revitalization

A lack of after-hours activities was one of the major challenges facing downtown Newark. As in many city cores across the country that are dominated by office uses, Newark’s retail and service businesses had little incentive to stay open in the evenings or on weekends, limiting their viability and growth. The Hahne & Co. project helps correct this imbalance by providing new residential and commercial uses. Residents in the new apartments fuel demand for retail and services beyond working hours, and the affordable units offer housing opportunities to low-wage workers who otherwise would be forced to live in distant neighborhoods. The new commercial uses make additional residential development in the downtown area more attractive to developers. In addition, the presence of the Rutgers University Department of Arts, Culture, and Media in Express Newark not only helps the university connect with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center but also expands the downtown’s cultural resources. Through its transformation of an abandoned landmark building into a vibrant mix of housing, retail, and cultural uses, the Hahne & Co. project won several awards, including a 2017 Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award from the Urban Land Institute and a 2018 Project Award from the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office and the New Jersey Historic Sites Council.


 

Source:

Email correspondence from Reuben Teague, vice president of impact investments at Prudential Financial, 1 August 2018; Inglese Architecture and Engineering. n.d. "The Hahne and Co. Department Store Building." Accessed 27 August 2018; New Jersey Future. n.d. "From Empty Store to Downtown Anchor." Accessed 27 August 2018; Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal. 2017. “The Largest Mixed-Use Project 2016: NJHMFA Hahne & Co., Newark, NJ,” Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal, 24 March–13 April, 17C. Accessed 27 August 2018; Rosie Hepner. 2017. "Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Awards 2017 Winner: Hahne & Co.," news, 17 July. Accessed 27 August 2018; New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Historic Preservation Office. 2018. "2018 New Jersey Historic Preservation Awards: This Place Matters." Accessed 27 August 2018.

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Source:

Email correspondence from Reuben Teague, vice president of impact investments at Prudential Financial, 1 August 2018; City of Newark. 2008. “NEWARK: The Living Downtown Plan.” Accessed 27 August 2018.

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Source:

Email correspondence from Reuben Teague, vice president of impact investments at Prudential Financial, 1 August 2018; Hahne & Co. n.d. "Floor Plans." Accessed 27 August 2018; Hahne & Co. n.d. "Amenities and Features." Accessed 27 August 2018.

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Source:

Email correspondence from Reuben Teague, vice president of impact investments at Prudential Financial, 1 August 2018; Hahne & Co. n.d. "Retail." Accessed 27 August 2018; Rutgers University Department of Arts, Culture and Media. n.d. “Express Newark Grand Opening!” Accessed 27 August 2018.

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Source:

Email correspondence from Reuben Teague, vice president of impact investments at Prudential Financial, 1 August 2018; Inglese Architecture and Engineering. n.d. "The Hahne and Co. Department Store Building." Accessed 27 August 2018; New Jersey Future. n.d. "From Empty Store to Downtown Anchor." Accessed 27 August 2018; Rosie Hepner. 2017. "Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Awards 2017 Winner: Hahne & Co.," news, 17 July. Accessed 27 August 2018; New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Historic Preservation Office. 2018. "2018 New Jersey Historic Preservation Awards: This Place Matters." Accessed 27 August 2018.

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Source:

Email correspondence from Reuben Teague, vice president of impact investments at Prudential Financial, 1 August 2018; Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal. 2017. “The Largest Mixed-Use Project 2016: NJHMFA Hahne & Co., Newark, NJ,” Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal, 24 March–13 April, 17C. Accessed 27 August 2018; New Jersey Economic Development Authority. n.d. "Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Program." Accessed 27 August 2018.

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Source:

Email correspondence from Reuben Teague, vice president of impact investments at Prudential Financial, 1 August 2018; City of Newark. 2008. “NEWARK: The Living Downtown Plan.” Accessed 27 August 2018; Rosie Hepner. 2017. "Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Awards 2017 Winner: Hahne & Co.," news, 17 July. Accessed 27 August 2018; New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Historic Preservation Office. 2018. "2018 New Jersey Historic Preservation Awards: This Place Matters." Accessed 27 August 2018; L+M Development Partners. n.d. "Hahne's." Accessed 27 August 2018.

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