NEWARK, NJ - After many years of sputtering along, the Mulberry Commons Park (formerly known as Triangle Park) redevelopment is now one step closer to becoming a reality.
The Warehouse building that overlooks the future site of the park is slated to become a key feature of the future recreational area with expansive retail space and a mix of loft-style and penthouse office environments.
The project is being billed as Ironside Newark.
The 456,000 square foot facility will feature two bottom floors of retail and restaurant facilities that will face out into the future park, while the top six floors will hold commercial areas and a glass-enclosed green area as well as access to a rooftop terrace with views of downtown Newark and New York City.
Edison Properties, the developer for the project, invited Mayor Ras Baraka and other elected officials to the groundbreaking ceremony of the project.
Michael Sommer, executive vice president of development at Edison Properties kicked off the ceremony by re-affirming Edison’s commitment to the improvement of the quality of life for Newark residents.
He touted the partnerships that have been made with local officials, organizations and businesses to assure that everything goes smoothly. Furthermore, he commended Mayor Baraka for his leadership and support of the impending development near Prudential Center.
“We are incredibly bullish about this project and about Newark today,” said Sommers. “The market overall is obviously cooperative and given the fact that we are introducing a very unique type of product - loft style office - in this location in between Penn Station and the arena, makes us really excited about what’s to come.”
The building is slated to be completed in the fall of 2018.
Robert Selsam, executive chairman of Edison Properties, said that with places like Jersey City and Hoboken seeing impressive growth with the market there becoming increasingly more competitive over the past few years, now is a great opportunity to invest in the movement to revitalize downtown Newark.
Businesses that choose to locate in Ironside Newark will also be able to take advantage of not only the strategic location, but also the expansive dark fiber network running directly underneath Newark streets.
The fiber optic cable is a cost-effective way of obtaining high-speed Internet service for future Ironside Newark tenants without having to install costly cable underground.
The developers are also pursuing a Wired Certified Platinum designation from WiredScore in the interest of attracting tech-based and creative enterprise tenants who may be looking for a new space.
Not only would the construction create potential new jobs for Newark residents, Selsam said, but it would also create jobs in the long run in the companies that become future tenants of Ironside Newark.
The assurance ought to allay some of the concerns that local residents have had about unemployment in Newark. Nonetheless, Selsam said the idea isn’t to make Newark a carbon copy of typical gentrified neighborhoods but rather integrate new development to an already vibrant city.
“Newark should be its own unique place. It’s not going to be a direct competitor to Brooklyn or Manhattan but it has got its own characteristics. It’s a self-contained city,” Selsam said. “It should be a major regional center.”
Baraka said that he expects this project to be a major catalyst in the continuing transformation of this critical downtown area, as part of his long-term vision for the future growth of Newark.
He praised Edison properties for their long-standing commitment to the city of Newark and its residents and thanked their leadership for being important partners in the realization of having Newark become a true, modern 24/7 city. The attention that Newark is getting from developers today is long overdue, the mayor said.
“We have been waiting for 30-40 years to get the kind of development to happen in our city that happens all over the country and we want it to happen in Newark,” Baraka said. “The residents are embracing it.”