NEWARK, NJ - Plans to develop the nation’s largest timber office building to be built on Newark's old Bears Riverfront Stadium and adjacent Lincoln motel sites were unveiled Monday by commercial real estate firm Lotus Equity Group.

The 11-story commercial office building, designed by Vancouver-based Michael Green Architecture, will anchor Riverfront Square—an 11.8-acre mixed-use development project proposed for the growing Broad Street corridor of downtown Newark.

Riverfront Square will include up to 2,000 residential units, large and small-scale retail, cultural and public open space, a hotel, 2 million sq.-ft. of office space and parking spaces.

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The first commercial office building in the project will encompass up to 500,000 sq.-ft. of office space designed to enhance environmental sustainability and as a complement to Riverfront Park.

Lotus bought the 7.65-acre stadium site last year from the City of Newark for $23.5 million.

Beginning in 2012, the Newark Riverfront Revival has worked with Essex County, the City of Newark, The Trust for Public Land, Ironbound Community Corporation, Friends of Riverfront Park, Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC) and other partners to develop more than 15 acres of riverfront parks, including a walking and biking trail, sports fields and courts, a floating boat dock, riverfront boardwalk and a playground.

Starting this year, the city and the NCEDC, along with design firm James Corner Field Operations, will continue the expansion of Riverfront Park from Madison Street to 4th Avenue for a total of three miles of Riverfront Park.

Riverfront Square sits adjacent to the waterfront and less than 500 feet from NJ Transit’s Broad Street station.

Environmental advantages of timber-built buildings are largely derived from its construction—trees absorb and hold carbon until they decompose or are burned, while the manufacture of concrete and steel accounts for an estimated 10 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions.

“To build the nation’s largest timber building in Newark speaks to the confidence and belief we have in the city and Riverfront Square as a world-class location that can compete with any great city around the world,” said CEO and Founder of Lotus Equity Group Ben Korman.

“The vision we share with Michael Green is to design the most environmentally sustainable office tower that enhances the health of tenants and the surrounding communities through efficient planning and green design," Korman said. "When you merge these benefits with Newark’s emerging technology sector, Riverfront Square is primed to help companies attract and retain valuable talent.”

Green said the project represents the future of sustainable architecture in Newark.

“This project represents an opportunity for MGA, in collaboration with Lotus Equity Group, to lay the foundation for the future of Riverfront Square and the city of Newark more broadly,” Green said. “Good buildings are good neighbors and we envision a sustainable, efficient and architecturally-stunning future for Newark.”

John Picco, Peter Van Duyne, Sean Brady, Alex Lachmund and Christian Politan of Cushman & Wakefield have been selected as the project’s commercial brokerage team.

“As companies continue to prioritize sustainability, wellness and innovation, buildings like this have become extremely attractive to tenants across industry sectors,” said Picco, executive director of Cushman and Wakefield.

“Newark is a growing business community, already home to noteworthy companies like Audible, Panasonic and Prudential, and Riverfront Square represents an opportunity for companies growing in or moving to the New York metro area to enter a highly desirable live, work, play development unlike any other,” Picco said.

Four architecture firms will lead the development of Riverfront Square, including TEN Arquitectos, Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners and Michael Green Architecture.

Korman is also the operating partner of C&K Properties, the longstanding owner of 2 Gateway Center, Newark’s largest office building.

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