From Suburbs to City: Why More Employers are Flocking to Newark
by Josh Anderson
NEWARK, NJ — Commercial real estate in Newark is changing in a lot of ways, and that might be due to one critical factor of any economic expansion – the wants and needs of the labor force. This was a central topic of the panel Newark Office Leasing & Drivers for New Product: Exploring Trends in Occupancy and Unique Demands of Modern Tenants, Moderated by Barbara E. Kauffman, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the Newark Regional Business Partnership and featuring input from Jennifer Mazawey, Partner at Genova Burns.
“Jen, one of the things you mentioned earlier is the workforce,” began Kauffman. “And you mentioned that one of the reasons you had decided to make the move from a suburban location to Newark and to be near transit was because you were seeing that if you wanted to attract the best talent, you needed to be [near] that accessibility. I wonder if you can talk about that.”
“And also, someone mentioned the Barcade in your building, which is very much more than just a restaurant, it’s an experience,” she continued. “So to what degree is that helping to make the building attractive, and what are you seeing in terms of your recruitment and workforce?”
“Sure. So our office is located just two blocks from the Broad Street station and we’re at a light rail stop as well,” replied Mazawey. “Actually, Ben Korman [Chairman and CEO, Lotus Equity Group], his project will be at our back door. But being that close we find it a real asset. Because we do have a lot more employees, in particular our lawyers, who are commuting via mass transit. And this makes it a much easier sell for us.”
“We have employees who don’t have cars at all. And we have others who like the attractiveness of mass transit but haven’t really given up their cars. And I don’t think those two concepts are mutually exclusive. Gabe Lopez [Principal, J&L Companies] had mentioned that in the last panel.” she mused. “So we like the ability of being that close. We do have a parking garage which also makes it attractive for those who do drive, like myself.”
“But we find it to be a real asset. And we find that our clients are looking for similar spaces. They want to be near mass transit to provide those same types of benefits to their employees, or their pool of talent,” shared Mazawey.
“Now, when it comes to Barcade, I’ll tell you we love having that,” she beamed, preparing to conclude her remarks. “We love having that enmity in the building. It’s very convenient. And I think that as the other building in the area fill up even more, it becomes more of a community gathering space as well, and it becomes an asset for all of our area, our North Broad Street area in Newark. We have Washington Park for example. But I think that the Barcade will become an even bigger draw, a bigger asset, for our community.”
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