Newark Opportunity Rising: Commercial Real Estate Summit Fuels Discussion Across Industry Segments | Event Summary

The Newark CRE Summit attracted more than 300 participants from various segments of the industry, including city officials, financial institutions, and industry analysts to participate in the daylong conference. The summit, produced by CapRate Events, LLC, is an installment in the company’s National Multifamily Investment Series, a high-level event series that brings together leading developers, investors, capital sources and service providers in various U.S. cities.

While the meeting’s stated purpose was to bring together leaders in the local commercial real estate market, it generated discussion on a wide range of topics. One highlight was David Rosenberg’s discussion of Aerofarms’ ongoing urban farming project, the largest in world. It occupies 100,000 square feet of space in Newark’s Ironbound area, and produces crops without soil while using less fertilizer and chemicals than conventional methods.

Rosenberg described the company’s adaptive reuse of existing structures: “… one is an old converted nightclub. Another is an old converted paintball facility. And now this one … is an older converted steel factory.” The project aims to enable local food production in an urban setting.

Above: Newark Adaptive Reuse & the Modern Tech-Savvy Tenant Base: Exploring the Past, Present & Future of Brick City’s Office Sector. Moderator: Francis J. Giantomasi, Member of the Firm, Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC; Timothy J. Lizura, President & Chief Operating Officer, New Jersey Economic Development Authority; Jackson Marsteller, Market Analyst, CoStar Group; David Rosenberg, Co-Founder and CEO, AeroFarms; Jeff Schotz, Executive Vice President, SJP Properties; and Hugh Weber, President – Business Operations, New Jersey Devils.

Above: Analysis of Newark Submarket Demand-Supply. Data: Ryan Severino, CFA, Senior Economist and Director of Research, Reis, Inc.

Funding sources and the extent of government involvement were points that came up throughout the day. In discussing the success of the recent Panasonic headquarters project, SLP Properties VP Jeff Schotz credited the New Jersey Development authority with providing critical assistance to make the deal happen.

Difficulties were presented by rising construction and development costs in the area, as well as the problem of preparing the site. The 350,000 square foot facility was constructed on top of an existing parking deck more than 25 years old, creating engineering challenges.

Schotz credited the city government with helping the project move forward. “The city has a completely different place to do business now as far as the building department is concerned. It’s a wonderful opportunity that all of us have to work very closely with them.”

In addition to structural considerations, the developer addressed the sustainability priorities of Panasonic CEO Joe Taylor. “He wanted a building where we have solar panels on the roof. We have code generation in the building. All of the lighting is LED lighting. We have a gas-fired water system in the building. We don’t have an electrical water system in the building. So, everything was being geared towards the advancement of technology, and we literally looked beyond what was available today, and we brought new products into the building along with Panasonic.”

300 executives attended the inaugural Newark CRE Summit, held on July 16.

Another major property in the city, the Prudential headquarters, was also the subject for discussion and speculation, as developers ponder the outlook for the more than 700,000 square feet of space opening up at the Gateway Complex. Meanwhile, the company is moving into its new facility next month.  Attorney Francis J. Giantomasi pointed out the effect this will have on the surrounding neighborhood: “That means 3,000 employees with discretionary income will be walking to, driving to, leaving, traveling around, what were 40-year-old desolate two city blocks in Newark.”

The developer’s attorney echoed the overall sentiment of the conference, saying: “These are the best of times in Newark right now.”

Above: Transit System Expansion & TOD: Analysis of Opportunities to Regional Transportation Including NJ Transit and PATH/Port Authority. Jeffrey R. Rich, Partner, Genova Burns; Joel Bergstein, President, Lincoln Equities Group, LLC; Michael Francois, Chief of Real Estate and Development, Port Authority of NY & NJ; Richard Miller, Chief Executive Officer, The Pegasus Group; William O’Dea, Deputy Executive Director, Elizabeth Development Company; Brian J. Whitmer, Senior Director, Cushman & Wakefield.

Additional Event Coverage:

Newark real estate leaders tout city’s momentum, success at industry event. ( Read more >

In Newark, choice of residential projects trumps one big building, panelists say. ( Read more >

Look who attended The Newark CRE Summit on July 16:

  • Advance Realty
  • AeroFarms
  • A-Plus-Consulting LLC
  • Avison Young
  • Beckerman
  • Benjamin Harvey Company, Inc.
  • Berdon LLP
  • Berkadia
  • Blackstone Group
  • Blueprint Capital Partners
  • Boraie Development LLP
  • Brach Eichler LLC
  • Bright Power
  • Brookstone Management
  • C&K Properties
  • Cambridge Capital Corp
  • CapRate Events, LLC (CRE) | The National Multifamily Investment Series
  • Carleton R. Kemph, Esq.
  • CBRE
  • CetraRuddy Architecture DPC
  • Chadwick Capital
  • Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC
  • City of Newark
  • Clifton Savings Bank
  • Collliers International
  • Connell Foley LLP
  • CoStar Group
  • Cushman & Wakefield of New Jersey, Inc.
  • Day Pitney, LLP
  • Duane Morris LLP
  • EBA Reality Investment
  • Edison Properties
  • Elizabeth Development Company
  • Environetics Group Architects
  • Excel Environmental Resources, Inc.
  • Family First Funding
  • Furnished Quarters
  • Genova Burns, LLC
  • Gibbons Law
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Great Ink Communications
  • Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP
  • GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.
  • Hanini Group
  • Harness Homes Group & Entourage Properties
  • Heritage Capital Group, LLC
  • HFF
  • Hollister Construction Services
  • InSite Engineering, LLC
  • Intersect Fund
  • Investors Bank
  • JLL
  • JMF Properties
  • Jonathan Rose Companies
  • Karpoff Affiliates, Inc.
  • KeyBank
  • Kislak Realty
  • Kohler
  • Kohler Company
  • KS Engineers
  • KSS Architects
  • Kyle Conti Construction
  • L&M Development Partners Inc
  • Langan
  • Liberty SBF
  • Lincoln Equities Group, LLC
  • Link High Technologies
  • Lockton
  • M&T Bank
  • Majestic Trading LLC
  • Manhattan Residential Group
  • Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp. (MMCC)
  • Maser Consulting
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • Meridian Capital Group, LLC
  • MetLife
  • MIG Environmental LLC
  • Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners
  • New Jersey Devils
  • New Jersey Economic Development Authority
  • New Jersey Performing Arts Center
  • Newark Community Economic Development Corporation
  • Newark Regional Business Partnership
  • NovusEquities
  • Office of Senator Cory Booker
  • One Wall Partners
  • P.W. Grosser Consulting
  • Packard Equities Corp
  • Partner Engineering and Science, Inc.
  • Pennoni Associates
  • Plaza Construction
  • Procida Funding & Advisors
  • Provident Bank
  • Prudential Financial
  • RAND Engineering & Architecture, DPC
  • Reis, Inc.
  • Ronald Diskin Associates Corp.
  • Roux Associates, Inc.
  • Russo Development
  • Rutgers
  • Rutgers Business School
  • Rutgers University
  • SaxBST
  • Signature Bank
  • Sive Paget & Riesel PC
  • SJP Properties
  • Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C
  • Spencer Savings Bank
  • SunVest Solar Inc.
  • Sutton Land Title Agency
  • TD Bank
  • Tetra Tech
  • The Kushner Companies
  • The Lending Source Commercial  LLC
  • The National Multifamily Investment Series | CRE LLC
  • The Pegasus Group
  • The Port Authority of NY & NJ
  • Tishman Construction Corporation, an AECOM Company
  • Toll Brothers Apartment Living
  • TRC
  • TRC Engineering
  • Tucker Development
  • U3 Advisors
  • US Title Solutions LLC
  • USI
  • Verizon
  • Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
  • Whitestone Associates, Inc.
  • Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A.
  • Willis Group
  • Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP
  • Wiss
  • Wiss & Company
  • WithumSmith+Brown
  • Worldwide Land Transfer
  • ZT Realty