TRENTON - The Hahne & Co. development project, an ambitious adaptive reuse project that transformed a landmark former department store in Newark into a mixed-use building providing affordable housing, retail/office and educational space, has been chosen as a winner of this year’s prestigious Urban Land Institute (ULI) Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award. The award honors exemplary developments that ensure housing affordability for people with a range of incomes.
The award winners, selected by the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, were announced during the center’s Housing Opportunity Conference September 11 in New Orleans.
The Hahne & Co. project, financed in part by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) and developed by L+M Development Partners, rejuvenated a historic landmark, which occupies a pivotal downtown location and has helped invigorate Newark’s revitalization efforts. Once a lavish department store that was headed for potential demolition, today it is a mixed-use, again high-profile building, which has retained many of its historic elements and welcomes residents, shoppers, office workers, students and more to its hub location.
“We are very pleased to be a recipient of this prestigious award. This project exemplifies the best that can be achieved through public-private partnerships,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Charles A. Richman. “Governor Chris Christie's administration remains committed to creating high-quality affordable housing opportunities for our residents and continuing to find creative ways to leverage public and private resources to reinvest in our communities.”
The Hahne & Co. project was one of three winners selected from seven finalists. The two other award recipients are: Mosaic on the Riverway, Boston, Mass., and Wildflower Terrace, Austin, Texas. Other finalists included: A-Mill Artist Lofts, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Casitas de Colores, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Perris Station Senior Apt Homes, Perris, California; and Veo, Carson, California.
The Hahne & Co. project represents a partnership among L+M Development Partners, NJHMFA, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, Prudential Financial, Citibank, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The NJHMFA provided $66.8 million in financing through its Multifamily Conduit Bond Program and approved the project for 4 percent federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which are expected to generate nearly $13.2 million over 10 years. Debt financing was provided by Citi Community Capital and Morgan Stanley.
“The Hahne & Co. building has played a critical role in the economic revitalization of downtown Newark,” said Richman, who also serves as chairman of the NJHMFA board. “It is a center for retail, new and affordable and workforce housing, jobs and educational opportunities near transit, and has also spurred additional area redevelopment.”
Through the adaptive reuse of the existing four-story building and new construction of an adjacent nine-story structure connected through a shared lobby and public atrium, the property was transformed into a development that today includes:
- 160 workforce residential rental units, including 64 affordable to households making 60 percent or less than the area median income;
- Newark’s first Whole Foods Market;
- Barnes & Noble College, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble Education, Inc.
The space also includes a 50,000-square-foot new home for Rutgers University’s Department of Arts, Culture and Media, which comprises a 250-seat auditorium-style classroom, fosters creative collaboration, and includes a 3D printing studio, a photographic portrait studio, video production teaching facilities, smart classrooms, and galleries with exhibits open to the public. The space will be joined by a new restaurant by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelson.
“We are very proud of our efforts in bringing this tremendous project to fruition,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “Thanks to the innovative efforts of a public-private partnership, this iconic structure now has a new lease on life and has become a key destination that plays a central role in the economic revitalization of Newark’s downtown. Having Rutgers at the Hahne’s building also reinforces Newark as a university city.”
For over 85 years, the art deco Hahne & Co. building had stood as the crown jewel of downtown Newark. When it opened in 1901, the ornate landmark drew a loyal following of the city’s wealthiest families. But the years that followed brought several changes in ownership, and the store closed in 1987. It would stand vacant and boarded up until its redevelopment transformation began in 2015.
"On behalf of the citizens of Newark, I wish to thank the Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center for Housing for granting our city’s landmark Hahne & Co. building the 2017 Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award. The repurposing of this historic structure into a vibrant mixed-used community with affordable housing in our revitalized downtown is a model for other urban communities,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “It is a shining example of how we are ensuring that the rapidly increasing downtown development and economic investment can benefit all Newarkers. We are grateful for the Urban Land Institute’s acknowledgment of the City of Newark’s leadership in this area."
The Hahne & Co. building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. All improvements were approved by the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office and the City of Newark Landmarks & Historic Preservation Commission. The project has won several other awards, including a 2016 NJ Future Smart Growth Award and the NJBiz Public-Private Partnership Award.
“L+M is proud to invest in Downtown Newark's longterm future, and in a visionary project like Hahne's, which has returned a historic building to its former glory," said Ron Moelis, CEO of L+M Development Partners. "From mixed-income housing to high-quality neighborhood-focused retail, the project illustrates the potential of thoughtful adaptive reuse, and of a well-crafted public-private partnership. On behalf of all our partners, we're thrilled to receive such prestigious recognition from ULI.”
ULI established the Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award in 2008, naming the award in memory of Kemp, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and ULI Terwilliger Center national advisory board member.
“This year’s winners honor the spirit of Jack Kemp and reflect his signature qualities of compassion for others, pragmatic efficiency, and entrepreneurial spirit in meeting the housing needs of all America’s citizens,” said Jury Chairman J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing and a former ULI chairman.
The ULI, established in 1936, is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.