Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal — Spring Preview — April 27 - May 10, 2012 — 29A


N ewark O ffice S pecialist By Brendan Berger, The Berger Organization

Office uptick one of several positive indicators for Newark, New Jersey


rom an office leasing standpoint, business in Newark has picked up

the project will begin with a rehabilitation of the restau- rant kiosk in the center of the park. It will bring in new plantings, structural changes to the walking paths, mobile furniture, free Wi-Fi, and more. There have been an increas- ing number of restaurant openings here, to support Newark’s daytime popula- tion as well as traffic being generated by the city’s up- and-coming entertainment venues like Prudential Cen- ter and NJPAC. The Newark hospitality market also is

heating up. For example, our Robert Treat Hotel has seen a significant jump in oc- cupancy. Additionally, Smith Travel Research reports that, among hotels considered com- petitors to the Robert Treat in Newark, average occupancies increased across the board last year. Further, Courtyard by Mar- riott broke ground inApril for a 150-room hotel – the first new hotel in downtown New- ark in 39 years – right outside the Prudential Center Arena. Additionally, Indigo Hotel has proposed a boutique 100-room

property just two blocks away. We welcome this competition. More rooms mean that more tourists will be able to stay downtown, rather than at the airport hotels. The bottom line? We be- lieve that in the next five to 10 years, Newark is going to be recognized as one of New Jersey’s most exciting urban communities – in every sense of the word. Things are going on today that support that vi- sion. And while we still await the resurgence of residential development, we are confi- dent that it will come through

the number of approved proj- ects on the board. Our positive outlook stems from the fact that The Berger Organization has done busi- ness here for more than 35 years. We know that New Jersey’s largest city is a great place to do business. Newark as a city is a main thorough- fare to Manhattan, after Jer- sey City and Hoboken, and it is the next in line for a true renaissance. Brendan Berger is vice president of The Berger Organization in Newark, NJ. n

measurably over the past year. More tenants are request ing s h o w i n g s , express ing serious inter- est and sign- ing leases, especially in the city’s downtown.

Brendan Berger

As illustration, our Military Park Building (60 Park Place) this spring reached 99 per- cent occupancy, a milestone following 70,000 s/f of leasing and a jump from 75 percent occupancy in the four years since we acquired the prop- erty. And we have at least a half-dozen additional deals expected to close this spring at our other Newark office properties. Over the past year, we have observed more companies moving from the suburbs into Newark. This is a clear step in the right direction for a city that is on the cusp of becoming a true metropolitan center where people come to work and, eventually, to live. Several projects set to launch downtown will bring a daytime population vol- ume that we have not seen in decades. This includes the new American headquarters for Panasonic, which Matrix Development Group and SJP Properties will develop at One Riverfront Center. Ap- proximately 1,000 Panasonic employees will come to New- ark on a daily basis – parking, working and eating here. Prudential Financial in March announced that it hopes to build a new office tower on Broad Street; it would house 2,000 employ- ees. For the past three or more decades, the site the company selected has been desolate and abandoned. It presented an eyesore that arguably has inhibited the image of downtown as a thriv- ing business district. More immediately, the multi-million-dollar rehabil- itation of Newark’s Military Park will begin this spring, transforming that neigh- borhood. Headed by Daniel Biederman, who designed the city’s beautiful Bryant Park nearly 30 years ago,

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