707 Broad St., 153 Halsey St. and 261 University Ave. in Newark — Courtesy: SHIFT Capital
By Joshua Burd
An investment group has acquired two office buildings and a parking garage in downtown Newark for $80 million, with plans to spend another $70 million to reposition the properties.
According to the buyers — SHIFT Capital, Hanini Group and CoInvestment Partners — the deal includes more than 816,000 square feet of office space at 707 Broad St. and 153 Halsey St., which will be the focus of the team’s investment. Its plans call for environmental and wellness upgrades that will help draw new businesses to the busy corridors, along with reactivated street-level storefronts with community-focused retailers.
The nearby parking garage, which has 900 spaces, is located at 261 University Ave.
“By deploying our Next Gen Impact Platform with a local emerging developer, like Hanini Group, we are able to leverage our tools and expertise in equitable development between teams to best serve communities,” said Brian Murray, SHIFT Capital’s CEO. “The power of our investment in Newark comes from our symbiotic partnerships and united dedication to delivering for the community.”
In a news release, the firms said work at 707 Broad and 153 Halsey is scheduled to begin early next year. That will include activating the rooftop at 707 Broad, upgrading the systems to cater to a post-COVID environment and renovating almost all the spaces throughout the buildings.
Kellen Murphy and Charles Wilkes of Murphy Schiller & Wilkes LLP represented the buyers in the purchase and financing of the property.
“Newark is a city borne of innovation poised to welcome companies that will launch the next generation of entrepreneurs,” said Samer Hanini, managing partner of Hanini Group. “Our investments at Broad, Halsey and University open new doors at the intersection of technology and community, and strengthen our neighborhood commitments by creating untapped opportunities to activate these spaces for our neighbors, add jobs and boost the vibrancy of the streetscapes.”
The joint venture announced the deal Thursday, touting the history of the two office buildings and their proximity to technology firms, research universities and civic organizations, along with a location in the heart of the downtown. CoInvestment Partners’ Piyush Bhardwaj added that the properties “combine the accessibility to New York and talent-rich neighborhoods of New Jersey with a spirit of Newark’s rebirth,” creating what it believes will be a formula to attract new tenants.
“We believe that our acquisition will provide the city with another set of world-class buildings that blends Newark’s history with its future in a way that will continue to launch it forward,” Bhardwaj said. “Having been a resident of Newark, it is satisfying to see the city conform towards its potential.”