A rendering of Ironside Newark — Courtesy: Edison Properties
By Joshua Burd
Edison Properties and Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. have completed a lease that will bring the candy company to downtown Newark.
Michael Sommer, executive vice president for development with Edison, said Tuesday that the two sides had signed the agreement for space inside the building known as Ironside Newark. Located at Edison Place and McCarter Highway, the property is a historic freight warehouse that the developer is restoring and converting to more than 450,000 square feet of office and retail space.
“It’s a great deal for Newark, a great deal for Edison and a great deal for the state of New Jersey,” Sommer said, later adding: “On behalf of Edison Properties, we’re thrilled and we look forward to welcoming them to Newark in 2020.”
Additional details about the lease were not immediately available Tuesday, but the announcement is months in the making. The parent company of the iconic Mars and Wrigley brands announced late last year that it would move its U.S. headquarters to downtown Newark, bringing with it some 500 jobs.
Plans also call for revamping the longtime Mars manufacturing complex in Hackettstown, where many of those employees are currently based. But the move to Newark would represent a homecoming for Mars, nearly 80 years after it opened its U.S. headquarters and the first M&M’s factory in Newark.
The state Economic Development Authority has awarded Mars Wrigley a 10-year, $31.5 million tax credit in connection with the move. A memo from the EDA indicated the company would occupy 110,000 square feet at 110 Edison Place, although it’s unclear if that will represent its total footprint.
Ironside Newark, an estimated $80 million project, is slated for completion later this year.
Edison Properties is negotiating with prospective users for the street-level retail segment, which will feature a two-floor layout that opens on two sides of the building.
On the south side, the firm is developing a retail plaza that will extend 35 feet into what will become Mulberry Commons, a three-acre park that will connect Newark Penn Station, the downtown, the Prudential Center and the Ironbound section.
The brokerage team for Edison Properties included Tim Greiner and Frank Recine of JLL and Harrison Russell, Jamie Ragucci and Andy Sachs of Newmark Knight Frank, while Jeff Babikian CBRE represented Mars Wrigley.