A rendering of the soon-to-be-rehabilitated Hahne & Co. building in dowtown Newark. — Courtesy: JLL
By Joshua Burd
With the opening of Newark’s first Whole Foods on the horizon, the developers of the building that will house the grocery store have announced the addition of another national brand.
A published report this week said Barnes & Noble Education Inc. and Rutgers-University Newark will open a 10,000-square-foot bookstore inside the rehabilitated Hahne & Co. building on Broad Street. The story by The Wall Street Journal said the store will relocate from a nearby academic building in the city, as part of an effort to drive additional traffic to the revitalized downtown.
It is the latest high-profile addition for L+M Development Partners Inc. and its partners, Prudential Financial Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., as they revitalize the iconic former department store. Whole Foods will anchor the development with a roughly 30,000-square-foot store, while Rutgers will lease some 50,000 square feet for an arts collaborative space within the project that will provide art studios, classroom and art gallery space, in partnership with Newark artists, community members, schools and other institutions.
The owners, collectively known as 609 Broad Street LLC, acquired the shuttered Hahne’s building in 2013. That gave way to a rehabilitation of the historic property into a multiuse facility, which also includes 160 rental apartments and a total of about 160,000 square feet of retail, office space and community/educational space.
Patrick Maloney, president of Barnes & Noble College, told The Wall Street Journal that company was planning author signings, open-mic poetry nights and Saturday story hours for children, among other events slated for the store.
“It would be a gathering place for the community,” Maloney told the newspaper. “Hopefully, they would get a cup of Starbucks, come across the street and spend a few hours with us.”