The United Way of Northern New Jersey on May 18 hosted its 19th annual Commercial Real Estate Network Legacy Luncheon, where it presented its 2018 Impact Award to the Ironside Newark redevelopment project. Pictured are members of the winning team who represent Edison Properties, JLL, Newmark Knight Frank, Hollister Construction Services, Perkins Eastman, Langan, Sharpe Engineering Inc., Active Design Group Engineering D.P.C., Genova Burns, Pearlman & Miranda LLC and Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP. — Photo by Jennifer Brown/Courtesy: United Way of Northern New Jersey
By Joshua Burd
A high-profile redevelopment project in Newark was honored Friday before a crowd of more than 500, winning an annual award from the United Way of Northern New Jersey.
Ironside Newark, Edison Properties’ restoration and conversion of a historic warehouse, took home the Impact Award during the United Way chapter’s 19th Commercial Real Estate Network Legacy Luncheon. The 456,000-square-foot office project, which also includes retail space, won the award over four other major projects in the region from the past year.
“We’re extremely honored to receive the Impact Award for the Ironside Newark project — an initiative we believe represents an incredible opportunity for the city and surrounding region,” said Michael Sommer, executive vice president of development at Edison Properties. “We’re already beginning to witness Ironside Newark’s impact, as it creates hundreds of new jobs, helps attract exciting new restaurants and retail tenants and provides additional momentum to the city’s ongoing renaissance.”
The luncheon, one of the biggest industry events of the year in New Jersey, drew a throng of real estate executives and service providers to the Hanover Marriott in Whippany. The United Way of Northern New Jersey raised $215,000 for to help improve life for individuals and families who are working but struggling to afford the basics, which the organization describes as ALICE, an acronym for asset-limited, income-constrained and employed.
A crowd turned out to support the cause while honoring Chris Johnson, head coach of Hollister Construction Services. The organization presented Johnson with its first-ever Spirit Award, a recognition of Hollister’s well-known focus on philanthropy, its support of several nonprofit organizations and the work of its own Hollister Foundation.
“What sets Chris apart is really how he decided to make philanthropy a core principle at his company,” said Theresa Leamy, United Way senior vice president for resource development. “When he started Hollister, he was determined that it was going to be a different place.”
Many of those on hand were associated with the five finalists for the Impact Award: Ironside Newark, Barclays PLC’s acquisition of The Crossings at Jefferson Park in Whippany, the Hahne & Co. redevelopment project in Newark, the Newark Museum renovation and the new Summit Medical Group MD Anderson Cancer Center in Florham Park.
The Impact Award is extended annually to a commercial real estate project deemed to have the most positive impact on the surrounding region over the previous year.
“Several of the projects took historic or outdated buildings and brought them to them to the cutting edge,” said Dan Loughlin, international director with JLL, who moderated the program. “Others brought visionaries together.”
Along with Edison Properties, the developer and owner, the winning team from Ironside Newark included brokers with JLL and Newmark Knight Frank, Hollister as construction manager, architect Perkins Eastman, civil engineer Langan, MEP/FP engineer Sharpe Engineering Inc., structural engineer Active Design Group Engineering D.P.C. and landlord law firms Genova Burns, Pearlman & Miranda LLC and Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP.
Accepting the award on behalf of the Edison Properties team, Sommer said the work of the United Way “is really a testament to what we hope to achieve some day by continuing our redevelopment efforts in Newark.”
Slated for completion later this year, Ironside Newark calls for rehabilitating a 107-year-old warehouse with 456,000 square feet of modern loft-style offices across five upper floors. The project sits at the corner of Edison Place and McCarter Highway and will include ground-floor retail and restaurant space, much of it fronting directly on what will become the public plaza known as Mulberry Commons.
Tenants at Ironside Newark will benefit from easy access to transportation options at Newark Penn Station and the surrounding highways. Edison is also marketing the availability of affordable high-speed Internet service via Newark’s underground network of fiber optic cable.
“Receiving this award only further strengthens our tremendous faith in this project and what it means not just for northern New Jersey, but the entire region,” said Ben Feigenbaum, chief operating officer of Newark-based Edison Properties. “As the city’s first speculative office project in more than 30 years, it sends an important message that Newark is a market ripe for investment and renewed economic vitality.”