The Real Deal Tristate

Newark’s ‘Shaq Tower’ sets opening date, Rockefeller Foundation taps Newark for OZ initiative & more North Jersey real estate news

By Mario Marroquin | May 28, 2019 06:15PM

From Left to Right: Newark’s ‘Shaq Tower’ to open next month, Rockefeller Foundation sets up a ‘responsible investment’ Opportunity Zone fund for Newark, Bijou Properties opens leasing at its new Edge Adams complex in Hoboken and Extell Development tops out at its Pier Village development on the Jersey Shore in Long Branch.

Developers set date for $80M Newark ‘Shaq Tower’ opening
New Brunswick-based Boraie Development and Newark native and former National Basketball Association superstar Shaquille O’Neal have set June 20 as the date for the opening of their $80 million rental project in downtown Newark, reported. The joint venture behind the so-called Shaq Tower, also known as One Rector Street, plans to deliver 168 units and 20,000 square feet of retail space. Studios in the building are starting at $1,800 a month, one-bedrooms at $1,950 and two-bedrooms at $2,700. Multiple outlets reported that the project is the first market-rate high-rise in Newark in more than a half-century. The site of the Shaq Tower, also known as 50 Rector Park, once was occupied by a brewery built around 1860. The property subsequently housed a succession of local colleges and the Science Park High School, the latter of which left the site in 2013 and was demolished two years ago. According to ROI-NJ, New York-based general contractor Gilbane Building Company was tapped to serve as project manager for the Shaq Tower, and Boraie and O’Neal are also at work on another $150 million, 350-unit tower near the Ironside Newark development, according to ROI-NJ. The Real Deal reported in 2013 that O’Neal and Boraie, founded by Egyptian immigrant Omar Boraie, were also joint venture partners on an Atlantic City project that would include market-rate housing, a theater and street-level retail. Boraie debuted its roughly $85 million Beach at South Inlet mixed-use project in Atlantic City last year. []

Rockefeller Foundation, Prudential partner on OZs in Newark
The Rockefeller Foundation and Prudential Financial announced last week the terms of a $5.5 million initiative that would help six U.S. cities, including Newark, reap the benefits from investments in federally-approved Opportunity Zones, Bloomberg reported. The New York-based nonprofit said in a press release that it would work with the Newark-based Prudential Financial to promote “responsible investment” by distributing funds across the half-dozen cities in designated OZ tracts. Newark alone will receive $920,000 from Rockefeller and Prudential, which it will deploy through local nonprofit the Newark Alliance to hire an “Opportunity Zone officer” that will be embedded within the city and two community engagement officials. According to a study from Smart Growth America, OZs in downtown Newark ranked sixth nationally out of nearly 8,000 tracts for growth potential. As noted by The Real Deal earlier this year, New Jersey has 169 designated OZ tracts, and Newark has the most of them at 13, followed by Jersey City at 11. Forbes held an OZ summit in Newark this month that attracted a number of local officials, developers, philanthropists and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. TRD noted in March that Murphy will award five grants of $100,000 to municipalities as part of an effort to help grow OZ investments in the Garden State. [Bloomberg]

Extell tops out at its Pier Village condo complex in Long Branch
While the Kushner Companies opened its boutique Wave Resort hotel in Long Branch this past weekend, another New York City-based developer, Gary Barnett’s Extell Development, announced last week the topping off of its Lofts Pier Village condominium project, NJBIZ reported. The Real Deal reported in 2017 on construction of the 245-unit development at 82 Ocean Avenue, which is part of the Pier Village redevelopment by both Extell and Kushner. The estimated $238 million development, formed out of the old Pier Village resort in Long Branch, is now in its third phase. Lofts Pier Village was designed by ShorePoint Architecture and Child Dreyfus Group and consists of one-to-four bedroom condos starting at $569,000. According to Long Branch officials, financing for the project consisted of $178.1 million in bank financing and mezzanine debt, $85 million in developer equity and $20 million in city redevelopment area bonds. Long Branch also granted a 30-year payment in lieu of taxes to Lofts Pier Village that will be extended to buyers. Extell said last summer that it had clinched a $2.75 million sale of a 1,500-square-foot, three-bedroom unit in the complex. Kushner and Extell’s work at Pier Village began in 2014 when Kushner and Extell paid $200 million to buy the former Pier Village, which consisted of 492 rentals and 90,000 square feet of retail space, and two adjacent sites. Kushner began work this month on the next phase of Pier Village, the 102-room Onada Surf Club hotel, shortly after the developer secured approvals to move forward on that development from Long Branch officials. [NJBIZ]

Bijou Properties opens leasing at Hoboken’s Edge Adams
Hoboken-based developer Bijou Properties launched leasing last week at its 34-unit Edge Adams development in the city, NJBIZ reported. The development at 1405 Adams Street will be marketed by the Marketing Directors, which recently inked six new leases in Hoboken and Jersey City, and consists of one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 758 to 1,232 square feet. ROI-NJ noted that monthly rents at the six-story rental building start at $2,960. The first floor of the development, designed by Marchetto Higgins Stieve, will reportedly include 1,950 square feet of retail and commercial space, a 1,200-square-foot theater and 44 parking spaces. Bijou’s application stated that the developer intends to add electric vehicle charging stations to the complex. Miles Square Theater, who occupies a property on 14th and Clinton Streets in Hoboken, said it has agreed to lease the theater space of the complex for 15 years. Edge Adams sits less than a block away from Bijou’s Edge Clinton Project at 1405 Clinton Street. Access to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail via the 9th Street station is less than a mile away and the Hoboken 14th Street NY Waterway ferry station is less than half a mile away from the development. [NJBIZ]

Saddle River estate priced at nearly $30M hits the auction block
UPDATE, 6/6/19: Concierge Auctions said that bidding will now begin on July 23 and close three days later. Stone Palace on the Hill, a 32,507-square-foot mansion at 144 East Saddle River Road in Saddle River, is set to be auctioned from June 21 to June 27, according to a press release from Concierge Auctions. The 6.3-acre estate, previously listed for $29.9 million, includes a glass elevator, a tennis court, a racquetball court, a wine cellar and two swimming pools. Concierge Auctions and Engel & Völkers, the latter a German brokerage that recently opened three new locations in Brooklyn, will oversee the process. Both said the estate will sell without reserve, meaning the property will be sold regardless of its final price. Notable highlights of the Saddle River property include a “grand marble staircase with 24-karat gold-plated bronze decorations,” according to Concierge, as well as a 2,200-square-foot ballroom with floors designed by Italian architect Antonio Rinaldi. The home, reportedly built in 1998, has 12 full bathrooms and four half-bathrooms, a banquet-sized formal dining room that can accommodate up to 22 guests, a commercial-grade glass elevator that services all four floors and an indoor swimming pool, a sauna, wine cellar, home theater, billiards room and a library with a hand-painted canvas ceiling. Separately, the Saddle River estate also comes with a five-bedroom, two-bathroom staff apartment with a private entrance. Alina Pogorelova and Lisa Troyano-Ascolese of Engel & Völkers have the listing for the property. [Concierge Auctions]

Howell retail center secures $47M refinancing
JPMorgan Chase provided $46.5 million last week to New York-based developer Sun Equity Partners to refinance its 200,720-square-foot retail center in Howell, the Commercial Observer reported. The 52-acre property, located at 5313 Route 9 and known as the Greenleaf at Howell, is anchored by BJ’s Wholesale Club and LA Fitness. JLL arranged the loan on behalf of Sun Equity, which has said publicly it intends to build more than 342,000 square feet of retail space. Sun Equity bought the site in May 2013 and secured a $36 million loan in 2017 to refinance the property from Bethpage Federal Credit Union, according to RE-NJ. The developer also took out a $10 million facility that same year to acquire a parcel that it developed into the LA Fitness outpost. The Real Deal reported earlier this year on Sun Equity and the Heskel Group snagging a $60 million loan for their retail development in Jackson Heights. As for JLL, it also secured an $11 million facility to refinance its 157,000-square-foot commercial park in Closter last week. [Commercial Observer]