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Real estate experts discuss Newark development at business partnership panel

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A panel of real estate experts talked about the future of development in Newark on Tuesday.
A panel of real estate experts talked about the future of development in Newark on Tuesday. - ()

The Newark Regional Business Partnership held a market forecast and real estate outlook panel Tuesday, where real estate researchers and leaders opined on the state of the development in Newark and provided insights as to how their firms approached development in the city.

“We’ve been doing this program for a long time, but at no point in my recollection has the spirit been higher, not just in downtown, but throughout the city,” NRBP Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Barbara Kauffman said.

Heidi Learner, chief economist of Savills Studley, led the real estate market forecast.

“This is the first time in a long time that Newark is firing on many fronts, and that’s not just in the office side, but certainly in the residential and industrial side, too,” Learner said. “I think that there’s a lot to be optimistic about.”

Learner reported the majority of the job growth in Newark has been due to established companies creating jobs, rather than new companies coming to the city. And she said the city has shifted from merely planning, to starting to see construction.

“We’re at an inflection point, where there are a lot of projects that are no longer proposals,” Learner said. “We’ll see the landscape start to change over the next few years.”

Learner also said educational and cultural institutions continue to grow, and will add to the growth of employment in the city.

“We’re coming off a robust year in 2015; 2016, things were a little bit slower, and I would expect things to continue to even out in 2017,” Learner said. “And that’s in large part because we’re already seven years into an economic recovery. Despite the fact that the recession was quite deep in 2007 and 2009, that has enabled this cycle to grow for a little bit longer than we’ve typically seen.”

The panel discussion was led by Francis Giantomasi of the law firm Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi P.C.

Jonathan Cortell, vice president of L&M Development, who redeveloped the city’s Hahne Building, cautioned that, despite the work being done throughout the city, it is only through citywide collaboration that Newark will be able to rise.

“It took a village to assure Hahne’s came off,” he said. “It will likely continue to necessitate significant encompassing partnerships to deliver on the more and more and more stuff that we need to get Newark to go in the right direction.”

Jennifer Carrillo-Perez, of counsel with Connell Foley LLP; Kevin Collins, chief financial officer of C&K Properties; Julia Gutstadt, chief investment officer of Dranoff Properties; Michael Sommer, executive vice president of development for Edison Properties; and William Waxman, executive vice president of CBRE, were also part of the panel.

“It’s Newark’s turn,” Giantomasi said.

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Mario Marroquin

Mario Marroquin

Mario Marroquin covers real estate. A native of El Salvador, Mario is bilingual in English and Spanish. He graduated from Penn State University and worked in Pennsylvania before moving to New Jersey. His email is mariom@njbiz.com.

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