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Newark's Vibe building offers sense of place in growing community

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A rendering of the Vibe building, coming to the corner of William and Halsey streets in Newark.
A rendering of the Vibe building, coming to the corner of William and Halsey streets in Newark. - ()

For Strategic Development Partners’ chairman and CEO Anthony Bastardi, his firm’s Vibe building, located at the corner of William and Halsey streets, will capitalize on the success of RBH’s Teachers Village while targeting a different demographic.

Bastardi said that while Teachers Village was meant to cater to educators, Vibe will aim to create an environment for young professionals generally.

“A place, in the urban-planning sense, is an area where you can live, work, socialize, recreate, eat and generally commune with your neighbors,” Bastardi said in an interview. “We noticed, in this area, that there were no places [that were] walkable, other than a couple of recent places that have popped up around Prudential Center. There wasn’t that diversity of restaurant cuisine that we thought the area deserves. And we really do want to make a place in that urban planning sense.”

SDP, who is currently working to obtain its approvals from the city, expects to break ground on its $80 million Vibe building by the end of this year. The Vibe building, in its current iteration, is set to deliver 256 units and 10,000 square feet of retail space for two restaurants across the street from Teachers Village.

The site for the project, principally owned by Steven Blumenkranz, is located two blocks from Prudential Center and minutes from Newark Penn Station. The site is also located a short walk from the Ironbound.

“Vibe represents a significant investment in Newark by a talented and experienced team of redevelopment professionals,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement. “It is yet another exciting sign that this city is a highly-desirable location.”

Bastardi said the project is being designed by Bob and Barbara Hillier of StudioHillier, who are also partners in the venture. Del-Sano Contracting is also a partner in the venture.

The designers, he said, are taking a look at Hudson and Bergen counties to create a place while delivering the appropriate product in the neighborhood.

“Vibe represents a significant investment in Newark by a talented and experienced team of redevelopment professionals.” -- Newark Mayor Ras Baraka

“We are going to be looking for what used to be known as young urban professionals,” Bastardi said. “These youngsters have a different view of housing. Their apartments are generally smaller, but their amenities and common spaces are generally larger and more utilized. After doing considerable research on what is happening in Jersey City, Hoboken, the Bergen County towns – Fort Lee, Englewood etc. – we found that this kind of housing is what is being developed in those markets to attract millennials.”

SDP said Vibe will bring a resort-style experience to the area. The property has building-wide WiFi, Alexa built into all apartment and common areas, and smartphone and app-driven security, temperature controls and mailroom.  

The Marketing Directors have been selected by SDP as the leasing representatives.

“This technology-rich environment, coupled with other first-class amenities, distinguishes Vibe as a leading player in Newark’s hottest residential market,” Adrienne Albert, CEO of the Marketing Directors said in a news release. “This is especially important to millennials, who prefer the convenience of living in the city, with access to cultural and sporting events, as well as transportation, recreational amenities and the latest technologies. Vibe has it all.”

Resident amenities will include a rooftop pool, whirlpool spa, communal party room with chef’s kitchen and bar, a fully equipped gym and fitness center, indoor and outdoor yoga and Pilates studios, a conference room and a game room.

“We have incorporated resort-style amenities into every detail of Vibe,” Barbara Hillier said in a news release. “Residents will enjoy light and airy living spaces, as well as a menu of highly-desired social and recreational opportunities.”

Bastardi said Vibe will be completed by summer 2020.

Strategic Development Partners are also actively working in Jersey City, where it master-planned New Jersey City University’s University Place and brought along Claremont Companies, the Hampshire Companies, KKF University Enterprises and Crossroad Companies.

The developer is also active in Medham, where it is just shy of completing a national headquarters building for the Sisters of Christian Charity. SDP is also working with NJCU to develop a campus at Fort Monmouth.

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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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