Teachers Village, A Mixed-Use Project, Breaks Ground

NEWARK—Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker, Governor Chris Christie, Newark-born architect Richard Meier and other dignitaries were at the groundbreaking yesterday for Teachers Village, a mixed-use development in downtown Newark that will create three new schools, a daycare center, more than 200 moderately-priced rental apartments for Newark teachers and more than 20 on-street retail establishments which will include restaurants, medical offices and local and national stores.

RBH Group is the lead developer on the project. Berggruen Holdings is a major partner and Goldman Sachs is providing capital for the complex.

The first phase of a larger development, Teachers Village will provide 460 temporary construction jobs and 460 permanent jobs, according to estimates. Retail tenants will be able to begin building out their spaces by the end of this year and open for business in the summer of 2013, and the first residents will be able to occupy apartments in the fall of 2013. The residential units cover about 200,000 sq. ft., and the units are being pre-marketed to Newark-based teachers.

Centrally located on Halsey Street, Teachers Village will also allow for the expansion and relocation of three charter schools - Great Oaks, Discovery Charter School and TEAM Academy - as well as the CHEN School daycare. The two school buildings will represent about 90,000 sq. ft. and serve about 800 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. CHEN will occupy about 11,000 sq. ft. and will service about 150 children.

As part of the Teachers Village project team, KSS Architects is working to design a daycare center and the school buildings. KSS has helped reposition languishing space in commercial centers and urban and suburban communities throughout New Jersey.

Among the partners are Berggruen Holdings, BRT Realty Trust, Frederick Iseman and Steel Partners Ltd. The design team includes Richard Meier and Partners, Princeton- and Philadelphia-based KSS Architects and Newark-based Mikesell and Associates. The financing team includes New Jersey Economic Development Authority, City of Newark, Brick City Development Corporation, Newark Urban Enterprise Zone, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Goldman Sachs, Prudential, TD Bank and New Jersey Community Capital. Representing RBH Group was the commercial mortgage broker Singer & Bassuk; the commercial real estate brokers Dudley Ryan of CB Richard Ellis and Christian Benedetto of Hopkins, Sampson & Brown; and the law firms Herrick, Feinstein; Meyner & Landis; McManimon & Scotland; and Sills Cummis & Gross.

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