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New Loft Apartments and Retailers Mark Opening of Next Phase of RockPlaza Lofts

Chipotle, Krauszer’s Food Stores, Mercato Tomato Pie and Novelty Burger & Bar Join Existing Retailers as 48 New Loft Style Apartments Open at the Madison Building

RockPlaza Lofts next phaseFidelco Realty Group and Hanini Group executives joined Newark Mayor Luis Quintana, state and city officials and community leaders to celebrate the opening of the newest phase of RockPlaza Lofts, a $38 million multi-property redevelopment on Market Street bringing a new mix of rental apartments, convenience and specialty retail, galleries, and a series of restaurants to Newark’s historic downtown adjacent to the Prudential Center.

This phase of the project is marked by the opening of 48 loft style apartments at the six-story Madison Building, located at 216-218 Market Street, and the near-term opening of several new retailers including the first Newark location of the national eatery Chipotle Mexican Grill.

In addition to Chipotle, which is anticipated to open before the end of June, other new retailers include Krauszer’s Food Stores, a convenience grocery store with locations throughout the Northeast; Mercato Tomato Pie, an independent restaurant-pizzeria featuring traditional coal-fired pizza; and Novelty Burger & Bar, a throwback to the 1950s diner and drive-ins featuring burgers, hot dogs, shakes and a full bar.

“Today’s milestone is a fulfillment of the promise that the Prudential Center brought as a catalyst for further development when it opened in 2007. Residents of RockPlaza Lofts are thriving, and the mix of retailers – including Newark’s first Chipotle and the convenience retail store Krauszer’s – have elevated Market Street as a desired home for residents and businesses,” said Marc E. Berson, chairman of Fidelco Realty Group.

“We are glad to be part of a project that is helping transform downtown. The restoration of these buildings not only adds life to downtown Newark but it also helps display the beauty of Newark’s historical architecture. The Rock Plaza Lofts have successfully set the standard for modern and luxury city living in downtown Newark. With national brands such as Chipotle and Krauszer’s Food Stores opening their doors, the continued signal is sent that Newark continues the rise to its original grandeur.” said Samer Hanini, Principal of Hanini Group.

“RockPlaza is a critical part of our efforts to re-energize our historic downtown,” said Mayor Quintana. “This $38 million development is bringing new market-rate housing, shopping, national chainstores, and galleries to downtown Newark, which in turn create jobs, economic opportunities, and tourism. I am proud of how our Economic Development team partnered with Fidelco and Hanini to empower our City’s downtown core.”

“The opening of these residential and commercial properties are substantial and inspiring progress in Newark. Prudential Center and its proud community partners are committed to the continued development of this neighborhood into a destination for families and businesses alike,” said Hugh Weber, President of Devils Arena Entertainment.

“RockPlaza Lofts is a logical location for our flagship store,” said Ketul Shah, owner of the new Krauszer’s Food Stores in Newark. “The residents of RockPlaza Lofts, along with the local business community and visitors to the Prudential Center, provide a set of natural customers with a need for the goods and services Krauszer’s provides. This store offers a strong foundation as we build our presence with other locations throughout the city.”

The new residential units at the Madison, located at 216-218 Market Street, include 48 studio, one and two-bedroom loft rental apartments featuring energy efficient stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, hardwood floors, 24-hour in-unit key access, a Rooftop terrace, state of the art on site Gym and in-unit washer/dryers. The Madison, originally constructed in 1890, underwent a full restoration while preserving the timeless historic elements of the building.

222 Market Street, home to Newark’s first Chipotle, will also include two residential units and access to a roof top terrace.

The first phase of RockPlaza Lofts was completed in 2011 with the redevelopment of the Bowers Building at 191 Market Street, consisting of 3,500 square feet of ground floor retail and eight market-rate, loft-style apartments. Rita’s Italian Ice opened in 2013, occupying part of the retail space at the Bowers Building. The Newark Downtown District, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the City of Newark’s police department dedicated to enhancing the safety of the downtown area, is also a tenant at 191 Market Street.

The Columbian, located at 224-226 Market Street, opened at the end of 2012. The Columbian is home to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que on the ground floor and 22 loft apartment units on the upper floors.

Other retail tenants of the development include FASTSIGNS®, a printer for high-impact signage and graphics with 530 locations around the world.

The redevelopment totals eight properties, approximately 34,000 square feet of retail space and 80 loft style apartment units within the area bounded by Market Street, Mulberry Street and Edison Place. The creation of 140 permanent new jobs is expected with retail tenants.

The RockPlaza Lofts’ innovative design incorporates a combination of sustainable building practices, historic preservation and renovation, and transit-oriented development. Just steps from Newark Penn Station and with the close proximity to cultural centers such as the Prudential Center, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Symphony Hall, The Newark Museum and The Newark Public Library, this project substantially enhances the Market Street corridor of downtown Newark.

Financing for the construction of RockPlaza Lofts included a New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC). The NMTC Program, established in 2000, was enacted by Congress to help promote economic advancement in distressed communities by encouraging private investment in community development projects. The redevelopment is also utilizing an Economic Redevelopment and Growth grant from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and Historic Tax Credits, preserving the original architecture of each building to the fullest extent possible. Citi Community Capital, Greenline Community Ventures and Monge Capital assisted in the financing.

The next phase as reported in the press