NEWARK, NJ (October 10, 2013) – In collaboration with the City of Newark, L+M Development Partners (L+M), Hanini Group (Hanini), Prudential, and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group (Goldman Sachs) announced today that Whole Foods Market has signed a lease for space in the soon-to-be-restored  historic Hahne & Company (Hahne’s) building at 609 Broad Street.

Slated to open in 2016,  the leading organic and natural foods grocer, will occupy a  29,000 square-foot space and provide both the downtown corridor and surrounding city with access to fresh, quality food and healthy eating resources. The plan to bring the first Whole Foods Market to Newark marks an exciting step in the ongoing revitalization of the city, and is aligned with the company’s larger mission to feed and nourish communities with limited access to fresh, healthy food. The company, which has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 16 consecutive years, expects to employ 150 team members, offering quality career opportunities to local residents. Currently, Whole Foods Market employs nearly 160 Newark residents at its other 10 New Jersey locations.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this project and thank the City for its continued interests and efforts in helping bring a Whole Foods Market to Newark,” said Christina Minardi, Regional President, Whole Foods Market Northeast. “Most importantly, we’re eager and committed to providing access to fresh, healthy food and offering great career opportunities to local residents.”

“Today’s announcement that Whole Foods Market will open a store in the Hahne's building is exciting news for Newark. From creating and cultivating urban farms and farmers’ markets to attracting new grocery stores, we’re making great strides in our efforts to expand access to fresh, healthy food options for all of our residents,” said Mayor Cory Booker. “We know that Whole Foods Market brings with them a deep commitment to community engagement and advancement, and we welcome them as a long-term stakeholder in our city’s continued success.”

The new Whole Foods Market will be housed on the ground floor of the 400,000 square-foot landmark building, which was once home to the Hahne’s department store. The project, one of Newark’s largest rehabilitation efforts in recent years, was approved in July by Newark’s Central Planning Board and Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission. The redevelopment, a project that L+M and Hanini will co-develop with Regan Development Corporation and Crawford Street Partners, will provide more than 180 residential units, an underground parking garage, 80,000 square feet of commercial, community, and office space on upper floors, and 50,000 square feet of ground-level retail space in addition to the Whole Foods Market.

“Hahne’s was once the heart of Newark’s bustling downtown corridor, and bringing exciting new retail and housing opportunities back to the building will be critical for its restoration,” said Ron Moelis, Chairman and CEO of L+M. “We strive to find partners who share our commitment to enriching the communities in which we develop, and are excited to work with Whole Foods Market for the second time and continue our partnership with Goldman Sachs and Prudential. We hope our joint efforts will bring new economic activity and community development opportunities to downtown Newark.”

“The addition of a Whole Foods Market is exactly what downtown Newark has been waiting for,” said Samer Hanini of Hanini Group, co-developer on the Hahne’s project. “As a Newark resident myself, I’ve seen first-hand the vibrant transformation the city has undergone over the past several years. Yet amid these exciting new developments, Newark has been missing a key element to connect the downtown corridor. Whole Foods Market will undoubtedly fill this gap.”

Together with an investment by Prudential, Goldman Sachs, L+M, and Hanini Group purchased the building in early 2013 and are subsequently performing substantial predevelopment work. “We are thrilled to play a role in bringing the Hahne's building, a true Newark treasure, back to life. Once renovated, Hahne's will include a mix of tenants that will be critical to the continued revitalization of downtown Newark,” said Margaret Anadu, vice president in the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group.  “Whole Foods Market will be an exciting and dynamic cornerstone in this restoration and will perfectly complement the housing and other retail.  Not only will it provide high quality fresh food to a community that deserves improved access and healthy options, but it will also create quality jobs for Newark residents.”
The Hahne’s redevelopment project was made possible by a $7.5 million investment by Prudential as part of its strategy to create a vibrant downtown in Newark. “Hahne’s is an iconic structure that has resisted development for over a generation. The ideal team is now in place that can succeed not only in renovating the building, but has also attracted a best in class brand like Whole Foods Market.  The high quality products and services Whole Foods Market is known for will be a welcome addition in Newark,” said Lata Reddy, vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential.
Whole Foods Market’s stores have supported a variety of nonprofits and community organizations in Newark for several years, and the company is currently expanding its relationships with local producers and suppliers, schools and government officials. Through its Whole Kids Foundation™, the company’s nonprofit dedicated to improving childhood nutrition, Newark schools have already received five community gardens and one salad bar grant.

The lease with Whole Foods Market was brokered by the retail-only real estate firm, Shopping Center Group (SCG). Approximately 50,000 square-feet of additional commercial space at 609 Broad Street are available for lease. For more information about leasing opportunities in the Hahne’s building, please call 973-494-5832.

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