L+M Development is best known for its work building affordable housing in New York, but what some might not realize is that we are also active across Northern New Jersey, and recently completed a very exciting project to help revitalize downtown Newark.

Last month, we officially reopened the Hahne’s building in Newark, the former home of the Hahne & Company department store, which was once the glory of Newark’s downtown shopping district. After Hahne & Co. was acquired by Lord & Taylor in the late 1980’s, the vacant and boarded up building became a symbol of Newark’s decline and economic struggles, and Newark residents have been hoping for a comeback ever since.

Through a massive $174 million public-private rehabilitation effort, L+M partnered with Prudential Financial, Goldman Sachs Group, & Citi Community Capital and the city of Newark to redevelop the building into new mixed-income housing, retail, commercial and academic space.  The renovated building features market rate and affordable housing, an arts and cultural incubator operated by Rutgers University, new headquarters for City National Bank, and roughly 75,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.

Hahne & Co Ron Moelis

Hahne & Co. building in 1947 (L) and 2017 (R)

In line with L+M’s commitment to expanding access to food options, Hahne’s will also house Newark’s first Whole Foods Market (which will open on March 1st), which the community is very excited about since there are currently few grocery options in the area.  There will also be a to-be-determined concept restaurant from my business partner and friend, Chef Marcus Samuelsson. Marcus has leased space for a restaurant on the Halsey Street side of the building and I look forward to another way Marcus and I can work together.

Ron Moelis Hahne's

Over 1,000 people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the reopening of the Hahne’s department store in downtown Newark. [Photo: Agata Domanska]

In addition to the Hahne’s building, we’ve also partnered with Prudential to rehabilitate the historic NJ Bell Telephone headquarters building, located at 540 Broad Street. We look forward to working closely with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on this and other projects to ensure development in the city is responsible and inclusive. In a recent vlog post, Mayor Baraka detailed improvements happening throughout Newark as well as the city’s commitment to improve the well-being of all Newarkers while encouraging economic growth.

The Hahne’s redevelopment represents an opportunity to bring more dynamism and vitality to downtown Newark, which have been sorely needed.  The recent grand opening event had over 500 attendees representing Newark’s past, present and future, and the enthusiasm over the transformation of the space was palpable.  We share their excitement about the revitalization of both the beautiful Hahne’s building as well as Newark’s downtown area overall, and look forward to partnering with the city on more projects to come.