Richardson Building Lofts: Adaptive Green Reuse in Newark

This 6-story, $17 million restoration of former factory space is a 10-minute walk from Newark Penn Station and will pursue a LEED Silver rating from USGBC.

Newwork Real Estate is a Newark, New Jersey-based real estate developer currently focusing on adaptive reuse projects in the Newark area. It recently hired New Brunswick-based Tekton Development to perform general contracting services for the Richardson Building Lofts, a 6-story, 66,000-square-foot conversion of a former jewelry factory into 67 residential rental lofts. The property is located at 50-60 Columbia Street, just south of both Newark Penn Station and the Prudential Center (Newwork calls it a ten minute walk) and dates from 1912.

Newwork is seeking a LEED Silver rating for the $17 million project, which will incorporate a number of interesting green design features. Tekton will restore the building’s original brick and is repurposing its original fire escapes into private balconies for each unit. In addition to efficient HVAC and lighting systems, interior walls will be prefabricated and the building’s original cement floors refinished. A 2-story addition (for duplex units) will top the building out at 8 stories and include a green roof with, perhaps, according, to Newwork managing principal Michael Saltzman, a vegetable farm. From the roof, tenants will have sweeping views of both the Newark and Manhattan skylines.

Units will range in size from 750 to 1300 square feet and the project should be completed by September. We’re rooting hard for more of these types of projects in places like Newark, which have great bones in terms of mass transit access and older building stock that’s primed for similar renovations.

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