In Newark’s Central Ward, not far from the site of the 1967 riots, a market-rate rental building opened earlier this year with 152 apartments and its name, 24 Jones, emblazoned in cheerful orange lettering on the blocky, colorful facade. Promotional materials invite prospective tenants to “come to a place where everything is possible.”
What, exactly, is possible in Newark? That is the question driving this next chapter of the city’s history. With about $2 billion in commercial and residential development underway, 1,500 units of housing are under construction and another 4,000 are planned, according to the city’sdepartment of economic and housing development. Corporate dollars have poured into the city in recent years. Since 2008, Goldman Sachs has invested $500 million in the city, and Prudential Financial, which is based in Newark, has invested $368 million.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the opening of Element Harrison – Newark, the brand’s second hotel in New Jersey. Featuring 138 stylish, sustainable rooms and a light-filled atmosphere designed to fuel a life in balance and on the move, the new Element will quickly emerge as the social hub of Harrison’s burgeoning urban lifestyle scene where business and leisure travelers, professional sports fans and locals will intersect in a fun, stimulating setting. The hotel is owned by Harrison Hotel 1, a joint venture entity of Ironstate Holdings, LLC and The Pegasus Group, and managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts.
Minutes from Manhattan, Jersey City and Newark via the adjacent PATH Station and five miles from Newark International Airport, Element Harrison – Newark offers easy access to the area’s myriad cultural, recreational, dining and entertainment pursuits. When not socializing in the hotel’s welcoming lobby or outdoor patio, guests can walk to a variety of new shops and restaurants and are within proximity of Newark’s downtown business district. Sports and entertainment can be found at Harrison’s 25,000-seat soccer stadium for the NY Red Bulls professional soccer team, and the Prudential Center in Newark, which is home to the New Jersey Devils hockey team, college basketball and concerts throughout the year.
“Element Harrison – Newark is an exciting addition to the Element portfolio and will provide a smart, sustainable lodging option for travelers to the bustling Newark metropolitan area,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “On track to double its portfolio in the next two years, Element offers guests a bright, energizing environment that’s conducive to both work and play, as well as a line-up of innovative brand-led programming.”
Designed by progressive New York architectural firm HWKN, the new hotel features a distinctive façade that tips its hat to the innovative thinking of the Element by Westin brand. By creating a trompe l’oeil effect (trick of the eye), HWKN toyed with the building’s form – creating the playful illusion that each window is three dimensional. The highly cost effective yet eye catching design response mirrors the Element’s offering to extended stay visitors.
The stylish, sustainable rooms and suites at Element Harrison – Newark feature a fluid design of modular furniture, flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving, custom-designed closets and original artwork from local artists. Rooms will also offer fully-equipped kitchens and the signature Heavenly® Bed, and spa-inspired bathrooms will feature an invigorating rain shower and dual-flush toilet. Other brand signatures include a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool, and a 1,500 square-foot meeting room with modular furnishings, a flexible layout and state-of-the-art technology that can be customized to meet any business or social needs. Guests can stay on the move with Element’s complimentary bikes to borrow and enjoy fun and free extras including complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, the signature RISE breakfast, RELAX evening reception, and salon bar carts stocked with premium wines and beers, soft drinks and snacks, available after hours.
Element Harrison – Newark was developed by Ironstate Holdings, LLC and The Pegasus Group as part of the Partnership’s larger, mixed-use development that will ultimately comprise 2,600 luxury residential residences and 80,000 square feet of street-level retail space, the first phase of which has already been completed. A hotbed of activity and investment, Harrison is also benefitting from a $256 million upgrade of the PATH Station by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“The opening today of Element Harrison – Newark is a landmark moment as it helps advance Harrison’s growth as a stand-alone, well-balanced urban destination that’s also a great launching point for excursions to Manhattan and other New Jersey Gold Coast locations,” said Michael Barry, President of Ironstate Holdings, LLC. “Starwood’s forward-thinking Element concept is a great complement to our broader vision for Harrison and reflects the national interest and significant financial investment the area continues to garner.”
“We are delighted to partner with Starwood Hotels to introduce its popular Element brand to this new entertainment destination in the area,” said Michael George, CEO of Crescent Hotels & Resorts. “One of the industry’s most innovative brands, Element appeals to business and leisure travelers with its emphasis on clean, sustainable living.”
Element is the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings. It’s recognized as an industry leader in the eco-space, and offers travelers a fresh, reimagined interpretation of the extended stay hotel experience.
About Element Hotels
Element® Hotels is made to order for guests in the know and on the go. Its bright design defies convention, bathing guest rooms and public spaces in natural light. Stylish and sustainable throughout, Element offers extended stay comfort with a conscience and lots of signature amenities from its healthy RISE breakfast and RELAX evening reception to saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centers, bikes to borrow and electric vehicle charging stations. Starwood’s latest brand innovation, Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide. To date, there are Element hotels in 11 markets in North America with new domestic and international hotels in development. Visit www.ElementHotels.com or connect on Facebook.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with nearly 1,200 properties in 100 countries, and 181,400 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
About Ironstate Holdings, LLC
Ironstate Holdings, LLC (and Ironstate Development Company) is one of the largest privately held real estate development companies in the Northeast. Based in Hoboken, New Jersey, Ironstate engages in the development and management of large-scale mixed-use projects and has a diverse portfolio of residential and hospitality assets. Additional information on Ironstate Development Company is available on the Company’s website at http://www.ironstate.net.
About Crescent Hotels & Resorts
Crescent Hotels & Resorts is a nationally recognized, top-10 independent third-party operator of hotels and resorts. Crescent currently operates over 80 hotels and resorts, with close to 19,000 rooms in 29 states and Canada. Crescent is one of a small group of independent management companies approved to operate hotels under the Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Hyatt and InterContinental flags. Crescent also operates a collection of legendary independent hotels and resorts. For more information, please visit www.chrco.com.
When the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey gave the green light to a $256 million project to build a new Harrison PATH station last year, the announcement shone a spotlight on other redevelopment efforts in the region.
Those projects, also spurred by a strengthening economy, are chugging ahead in anticipation of the station’s projected 2017 opening.
Within Harrison’s 250-acre redevelopment zone, an eco-wise hotel will open next year and plans are under way for additional residential and commercial space. The recent economic upswing has also triggered movement on several long-awaited residential and retail projects in East Newark and Kearny.
George Cahn, president of Cahn Communications, which represents several of the Harrison developers, said Harrison’s appeal to developers lies in its convenient location with ready access to the PATH and local highways.
As proof, he pointed to the recent groundbreaking for Element Harrison, a 138-room Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. hotel on Somerset Street. The seven-story LEED-certified structure, a joint venture between Ironstate Development and thePegasus Groupslated for completion in summer 2014, is the second phase of construction for Harrison Station, a mixed-use development.
Harrison Station’s first phase, which features 275 luxury rental units and 12,814 square feet of retail space, opened in 2011 and is fully leased. Businesses already located at Harrison Station include Five Guys Burgers and Fries and GNC; they will be joined by restaurant Sakura Japan next month, according to Cahn.
Groundbreaking for Harrison Station’s third phase, which will include a four-story structure with 329 rental residences and 8,675 square feet of retail space, will be held this summer, he added.
Elsewhere in West Hudson, an upscale 60-unit apartment complex on Passaic Avenue and President Street that has been under construction for more than a year is nearing completion and advertising for tenants, while in Kearny, Russo Development is slated to appear before the Kearny Planning Board in May to request modifications to its plan to construct rental units on Bergen Avenue east of Schuyler Avenue. The developer is seeking to construct townhouse-style units rather than the apartments in the original proposal, according to Mayor Al Santos.
Across town, a long-stalled project to redevelop a vacant factory that once manufactured aluminum baseball bats on Passaic Avenue may also finally inch ahead, Santos said. A new owner who purchased the site last year is seeking to demolish buildings that were seriously damaged there in a fire more than 25 years ago.
“We’re hoping that the buildings will be demolished this spring,” Santos said. “We’ve met with the owner a couple of times and his ideas for the property center around retail.”
HARRISON, NJ–Meridian Capital Group has negotiated $49,950,000 in permanent financing for the first multifamily rental building to open last year at the huge Harrison Station development here, GlobeSt.com has learned. The pioneer building was a joint venture by Ironstate Development and the Pegasus Group.
The 10-year Freddie Mac loan carrying an interest rate of 3.69% was provided by Beech Street Capital through its correspondent relationship with Meridian. David Cohen and Russ Drebin, both based in Meridian’s Iselin office, arranged the transaction.
“We tracked this project very carefully,” Cohen tells GlobeSt.com. “Harrison Station is a stunning new development that had strong lease-up velocity.”
Furthermore, the timing was good, said. Cohen. “The recent dip in treasury yields created an opportunity to secure low-cost long-term debt at exactly the same time the property began showing its full potential,” he says.
Six different development companies are now at work on projects at the 200-acre redevelopment site around the Harrison PATH station, and Ironstate/Pegasus is currently building a boutique Element by Starwood hotel next to its rental building. The rental, located at 300 Somerset St. off Frank E. Rogers Boulevard, opened a year ago and achieved full lease-up within nine months.
The four-story complex stands adjacent to the train station, and features an attended lobby, a fitness center, an outdoor pool and volleyball court, lounge, and garage parking — all within walking distance of the Red Bulls major league soccer stadium.
Meridian Capital Group is based in New York, with offices in New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Arizona and California. It arranges financing for deals from $1 million to more than $500 million in a diverse array of property types: multifamily, co-op, office, retail, hotel, and mixed-use, industrial, healthcare, student housing, self-storage and construction properties.
It was six days after Independence Day but Harrison authorities had an excuse to belatedly shoot off fireworks if they’d wanted to do so.
That’s because on July 10, a day before they were due back in State Tax court ñ the New York Red Bulls dropped off a check for a cool $5,615,287.73 representing about two and a half years of back taxes plus 18% in interest fees.
The town and the Red Bulls, a professional soccer team that made its home in Harrison when it built a $200 million stadium off Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard, have been skirmishing over whether Harrison has the right to tax the teamís property.
The Red Bulls, represented by the Woodbridge law firm of Greenbaum Rowe Smith & Davis, LLP, argued that because the land occupied by the Red Bull Arena is publicly-owned and because the team is providing a public recreation service promoted by county and local government entities that issued some $40 million in bonds to acquire the land leased to the team, the property should be tax-exempt.
But in a Jan. 6 opinion, State Tax Court Judge Christine Nugent ruled otherwise, declaring that both the land and stadium should be subject to local property taxes.
Town Attorney Paul Zarbetski said last week that as part of a settlement agreement, the team will pay Harrison for the two remaining tax quarters of 2012 which will generate an additional $925,000 approximately.
However, Zarbetski added, the Red Bulls want to preserve their right to press on with its anti-tax arguments with the state appellate court for 2010 and 2011 and will likely file a new complaint to contest taxes for 2012.
The Red Bulls had been on the hook for an annual rent payment of $150,000 to the town but Zarbetski said that because the state tax judge has pronounced the Red Bulls land and stadium fully taxable, that fee will go by the boards.
Thomas J. Denitzio Jr., the attorney with the Woodbridge firm handling the Red Bulls case, would say only that his clients were ìpleased with the progress theyíve made in addressing the case,î but because the litigation is continuing, ìweíre precluded from discussing the case further.î
At any rate, Zarbetski and Harrison Mayor Raymond McDonough couldnít be happier about the timing of the Red Bullsí payment.
“Theyíre about 5% of our (municipal) tax levy,” Zarbetski noted, “so getting this money should bring us up to virtually 100%.”
Asked if Harrison would use the new revenue to hire additional employees, McDonough said: “No, we’ll just be banking the money, controlling the taxes. In fact, according to what my financial officer (Gabriela Simoes) tells me, if we hadnít gotten the money, there wouldíve been a (municipal) tax increase of $850 to $900 (on the average house) for this year, but now that increase should be only $200.”
The 2012 municipal budget has yet to be adopted by Harrison.
McDonough, meanwhile, is counting on the town seeing more revenues from local development projects, such as the new Element by Westin, a $38 million, 7-story, 138-room hotel to be built by Ironstate Development. Its first floor will contain the lobby and retail shops; the second floor will have meeting rooms, an indoor pool and a workout room.
This hotel will rise in front of the Harrison Parking Center garage on the west side of Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard and half-way up Somerset St. Construction is expected to start next month and the hotel should open sometime in the first quarter of next year. Guests will park in the Harrison Parking Center garage as an additional expense.
The Pegasus Group and Ironstate, partnering to build Harrison Station, a mixed-use development of residential/retail next to the Harrison PATH station, have completed Phase 1, having rented all but one of the 275 apartments, according to Pegasus executive Richard Miller.
Last week McDonough said the town received a check for $307,000 from the Harrison Station developers representing their contribution to the townís Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Of the 15,000 square feet of retail space targeted as part of the first phase of development, one tenant ñ Five Guys Burgers and Fries ñ has moved in and a second, Pronto Market ñ which has established a presence in Newarkís Ironbound section ñ will open shortly, Miller said. The remaining retail tenants are expected to be a Japanese restaurant, a vitamin store and a drycleaner, he said. Those shops should generate in excess of 100 jobs, according to Miller.
Directly across Frank E. Rodgers Blvd., Heller Urban Renewal is knocking down the old Hartz Mountain warehouses where the firm intends to build a mixed-use community of 747 one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments and 30,000 square feet of retail.
Element Harrison is slated to open in Summer 2014, just minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport
STAMFORD, Conn., Apr 24, 2012(BUSINESS WIRE) — Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. today announced plans to open Element Harrison in Summer of 2014, just five miles from Newark Liberty International Airport. Owned and developed by Harrison Hotel 1, an entity of Ironstate Holdings, LLC, a Hoboken, NJ-based developer, and managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts, Element Harrison will join Element Ewing Princeton as the brand’s second hotel in New Jersey. Starwood’s trailblazing eco-wise Element(R) brand delivers a smart new lodging option for travelers with 138 guest rooms and suites built green from the ground up.
Element Harrison will typify the “balance” that Starwood’s Element brand offers to business and leisure travelers. Just minutes from Newark, Jersey City and lower Manhattan, Element Harrison will be walking distance to a variety of shops and restaurants and within proximity to Newark’s business district. Less than 30 minutes from Manhattan’s financial district, the hotel is located right at the NJ PATH Harrison train station and close to the Newark Penn Station and the Gateway Center. The hotel will also be ideally situated in the heart of a growing sports and entertainment hub, including the newly-opened 25,000 seat soccer stadium for the NY Red Bulls professional soccer team in Harrison, and the Prudential Center in Newark, which is home to the New Jersey Devils professional hockey team, college basketball, concerts, family shows and special events throughout the year.
“Element Harrison will provide a fresh, new update on lodging that will appeal to travelers to the bustling Newark metropolitan area,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “The Element brand offers guests a bright, energizing environment that’s conducive to both work and play.”
The Element brand made history with its 2008 launch. It is the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings. More than just a “green” hotel brand, however, Element offers travelers a sophisticated setting with stylish rooms designed for comfort. Every signature detail aims to fuel a life in balance and on the move. Element Harrison will feature all the brand’s signatures, including:
– Rise, Element’s hearty and healthy complimentary breakfast
– Motion, a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center
– Indoor Pool
– Relax, complimentary evening receptions
– Restore, a gourmet food pantry
– 1,500-square-feet of meeting space with modular furnishings, flexible layout and state-of-the-art technology that can be customized to meet and business or social needs
– Dynamic gathering spaces, from a lobby flooded with natural light to a multi-storied window wall and from an outdoor fire pit, to water features and a barbecue
– Light filled guest rooms with a fluid design of modular furniture, swiveling flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving, and custom-designed closets
– The signature Heavenly(R) Bed
– Spa-inspired bathrooms with an invigorating rain-shower and dual-flush toilet
– Fully equipped kitchens featuring filtered water, ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and utensils to prepare a gourmet meal
“We’re very excited to introduce Element to Harrison and expect the brand’s fusion of style, personal wellbeing and sustainability will resonate with guests,” said James Ronga, Vice President of Ironstate Holdings, LLC. “Our location adjacent to the PATH Station and so close to Newark Liberty International Airport will also make Element Harrison a highly attractive choice for travelers on the go.”
About Element Hotels
Accessible, affordable and active, Element Hotels is made to order for guests in the know and on the go. Its bright design defies convention, bathing guest rooms and public spaces in natural light. Stylish and sustainable throughout, Element offers comfort with a conscience and lots of signature amenities from its complimentary RISE healthy breakfast and RELAX evening reception to saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centers, bikes-to-borrow and electric vehicle charging stations.
Starwood’s latest brand innovation, Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide. To date, there are Element hotels in 10 U.S. markets, with new domestic and international hotels in development. Visit http://www.ElementHotels.com or connect on Facebook and Twitter.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1090 properties in 100 countries and territories with 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Meridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), and Element(SM). Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visithttp://www.starwoodhotels.com .
About Ironstate Holdings, LLC
Ironstate Holdings, LLC (and Ironstate Development Company) is one of the largest privately held real estate development companies in the Northeast. Based in Hoboken, New Jersey, Ironstate engages in the development and management of large-scale mixed-use projects and has a diverse portfolio of apartments and hotels valued at several billion dollars. The Company’s multi-family portfolio comprises an extensive range of apartments, condominiums and retail and recreational spaces in key urban centers near mass transportation hubs, while its hospitality holdings include the W Hoboken Hotel along the Hudson River waterfront facing Manhattan. Ironstate has approximately $1 billion in the development pipeline, including the redevelopment of the former U.S. Naval Base on the waterfront in Staten Island, NY.
Additional information on Ironstate Development Company is available on the Company’s website at http://www.ironstate.net .
About Crescent Hotels & Resorts
With corporate offices in Fairfax, Va., outside of Washington, D.C., and Toronto, Canada, Crescent Hotels & Resorts owns, manages and co-invests in hotel real estate, and is a North American recognized Top 10 independent, third-party operator of hotels and resorts. The company currently owns or operates 68 hotels and resorts aggregating more than 14,000 rooms in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The company’s portfolio encompasses properties in the resort, luxury, upper upscale, boutique, convention and premium select-service segments, as well as legendary independent hotels and resorts. Additional information about Crescent Hotel & Resorts may be found on the company’s Web site http://www.chrco.com .
(note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions)(note:we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement)(note:whether as a result of new information)(note:future events or otherwise.)
SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.