10-10-13 1:00 PM EDT | Email Article

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.

About Whole Foods Market®

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com)(NASDAQ:WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company's motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 78,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 16 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2012, the company had sales of $11.7 billion and currently has more than 360 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

About L+M Development Partners

Since 1984, L+M Development Partners has been an innovator in developing quality affordable, mixed-income and market rate housing, while improving the neighborhoods in which it works. A full-service firm, L+M works from conception to completion, handling development, investment, construction and management with creativity that leads the industry. L+M is responsible for more than $2.5 billion in development, investment and construction and has created more than 15,000 high-quality units in the tri-state area alone. With Hahne’s, L+M continues its investments in Essex County, New Jersey: 50 & 55 South Essex, currently under construction in the city of Orange’s transit village, are projected to be completed in early 2014 (for more information, see www.50-55southessex.com) and also include 10,000 square feet of available retail space (call 646-688-5005 for more information). The firm is also expanding its geographic footprint to the Gulf region and West coast. Community leaders, government officials and investment organizations turn to L+M because of its consistent track record of excellence.

L+M is a double bottom line company, where its success is measured not only in financial returns but also by the positive impact it makes. L+M takes pride in its long-standing dedication to the communities it serves, demonstrated through an annual scholarship fund, job training programs and substantial support for local nonprofits. L+M brings a superior level of commitment to its investments in developments, and equally important, to its investment in people. Additional information can be found at www.lmdevpartners.com.

About Hanini Group

Hanini Group takes great pride in its integral involvement in the renaissance of Newark’s downtown, and the development projects it has carried out successfully in the past nine years. Since 2004, Hanini Group has completed restoration and rehabilitation projects valuing over $50 million and delivered high-caliber loft space to Newark’s residential market. Hanini Group’s involvement in the design and construction of select retail space, as well as the creation of unique and modern residential units has contributed significantly to the outlook for the future of Newark’s real estate market, both commercially and residentially. Delivering a unique blend of vision and practicality, Hanini Group brings a fresh perspective to Newark’s emerging development, while staying ahead of the curve by using the latest green building practices. Committed to Newark’s future, Hanini Group maintains a dedication to producing high‐end, cost-effective buildings in Newark while also preserving the city’s historical integrity, a defining part of Hanini Group’s mission.

About the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs

Established in 2001, the Urban Investment Group deploys the firm's capital by making investments and loans that benefit urban communities. Through its comprehensive community development platform, UIG is a catalyst in the revitalization of underserved neighborhoods. UIG has committed more than $3.0 billion, facilitating the creation and preservation of approximately 13,000 housing units - the majority of which are affordable to low-, moderate- and middle-income families - as well as over 1,300,000 square feet of community facility and nearly 2,000,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

UIG is part of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS). To learn more about UIG, visit www.gs.com/uig.

About Prudential

The Prudential Insurance Company of America is a subsidiary of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), a financial services leader with more than $1 trillion of assets under management as of June 30, 2013. It has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit www.news.prudential.com.

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