NEWARK, NJ—Lotus Equity Group plans to develop the United States’ largest mass timber office building as part of Riverfront Square, Newark’s most ambitious redevelopment project. Designed by visionary architecture firm Michael Green Architecture, the first commercial building in the project will encompass up to 500,000 square feet of class-A office space designed to enhance tenant wellness and environmental sustainability.
“To build the nation’s largest timber building in Newark speaks to the confidence and belief we have in the city and Riverfront Square as a world-class location that can compete with any great city around the world,” says Ben Korman, chief executive officer and founder of Lotus Equity Group. “The vision we share with Michael Green is to design the most environmentally sustainable office tower that enhances the health of tenants and the surrounding communities through efficient planning and green design. When you merge these benefits with Newark’s emerging technology sector, Riverfront Square is primed to help companies attract and retain valuable talent.”
Riverfront Square will transform one of the downtown area’s most important sites into a thriving 24/7 community. The 11.8-acre site adjacent to the waterfront, is just steps from NJ Transit’s Broad Street station – accessible to Midtown Manhattan in 18 minutes – and complements the future Riverfront Park designed by James Corner Field Operations. Riverfront Square is Newark’s most ambitious mixed-use project and is expected to provide up to 2,000 residential units, large and small-scale retail, cultural and public open space, a hotel, 2 million square feet of office space, and parking spaces in the heart of downtown.
Environmental advantages of timber-built buildings are largely derived from its construction. Trees absorb and hold carbon until they decompose or are burned, while the manufacture of concrete and steel accounts for an estimated 10 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions.
“This project represents an opportunity for MGA, in collaboration with Lotus Equity Group, to lay the foundation for the future of Riverfront Square and the city of Newark more broadly,” says Michael Green, founder and principal of Michael Green Architecture. “Good buildings are good neighbors and we envision a sustainable, efficient and architecturally-stunning future for Newark.”
John Picco, Peter Van Duyne, Sean Brady, Alex Lachmund and Christian Politan of Cushman & Wakefield have been selected as the project’s exclusive commercial brokerage team.
“As companies continue to prioritize sustainability, wellness and innovation, buildings like this have become extremely attractive to tenants across industry sectors,” says Picco, an executive director of Cushman & Wakefield. ”Newark is a growing business community, already home to noteworthy companies like Audible, Panasonic and Prudential, and Riverfront Square represents an opportunity for companies growing in or moving to the New York metro area to enter a highly desirable live, work, play development unlike any other,”
Lotus Equity Group is a socially conscious developer and owner deeply committed to revitalizing downtown Newark and creating a 24/7 live-work-play community. Lotus has been an integral force in Newark’s recent business development; Ben Korman, Lotus Equity Group’s founder, is also the operating partner of C&K Properties, the longstanding owner of 2 Gateway Center, Newark’s largest office building.
Four renowned architecture firms will lead the development of Riverfront Square, including TEN Arquitectos, Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners and Michael Green Architecture.