Selling Cities Despite Bad Images

Selling Cities Despite Bad Images
The Times interviews Cogswell Realty Group about the success of Eleven80 and their future plans in Newark for a piece on regional urban real estate.

As the economy climbs out of the subprime mess, we’ll start to see this trend accelerate. Housing prices will decline, and job creation will pick up again in 2009, which means Newark will be poised to see a surge of investment.

We’re already seeing the real estate market percolate in Newark with the Collonnei apartments and Shaq Tower attempt to reproduce the success of Eleven80.

And, as it so happens, the Daily Newarker will be right there to help our new neighbors acclimate to city life in the Garden State. Watch this space.

They got through it by using every stigma-fading technique they could think of. One was to put cheery pro-Newark ads on thousands of coffee cup sleeves for commuters between the Pennsylvania Stations in Manhattan and Newark; another was to install $800,000 worth of safety-enhancing new lighting on the exterior of Eleven80, a converted Art Deco office structure.

The efforts seem to have paid off: 85 percent of the units, which rent for $1,650 to $3,895, were leased during the first year. About 80 percent of the tenants work in Manhattan, Mr. Stern said. And 35 percent are single women – which the developer called a strong showing from “a group that might have been expected to be wary.”

He quickly added that the battle against negative perceptions was continuing. Cogswell proposes to create 3,500 more apartments in Newark, starting with 300 more rentals and 300 condominiums in the Hahne Griffith building downtown, and he said his company would have to keep searching for new ways to “sell Newark, right along with our projects.”

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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