The Times real estate section has a piece on the rehabilitation trend of old manufacturing buildings into condos in New Jersey urban centers: New Jersey Developers Recycle, and Sell, Some History
In addition to discussing how these projects have been fairly — though not wildly — successful in the face of the meltdown in the real estate market, a portion of the article is devoted to the promising Richardson Lofts building in downtown Newark.
The Newark building – which like the Hoboken and Jersey City structures lay vacant for years before being eyed for renewal – was originally a jewelry factory. Known as the Richardson Building, it has stood for a century at the corner of Columbia and Green Streets, and it gets a mention in Philip Roth’s novel “American Pastoral,” which is set in historic Newark.
The building has one jaw-dropping feature: a six-story-tall steel spiral staircase that stands in an open central atrium. The elements turned the staircase rusty, but that deterioration will be halted, as plans call for a skylight roof and a small courtyard around the central spiral.”
It will be a natural gathering place, a social center for residents,” said Brendan Murray, the chief executive of Tekton Development, which is creating Richardson Lofts.
Tekton is recycling materials, using “green” techniques, and installing energy-efficient features throughout the building, in a bid for a “silver” rating from the United States Green Building Council, which issues certifications based on LEED standards – for Leadership in Energy and Energy Design. This would be a first for Newark.