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Partners pitch Amazon super-campus.

A development group led by Fifth Avenue North Partners has pitched an off-the-grid super campus to Newark officials co-ordinating the city's effort to woo Amazon.

FAN founders Joel Levin and Jim Bardia say the twin-tower, energy independent development could be a game-changer in the race to land the tech giant's HQ2.

"Our concept will leapfrog over any plans previously shown to Newark by offering spectacular but practical 22nd century architecture right now in the 21st century," said Bardia.

"It is a transformative plan that gives Amazon what it wants, and gives Newark what it needs. This could very well be the clincher in a tight race."

Designed by Heller Manus Architects the development would contain two 60- and 55-story towers connected by sky bridges. These skyscrapers would be surrounded by an assortment of interconnected, pedestrian-friendly, low-and mid-rise structures totaling six million square feet of office space, apartments, hotel and homes located on 45 acres of land in downtown Newark.

Architect Jeffrey Heller said the plan focuses on self-powered, low-carbon-footprint buildings with multiple transit connections and a helipad for 'rapid' connections.

The campus would include sky gardens, balconies, parks, bicycle paths, a riverbank amphitheater, walkable green roofs, glass-enclosed moving sidewalks, and wheelchair and scooter accessibility.

Hidden below-ground would be garages incorporating parking for autos and bicycles, charging stations for electric vehicles, and capacity for future alternative modes of transportation.

Heller called the Newark HQ2 project, "An iconic design to anchor Amazon and Newark globally and, to our knowledge, the largest fully-integrated city center headquarters project in the country."

Levin said the principals of Fifth Avenue North Partners (FAN), developers of energy-independent communities, met recently for feasibility discussions at the offices of Newark Community Economic Development Corporation with NCEDC executives and Lotus Equity Group, owners of a keystone property in the assemblage proposed by FAN and HM.

"In a series of meetings, calls, and texts commencing nine months ago, the idea of combining off-the-grid spires and lower-height offices, retail, recreational, and residential structures to entice Amazon to Newark has been brain-stormed in a number of city departments from Mayor Baraka's office on down, and also at the federal level," said FAN in a press release.

"Now, with the city having reached the final 20 stage of the original field of 258 cities vying for Amazon's second North American headquarters, negotiations are being planned with other Newark landowners for an achievable yes-we-can moment for the state's largest municipality."

Newark EDC did not respond to a request for comment by press time.


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Author:O'Flanagan, Linda
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Aug 29, 2018
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