Audible, the audiobook company owned by Amazon, opened new offices on Friday in a restored historic cathedral in Newark. The company, which has been located in New Jersey’s largest city since 2007, restored an 80,000-square-foot 1913 church and modernized it with open workspace, a four-lane bowling alley, and cafes. Dubbed the Innovation Cathedral, the new offices on Washington Street will hold 400 employees.
HQ2 concept rendering by Heller Manus Architects via Jersey Digs
Since the announcement that Amazon would be choosing the city that would host its second headquarters by the end of the year, competition between contenders has been heating up. 6sqft reported last month that Newark, still in the running along with Los Angeles, Denver, Miami, New York, Boston, three sections of the Washington, D.C., region and Toronto, approved a shiny new incentive in the form of ordinances offering nearly $1 billion in payroll tax exemptions to companies that create at least 30,000 jobs and invest $3 billion in the city over 20 years. Now, Jersey Digs reports that a group consisting of local residents and a California-based architecture firm have come up with a snazzy proposal for Amazon’s HQ2 that includes a location and designs for a futuristic complex that would include Newark’s tallest towers.
Image: Axel Drainville via Flickr.
Since Amazon announced they’d be deciding which city would become the location of the mega corporation’s second headquarters by the end of the year, competition between contenders has heated up. Along with 20 cities that include Los Angeles, Denver, Miami, New York, Boston, three sections of the Washington, D.C., region and, in Canada, Toronto, Newark is still in the ring from an initial field of 238 possible locations. On Wednesday the city approved a new addition to the $7 billion package the state is offering to sweeten the pot in hopes of scoring HQ2, as it’s being called. The added incentive comes in the form of a trio of ordinances offering nearly $1 billion in payroll tax exemptions to companies that create at least 30,000 jobs and invest $3 billion in the city in the coming 20 years, Bloomberg reports.
Photo courtesy of Robert Scoble’s Flickr
Amazon announced on Thursday it narrowed its list of potential cities for its second headquarters to 20, with New York City and Newark as candidates. The tech giant said it received 238 proposals, evaluating each based on the criteria outlined in their RFP and then selecting cities to move on to the next phase. The 20 chosen cities will now work with Amazon to provide any additional information needed, with the company expected to make a decision in 2018 about where its HQ2 will land.
Photo courtesy of Robert Scoble on Flickr
Amazon’s nationwide competition to find a home for its second headquarters draws to a close this week, with pitches from stakeholders due Thursday. While New York City meets most of the requirements the tech giant listed for its HQ2– a population of at least 1 million people, proximity to an international airport, mass transit access and talented workforce–business costs in the city would be sky-high. However, as Crain’s reported, even if Amazon does not set up shop in NYC, politicians and developers have been preparing for a comparably-sized company to move in for over a decade. The failure of the city to win the 2012 Olympics bid back in 2005 actually turned into a success, allowing apartments to rise in Brooklyn where sports stadiums never did.
Residential Building VII, via Scott Frances
With Hoboken long gone and Jersey City well in the throes of gentrification, it makes sense that Newark is the next New Jersey city poised for a renaissance. Not only is it easily accessible via both NJ Transit and the PATH, but its wealth of former industrial buildings lend themselves to a DUMBO-esque revitalization. In the up-and-coming downtown area, Newark native Richard Meier is behind Teachers Village, a 23-acre, mixed-use complex that is well on its way to restoring a sense of community to the neighborhood. The $150 million project will encompass three charter schools, ground-level retail, and 204 residential units with a preference given to educators, all located in six new buildings designed in the starchitect’s signature style of white materials and gridded facades.
Change is coming quickly for Newark, New Jersey, where many are pegging the long-troubled city for a renaissance akin to Brooklyn’s. In January, city officials and developers unveiled their plans for Mulberry Commons, a 22-acre development in Newark’s downtown that would not only bring forth new residential, commercial, and office space*, but also a three-acre park and a High Line-style pedestrian bridge that would connect the Ironbound neighborhood to Newark Penn Station and the central business district. According to the Newark Department of Economic & Housing Development, the city is expected to benefit in excess of $500 million from the project.