The Rutgers Board of Governors has approved plans to relocate the Newark programs of Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick into 1 Washington Park, a high-rise office tower in downtown Newark. The school will occupy 11 stories of the building, with substantially increased classroom, lecture hall and office space, and state-of-the-art technology.
“Moving our business school to this strategic location in downtown Newark will contribute significantly to strengthening our business programs and increasing the visibility and reputation of the school, and at the same time also will contribute to the development of downtown Newark,” said Newark Provost Steven J. Diner.
The new location of the school is ideal, Diner said. It faces the headquarters of major corporations such as IDT and Verizon; is one block from the Broad Street Station, which offers a 15-minute train ride to midtown Manhattan; and has easy access to Newark's Penn Station via the new NJ Transit light rail service. “Furthermore, by freeing up the space used presently by Rutgers Business School, the Newark campus has a unique opportunity to expand space for other current and future uses of the campus, including plans for increased enrollment,” Diner said.
Rutgers will purchase the lower 11 floors of the 17-story, 23-year-old building for $31.5 million and spend $51.5 million to rebuild, improve, and renovate the space. The red-brick tower, which housed Verizon Communications until 2003, is located at the corners of Broad, Washington, and Orange streets, a few blocks north of New and Washington streets, the present location of Rutgers Business School. The board voted unanimously to approve the purchase of 1 Washingston Park at a September 22 meeting.
“Moving our business school to this strategic location in downtown
Newark will contribute significantly to strengthening our business
programs and increasing the visibility and reputation of the school," said Newark Provost Steven J. Diner.
1 Washington Park is one block from 15 Washington St., the former home of Rutgers School of Law-Newark, where the university has announced plans for conversion to graduate student housing. In addition, Diner said the university is undertaking preliminary explorations of a mixed-use development, including retail, parking and market-rate housing with additional property it owns behind 15 Washington St. Expansion of the Rutgers-Newark campus north was identified in the university’s master plan adopted in 2003.
The relocation of Rutgers Business School total project cost is $83 million, including the $31.5 million purchase price, and $51.5 million for construction, which includes an adjoining two-story, 15,000-square-foot addition. The project is being financed through an $18 million fiscal year 2006 appropriation from the state and at least $7 million from New Market Tax subsidies. The remaining cost will be financed by the university through private donations and bonding.
“This is a great example of synergies, not only in the program realm but also in the realm of finance,” said Jeffrey Apfel, the university’s senior vice president for administration and chief financial officer. “The urban impact of this project fully justifies the very significant public subsidies made available by both state and federal governments. In turn, what that means for Rutgers is that we are able to acquire and renovate this critical asset on very economical terms at a time of significant fiscal constraints.”
-- Carla Capizzi and Steve Manas