|Building rendering by Wilk Marketing Communications.|
The Leaguers, Inc., one of the largest nonprofit community organizations in the Newark, NJ, area, and McGowan Builders, Inc. (MGB), serving as general contractor, broke ground for the two-story, 44,000-square-foot Leaguers Headquarters and Head Start Building in Newark. The total development cost of the project is $23.5 million. The building construction cost is $14 million. The Leaguers Executive Director and CEO Veronica Ray, U.S. Congressman Donald M. Payne, County of Essex Deputy Chief of Staff and former Leaguers Chairman William D. Payne, McGowan Builders President and CEO Patrick J. McGowan, and McGowan Builders Vice President Martin C. McGowan led the ceremonies.
The building, a major element of the downtown Newark redevelopment effort, will house The Leaguers headquarters office, a 22,000-square-foot Head Start and community services facility, a commercial office space and an underground parking garage for 75 cars. The project was financed through the Federal New Market Tax Credit. The following organizations participated in the financing: Nationwide Insurance Company, a tax credit investor; Stonehenge Community Development, LLC, a tax credit allocatee; and Boston Community Capital, a leveraged lender. Lender consortium partners included New Jersey Community Capital; Prudential Financial's Social Investment unit; Partners for the Common Good, Inc.; and TRF The Reinvestment Fund.
In addition to general contractor McGowan Builders, the project team includes architect/engineer EI Associates, architect Wilson Woodridge, and owner's representative The TLM Group, LLC. The 44,000-square-foot building will feature a two-story steel structure and a white glazed brick veneer façade with blue-tinted glass and multicolored glass accents. The building's sub-level will house a parking garage for 75 cars, including four handicapped-accessible parking spaces. The 22,000-square-foot first floor will house facilities for the Head Start program, after-school activities and community services for adults. The second floor will feature administrative offices and commercial office tenant spaces. In anticipation of a potential future expansion, the building's structural and architectural design can accommodate the addition of a third floor.
The building will feature two first floor entrances. The Arlington Avenue entrance will serve the Head Start program. The University Avenue entrance will serve as the main entrance for The Leaguers administrative offices and other commercial tenants. For security purposes, the Head Start entrance and student areas will be separated from the sections of the building open to the public. Both entrances will be handicapped accessible via ramps.
The Head Start facility will feature the following areas:
- Seven classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology;
- Nurse station;
- Lobby and built-in display cases;
- Secure outdoor play area;
- Access to a fully functional kitchen that will serve students; and
- Access to multipurpose rooms.
The first floor will house these areas:
- Lobby/Reception with state-of-the-art A/V, security and lighting control systems;
- Multipurpose and training rooms/classrooms that will serve child and community; services, adult learning, and tenant meeting needs;
- Media Center;
- Audio/Video control room;
- Central files area;
- Secure outdoor deck;
- Kitchen; and
- Secure elevator lobby.
The second floor will feature:
- The Leaguers lobby;
- Reception area;
- Executive boardroom with sophisticated audio/visual and communications equipment;
- Administrative offices;
- Team/employee rest area;
- Conference rooms; and
- Tenant offices.
"Today's groundbreaking ceremony marks the new chapter in The Leaguers' six decades of service for the community of the Greater Newark Metropolitan Area. Our new building will provide services to more than 200 Head Start students and to more than 100 children and parents in after school programs," said The Leaguers Executive Director and CEO Veronica Ray. "This project was made possible by the financial participation of Boston Community Capital, Nationwide Insurance Company, and Stonehenge Community Development. Crucial support was provided by The Office of the City of Newark, Mayor Cory A. Booker, Deputy Mayor for Economic and Housing Development Stefan Pryor, and Newark Councilwoman Dana Rone."
"We're delighted to be a part of this magnificent project that will contribute so significantly to the development of Newark. Upon completion in 2009, The Leaguers building will provide the community with excellent child care, education and other vital social services," said Patrick J. McGowan, president and CEO of McGowan Builders, Inc.