Private developer Hugo Neu Group has obtained $14.5 million of New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) loans from Capital One and New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) that will fund the construction and rehabilitation of The Annex — the third structure to be transformed as part of Hugo Neu’s multi-phase $1-billion redevelopment of the former WWI/WWII shipyard known as Kearny Point.
The NMTC loans included a $4-million allocation from Capital One Community Renewal Fund and a $10.5-million allocation from NJCC, which also provided Hugo Neu with a $2.5-million term loan.
“We’re incredibly excited by the opportunity to bring a flex office environment like The Annex to Kearny Point’s already thriving community of innovative and forward-thinking companies,” said Michael Meyer, director of development for Hugo Neu. “Lenders like Capital One and New Jersey Community Capital not only make projects like this possible, but remain critical to the continued realization of our vision at Kearny Point: to provide opportunities to businesses of all shapes and sizes, and to become a model for environmentally and socially conscious redevelopment.”
“Kearny Point demonstrates the importance of funding initiatives for projects that support social, economic and environmental justice,” said Mitch Hart, vice president, commercial banking at Capital One. “For entrepreneurs, start-ups, and innovative small businesses primed for growth, an investment in Kearny Point is an investment in the business community of Hudson County and the region as a whole. We were happy to be involved.”
The Annex features two floors of state-of-the-art creative office space, modern amenities and break-out areas in a naturally lit crane-way. Spanning approximately 90,000-square-feet, The Annex adjoins Building 78, the first building to be renovated at the campus, which is home to more than 200 businesses at the heart of Kearny Point’s community of creators, cleantech disruptors and small businesses.
The Annex’s office space caters to small businesses, start-up and entrepreneurial companies, including many minority- or women-owned businesses and non-profit organizations. The space also targets businesses working to develop and commercialize technologies and services advancing energy conservation, alternative energy, resiliency, stormwater management, preservation, and restoration of natural resources.
“It’s impossible not to be inspired by Kearny Point, its success stories, and its plans for the future,” said Wayne Meyer, president at New Jersey Community Capital. “NMTCs are important building blocks for projects like Kearny Point and allow us to effect meaningful change. Hugo Neu’s commitment to sustainable development, local economic growth, and equitable and inclusive work environments is unparalleled. We are privileged to celebrate this milestone alongside Hugo Neu and look forward to Kearny Point’s continued successes.”
Hugo Neu has also created a Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) Fund, HNG Opportunity Fund LLC, and invested a total of over $10 million into the fund for capital expenses associated with The Annex.
In alignment with Kearny Point’s core values, The Annex recognizes a greater need for climate intervention through responsible development practices. The sustainably designed Annex incorporates innovative, eco-sensitive construction and healthy regenerative water and flood resilience. Improvements include development of a “complete’ green” street with integrated stormwater management, an innovative carbon adaptation garden and carbon sink and a 1,200 Kw resilient microgrid with solar and battery storage.
Construction of The Annex is slated for completion in April.
In addition to its sustainable design, The Annex seeks to promote social justice and the development of an equitable, accessibly priced work environment, including its support of programs that provide prisoner reentry services and skills training to equip workers for the new economy.
Since its opening in 2016, Kearny Point has emerged as a business hub for companies spearheading a variety of environmental and cleantech innovations, including Bowery Farms, Ciel Power, Oishii Berry, and Sembient. Kearny Point offers tenants a rich ecosystem of business development services, meetups, environmental education and speaker programs, in addition to office hours with industry professionals such as lawyers, accountants, and consultants.
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