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Baruch College, CUNY Wins Fifth Annual Design Challenge

KEARNY, N.J., Apr. 11, 2019 – A life sciences and logistics hub, a lab center, art and film studios, a dedicated ferry terminal, and hydroponic farming and bee apiaries were among the uses and features envisioned for Kearny Point during NAIOP New Jersey’s Fifth Annual CRE Intercollegiate Case Study Competition (CREICS). Student teams from Rutgers University, Monmouth University, Villanova University, Montclair State University and Baruch College, CUNY each presented their concepts for site sponsor Hugo Neu Corporation’s redevelopment of the 130-acre campus in South Kearny.

“As part of our Industry Insights Series, the CREICS competition serves as a valuable platform for educating local officials and students, while promoting the exchange of innovative ideas that benefits the participants and host companies,” said Gene Preston, NAIOP New Jersey president. “We congratulate the five student teams and their advisors for their thoughtfulness, creativity and the tremendous amount of hard work they put into their projects.”

The judges for this year’s competition included Steve Nislick and Michael Meyer, Hugo Neu Corporation; Brian Sabina, New Jersey Economic Development Authority; Claire Weisz and Chris Rice, WXY Architecture + Urban Design; Brian Decillis, Cushman & Wakefield; and Michelle Richardson, Hudson County Economic Development Corporation. They considered financial analysis and feasibility, design excellence, resilience and sustainability, and client goals in selecting the winner, awarding the $5,000 prize to the Baruch College team of Jinyu Chen, Matt Curcuru, Susanna Domosi, Jennifer Gallino, Romina Trieshi and Collin Wittman.

Each of the case studies focused on incorporating Kearny Point’s shipyard roots and expanding on the success of Hugo Neu’s Building 78, which serves as a model for sustainable, cutting-edge commercial and industrial redevelopment and designing spaces for innovation and job creation. The Baruch College proposal emphasized the site’s location in a Qualified Opportunity Zone, with the goal of increasing economic growth and providing educational and employment opportunities, particularly for small businesses and minorities. Each of the campus’s six new Class A buildings would be industrial in design and LEED Gold certified, with sustainability elements including solar panels, vertical farming, air cleaning façades and green transportation infrastructure. Ample office space would be supported by retail, co-working, health and fitness, and recreation components.

“This was an amazing experience for all of us at Hugo Neu,” said Steve Nislick, CFO. “I was stunned by the students’ level of creativity and their organizational skills. Some of their ideas have been in the back of our minds and some we haven’t identified. Coming from a new generation of thinkers, these concepts have even greater value, because they are the talent that is the driving force for developing the Kearny Point site.”

“The CREICS competition encourages college students to consider careers in our industry and gives NAIOP fascinating insights into how future industry leaders envision redevelopment,” said NAIOP NJ CEO Michael McGuinness. “It’s a tremendous educational opportunity for all of us.”

Photo Caption: Pictured at the April 3 dinner held at site sponsor Hugo Neu’s Kearny Point are: NAIOP NJ CEO Michael McGuinness and President Gene Preston, Collin Wittmann, Romina Trieshi, Susanna Domosi, Jinyu Chen, Jennifer Gallino, Matt Curcuru, and advisor Sophia Gilbukh.

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