NAIOP N.J. hosts CRE competition: Student teams created concepts for Kearny Point

NAIOP New Jersey hosted its Fifth Annual CRE Intercollegiate Case Study Competition where student teams presented a variety of redevelopment concepts for Hugo Neu Corp.‘s 130-acre Kearny Point campus in Kearny.

The teams, hailing from Rutgers University, Monmouth University, Villanova University, Montclair State University and Baruch College, CUNY, created presentations which included a life sciences and logistics hub, a lab center, an art and film studios, a dedicated ferry terminal, and a hydroponic farm and bee apiary.

“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,” Gene Preston, NAIOP New Jersey president, said. “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.”

Judges for the competition were Steve Nislick and Michael Meyer, Hugo Neu; 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 Corp.

The judges selected a winner based on financial analysis and feasibility, design excellence, resilience and sustainability, and client goals, awarding the $5,000 prize to the Baruch College team of Jinyu Chen, Matt Curcuru, Susanna Domosi, Jennifer Gallino, Romina Trieshi and Collin Wittman.

Baruch College’s proposal included Kearny Point’s Building 78 in a Qualified Opportunity Zone with the goal of increasing economic growth and providing educational and employment opportunities. Each of the campus’s six new Class A buildings would be industrially-designed and LEED Gold certified. There would also be ample office space with retail, co-working, health and fitness, and recreational components.

“This was an amazing experience for all of us at Hugo Neu,” Steve Nislick, chief financial officer, said. “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,” Michael McGuinness, NAIOP NJ CEO said. “It’s a tremendous educational opportunity for all of us”