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RBH Group lands $27.5M in financing for Newark, NJ, redevelopments

The Singer & Bassuk Organization – a boutique real estate finance intermediary – has arranged a total of $27.5 million in financing for affiliates of RBH Group LLC  to fund several commercial developments in Newark, New Jersey.


The loans include a $25 million first mortgage land loan from an affiliate of Knighthead Funding LLC covering several future development parcels in the area south of Market Street (SoMa) in downtown Newark, New Jersey, as well as a simultaneously-funded $2.5 million second mortgage from Prudential Impact Investments Mortgage Loans, LLC covering the 909 Broad Street development in Newark.


The Singer & Bassuk Organization LLC serves as global Real Estate Finance Advisor to RBH Group.  Scott A Singer, President, and Jeffrey Moroch, Managing Director led SBO’s efforts in the transaction.  Laurie Grasso of Hunton & Williams LLP and Leah Sandbank of McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC served as lead borrower counsel.


RBH Group is chaired by President and CEO Ron Beit, and the lead financial investors within RBH Group’s SoMA Newark Development Project are Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, Nicolas Berggruen, the Founder and President of Berggruen Holdings and the Berggruen Institute, Frederick Iseman, CI Capital Partners, and Warren Lichtenstein, Steel Partners.


The SoMa Redevelopment Project encompasses over 15 million square feet of development capacity within a 23-acre area southwest of Market Street.


The SoMa Master Plan developed by renowned architect Richard Meier and Ron Beit strives to create a place in downtown Newark that brings a mix of daytime and nighttime users to the urban core by encouraging rehabilitation, and new residential and retail development in the center of the city.


Specifically, it calls for the emergence of distinct new neighborhoods consisting of thousands of residential units, hotels, retail districts, diverse uses connected via vibrant, walkable and active streets, and development that leverages mass transit.

The project is in close proximity to University Heights, Rutgers University-Newark, Rutgers University Medical School, NJIT, and Essex County College. Positioned between Interstates I-78 and I-280, SoMa is easily accessible to commuters. The neighborhood is located near the New Jersey Transit, PATH and Amtrak rail stations, buses and other local transportation.


“We are very proud to have been serving as real estate finance advisors to Ron Beit since 2001,” said Scott A. Singer. “RBH Group, Goldman Sachs, and Berggruen et al. have undertaken a herculean effort that has resulted in a remarkable beginning to the transformation of the SoMa neighborhood and the entire downtown area. Prudential has been a stalwart supporter of RBH for years, and we were excited to bring Knighthead into the fold.”


Ron Beit, President and CEO of RBH Group LLC said, “The Singer & Bassuk Organization has been our trusted advisor for over a decade and played a critical role in both identifying Knighthead as a perfect fit for this complicated loan and in executing the transaction. 


The current loans further enhance and strengthen my team’s commitment to social impact investing that began with the successful Teachers Village Project, which is the first phase of the SoMa master plan, and includes Makers Village, Rutgers-Newark’s Honors Living Learning Community, and the full build out of the SoMa downtown development.”  


Beit has acquired and assembled 79 parcels in downtown Newark since 2001. The properties, which are not all contiguous, are mostly centered within the SoMa area bounded by Broad, Market, Washington and Hill Streets.“


“This financing enables us to extend the success of the $150 million Teachers Village project to the rest of the SoMa master plan area,” Beit added.

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