Lyneir Richardson, Brick City Development Corporation

Lyneir Richardson

Pipeline to
Finish Line

Editor’s Note

Before assuming his current post, Lyneir Richardson was Vice President of Urban Development at General Growth Properties, Inc. Prior to General Growth, Richardson founded Lakeshore Development & Construction Company. He worked as an attorney at the First National Bank of Chicago. Richardson is a graduate of Bradley University and the University of Chicago Law School. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and has served on numerous nonprofit and civic boards and commissions.

Company Brief

Brick City Development Corporation (www.bcdcnewark.org; BCDC) is the primary economic development catalyst for Newark, New Jersey, organized to retain, attract, and grow businesses, enhance small and minority business capacity, and spur real estate development within the city.

What are some of the successes you’ve had in Newark and are you accomplishing what you set out to achieve?

We spent the first few years creating an organization that would be respected and valued by the business community, would be a platform for getting projects done, and would be a vehicle for spreading a positive message about Newark. Our work now is laser focused on getting projects from the pipeline to the finish line. Over the past 12 months, we have had some concrete success. 2011 was Newark’s groundbreaking year, with over $700 million in new development underway.

What is the Newark advantage for businesses?

Our transit assets. We’re one of the few cities that have an international airport, access to turnpike and major highways, and one of the most active seaports in the country. We’re an 18-minute train ride to downtown or midtown Manhattan.

We also favorably compare the price of our office space to that in New York City. A building that would lease for $60 per square foot in midtown will lease for $28 or $30 per square foot in Newark. There’s tremendous commercial real estate value here.

In addition, Newark is a college town. We have over 40,000 college and university students within a half a mile of our central business district. So business leaders can access talent coming right out of school.

Newark also has world-class entertainment venues with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center; the Prudential Center for sporting and concert events; and unique restaurants in our Ironbound neighborhood. There’s a certain urban fabric and vibrancy here that’s constantly improving.

What has Panasonic’s announcement that they will be locating their North American headquarters in Newark meant to the city?

When Panasonic made its decision to locate its North American headquarters to our city, it provided steam for our economic development engine. Panasonic’s decision was a momentum builder. We are marketing seven other development sites for new office towers. Savvy CEOs and their advisors are considering the advantages of bringing their companies here to be anchor tenants. Each new office tower could bring $100-plus million in development costs, create 500-plus construction jobs and 1,000-plus permanent jobs. We are working strategically to achieve Mayor Booker’s vision to make Newark a national model of urban transformation.•