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Infrastructure Projects Have Architecture and Engineering Firms Flocking To Newark

Newark Penn Station

Plan to build it, and they will come.

This past February, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff Engineering Services renewed its 22K SF lease at 2 Gateway. The global firm has been a tenant in the tower for almost 25 years. Parsons' continued partnership with the building comes as more architecture and engineering firms set up shop in the building.

More important than the benefit of working within walking and commuting distance of Newark’s major cultural, sports and entertainment centers, 2 Gateway is situated among some of the most prominent infrastructure projects happening throughout the New Jersey and New York metro areas.

Following increased national attention on the U.S.’ crumbling roads, highways and mass transit pathways, transportation initiatives have picked up pace. Combined with access to world-class internet connection and Class-A amenities, Newark's downtown office buildings have become an attractive place to find work on some of the country’s most high-profile infrastructure initiatives.

PATH trains at the Lincoln Square station

Tenants at 2 Gateway have a direct connection to the New Jersey PATH train, which is undergoing rehabilitation to accommodate aging lines and a growing ridership.

Newark Penn Station alone, a direct line to its New York twin, sees a daily average of 23,242 PATH riders, an increase of approximately 500 riders from 2015, according to rider data compiled by The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Combined, the entire system has seen an increase from 209,768 to 212,660 daily commuters. But the PATH is on borrowed time, crippled by rail lines that cannot handle the increased capacity and damage from inundation during Superstorm Sandy.

The North River Tunnels, like many of the bridges and tracks along the line, are over a hundred years old. If they are not fixed within the next 20 years, train service will be reduced by 75%

The Gateway Project, a joint infrastructure plan developed by Amtrak, the U.S. Department of Transportation and PANYNJ, includes both resiliency projects and a goal to double the number of passenger trains moving through the system. The program will eventually create four mainline tracks between Newark and New York City and will improve station capacity throughout the entire line. 

Amtrak has already directed more than $300M to the improvements, but the search for long-term federal funding is ongoing. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka held a press conference in April at Newark’s Penn Station to further push the initiative. 

“Newark is growing,” Baraka said. “It is growing exponentially by the day. It is important that we have a tunnel. When I say tunnel I mean the Holland Tunnel, the Lincoln Tunnel, I mean NJ Transit. It also means Amtrak buses, I mean everything that allows a gateway to New York.”

The Northeast Corridor Line running near the Bergen Arches in New Jersey

For Parsons, bridges, tunnels and railways are specialties. Its experts would be a pedestrian bridge away from the action and potential employment.

But the tenants at 2 Gateway are doing more than chasing jobs. The tower combines amenities like fitness centers and cafés with community art exhibitions and weekly NJTV tapings in the lobby. It was also one of the the first buildings to adopt 1,000 MB or 10,000 MB internet service, Newark Fiber. The strong digital connectivity is ideal for firms that deal with large engineering or architectural files.

2 Gateway is quickly becoming home base for firms involved in the historical overhaul of a system that thousands of commuters depend on, leveraging location and a commitment to cutting-edge technology to attract those on the front lines of progress.

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