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For immediate release April 10, 2008 Contacts: Marta Person Villa, Principal, Square Foot, LLC; 973-353-0020; [email protected] Libby Heller, Star Parking; 978-868-1394; [email protected] Izzy Sema, Brick City Bar & Grill; 201.393.0200; [email protected]

Square Foot Signs New Restaurant for Downtown Newark

35 Edison Features Jerseybased Restaurant and Apartments Above

NEWARK, NJ ­ Today, Square Foot LLC, a licensed New Jersey real estate brokerage firm based in Newark, announced the signing of a 6,000 square foot restaurant for the ground and second floors of 35 Edison Place ­ or "The Isley Building" ­ directly across the street from the 18,000-seat Prudential Center Arena.

The restaurant, to be called "Brick City Bar & Grill", is owned and will be operated by brothers-in-law Izzy Sema and Brian Karwoski. Since 2001, the building has been owned by Libby Heller of Star Parking; in 2006, the Newark-based Hanini Group joined Heller as development partner in the fourstory brick structure.

Sema reports that Brick City Bar & Grill will be an upscale sports bar and steak house with superb entrees and appetizers that will appeal to the masses as well as those with a diverse palate. "We will be bringing a new unique flavor that Newark hasn't seen yet," he reports. The menu will change to reflect the events taking place in the arena and also the time of day. The ground floor of the restaurant is scheduled to open in August.

Four loft-style apartments are currently available for rent above the restaurant, reports 35 Edison development partner Samer Hanini, "It's a great place to live especially if you are young and you want access to Newark's entertainment venues. Add the galleries and restaurants. Plus, you can literally

walk to work in 3 minutes!" The Hanini Group is currently working on several other similar projects in downtown Newark.

Meanwhile, downstairs, Brick City Bar & Grill will include 6,000 square feet of space on two separate floors. Sema expects the second floor, which will have its own bar and kitchen and a decidedly "VIP" flavor, to be completed by December.

The restaurant is being designed by T&M Architects with construction by Signature Group LLC. Brick City Executive Chef Roberto Mora Calderon has over 13 years experience in the kitchen. He recently was featured on three separate occasions on Florida television Fox channel 4 showcasing some of his signature dishes and culinary techniques. He will be relocating from the Naples area of Florida to head Brick City's kitchen operation.

The renovation and rebirth of 35 Edison Place is a quintessentially Newark story. Joint venture partner Libby Heller of Star Parking purchased the building some seven years ago and was joined by the Hanini Group (brothers Samer and Thafer Hanini) as a development partner in 2006. Heller said that the original plan was to demolish the building and expand the parking lot which has been in her family for 73 years. "But it's such a lovely building and it has endured so much," says Heller, that she underwent a change of heart.

Heller was also inspired by the imminent opening of the arena. "This parking lot has seen the best and the worst of Newark," says Heller. Her father, Cecil Friedman ran the lot in the retail heyday of Hahne's and S. Klein's and through the riots and their aftermath. "My father always said that Newark would come back. He said that he wouldn't see it and perhaps I wouldn't see it but that my children would see a new Newark. And he was right about Newark's renaissance and I'm glad that I'm here to see it," says Heller.

After first gutting the building, Heller and the Hanini Group have fully renovated it, creating the restaurant space on the lower floors and loft-style apartments above. The building has been renamed "The Isley Building" after Heller's granddaughter Isley and her grandmother Ida (Isley is a derivative

of Ida). It turns out that Ida means "hardworking; happy and prosperous", all three of which could describe Newark more and more each day.

The charm of the building and its enviable location were not lost on restaurant owners Sema and Karwoski. "Restaurant success is about location, food and service, but location is number one and you can't beat this location!"

Sema further enthuses about the continued renaissance of Newark, "It was amazing the first time I saw it. I fell in love with the place. We are committed to this project and we want to do right by the city, the community."

Sema, a co-founder of a New Jersey-based mortgage banking firm and a former professional soccer player who spent several years playing in Europe, has years of experience in the restaurant industry including promoting the former Manhattan Street in Pompton Lakes and South Park in Paramus. Now a resident of Clifton, Sema knew the time had come to open a restaurant in Newark when he attended a concert at the Prudential Center last fall. "We saw the amount of people walking around and we didn't see any restaurants in the vicinity of the arena." A friend saw the Square Foot "available" banner from a window within the Prudential Center and told Sema.

Brian Karwoski, also a co-founder with Sema in the NJ-based mortgage firm, currently resides in Franklin Lakes. He has over 15 years experience in the restaurant business. Karwoski sees this as an opportunity to get in ahead of the curve and become a mainstay for patrons of the Arena and surrounding area. "We know that the area is being developed at an awesome rate, our plan is to get in early and offer great food, great service in a comfortable upbeat environment to ensure we become a favorite of people not only attending the Arena events, NJPAC, and River Front Stadium but also those who work in the professional buildings in the surrounding areas." *** Square Foot, LLC is a certified NJ WBE and a licensed real estate broker. The firm specializes in downtown, urban and specialty retail markets. Square Foot utilizes its almost 30 years of combined private and public sector experience in managing downtown revitalization projects, municipal operations and redevelopment projects, and leasing retail space for developers to simply market real estate.

Over the years we coined the term "Revitalization through retail." We firmly believe that creating a dynamic retail marketplace can enhance a project and serve as an economic development engine. Square Foot, LLC provides retail real estate brokerage services in the Newark and Bloomfield real estate markets. On a national basis, Square Foot provides leasing and merchandising strategies for urban projects. Visit



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Microsoft Word - PR 35 Edison 0409 08 _2_.doc