Habitat for Humanity Newark Moves to Temporary Location after Fire
NEWARK, N.J., March 19, 2014 - The fire that ripped through a Van Buren Street office on February 25 destroyed the contents of the headquarters of Habitat for Humanity Newark.
But through the support of the Berger Organization, which owns numerous office buildings in Newark, Habitat Newark has found a temporary home at the Military Park Building, 60 Park Place in Newark.
The day after the fire, Habitat officials reached out to Christian Benedetto, founder of Hopkins, Sampson & Brown real estate, to see if any of his clients could assist. Habitat Newark required at least 1,000 square feet to get back up and running. Benedetto immediately reached out to Brendan Berger, vice president of the Berger Organization, which owns the Military Park Building. Within minutes a meeting was set up with Jeff Farrell, executive director of Habitat Newark.
"It all moved so fast," Farrell recalled. "We heard that Mr. Berger wanted to help out, and by the next day we were meeting with him to tour his properties to look at available office space."
A deal was struck, in which the charity will receive free rent over the next six months as it figures out its new permanent location in Newark.
Habitat Newark is now on the 10th floor of the building in 1,300 square feet of space. Staff and volunteers are painting the walls and preparing the office for occupation. Because of the extent of the fire, Habitat Newark needs to purchase new office furniture and computers, while trying to salvage as much as it can from its location on Van Buren Street.
Berger said he was pleased to help out the charity, which has been constructing homes in Newark and Essex County for deserving families since 1986. "Habitat for Humanity Newark has given so much to Newark over the years," Berger said. "I felt it was the least we can do to help them out during this difficult transition period and provide them with the quality office space they need to help rebound from this devastating fire."
Habitat Newark is asking for cash donations to help ease the transition. Checks can be made out to: Habitat for Humanity Newark, 60 Park Place, Suite 1012, Newark, NJ 07102.