While the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has missions planning and designing construction projects, there’s a less-well-known component in the New York District: Providing real estate support for more than 400 U.S. Armed Forces recruiting stations in New York and New Jersey.
Newark, New Jersey location
One such initiative is a newly-relocated recruiting station in Newark, New Jersey. (Newark is the largest city in New Jersey and is located in Essex County.) The station is part of the U.S. Army's Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Battalion. The new center was designed to provide recruiters with new amenities to assist with their recruitment goals aimed at a large population of young people living in Newark.
"This represents an exciting new era of modernization and transformation for this particular recruiting center," said Lydia Williams, chief, Real Estate Division, adding, “I’m proud of all the hard work, coordination and synergy that went into the planning and building processes, and, now that it’s finished, I hope the recruiting command enjoys all the new amenities to help with its recruiting effort."
Rishi Mathur, a real estate specialist with the Army Corps’ New York District managing the project, said, “It’s a major upgrade that increases visibility to the public and productivity for staff. There’s a variety of amenities the old space didn’t have.”
New Career Center
The new space, nearly twice as large, is equipped with a dedicated testing area, social media room, security system and much-improved visibility afforded by a store front that faces Broad Street, a main thoroughfare, generating more foot traffic. The station is also co-located with U.S. Navy recruiters to conduct their recruiting efforts. The new center is a quarter mile from the former office located on the same street.
The center comes with a five-year lease and is staffed by 11 recruiters. The new space took approximately 16 months to prepare for occupancy, including the interior build-out and exterior branding. In addition, the location had to have good foot traffic and proximity to schools and businesses to maximize community interest. Since the relocation, the military recruiters report that there’s been a considerable increase in visitors and future prospects.
Safety & security
The new space also has enhanced safety and security: A security system equipped with cameras monitors the facility 24/7.
During a recent site visit, Mathur, who services some 30 stations in north-central New Jersey, provided an introduction for a first-hand look. His responsibilities include regular contact with the stations and their property managers to ensure everything is working properly. When there’s a problem, it’s Mathur’s job to see that it’s taken care of.
In the larger view, New York District’s Real Estate Division also:
· Plans, develops, acquires, manages and disposes of federal real property
· Performs appraisals and initiates and executes the Districts’ Real Estate Environmental Program
· Manages and disposes of real estate for the U.S. Army and Air Force
· Provides housing expertise for active military and their families for five Districts within the North Atlantic Division