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NEWARK-Westinghouse once used the 800,000-sf factory in Downtown, back as far as the 1920s, as a place where it produced broadcasting breakthroughs, but after the Pittsburgh-based company sold its electrical and appliance businesses and was merged into CBS, it became surplus property. At its peak, the building once housed more than 3,000 workers.

Now, owner US Realty and Investment Co. is joining the wave of modern technology–and the trend of converting aging industrial real estate into dot-com palaces–with its plan to turn most of it into a “carrier hotel,” an information superhighway hub and warehouse of electronic information. One plus: a branch of the country’s main fiber-optic artery, owned by AT&T and MCI Worldcom, runs along an adjacent railroad track.

On the downside, the site will require $25 million worth of remediation to clean up PCB, heavy metal and other contamination. The building would be the third carrier hotel in Newark: the old Macy’s building is one, and IDT Corp. is creating the second at its nearby headquarters.

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