Ironbound Plaza at 2 Ferry St. in Newark — Courtesy: Paramount Assets
By Joshua Burd
A well-known bank building in Newark has found new life as the future home of a 7-Eleven and a growing fitness chain, following a series of renovations by a real estate investment firm.
Paramount Assets announced recently it had signed leases at the building, located at 2 Ferry St., with the convenience store chain and Blink Fitness. The deals bring what’s known as Ironbound Plaza to full occupancy less than a year after the firm acquired the formerly vacant, limestone-clad building.
Initially built as a bank building and later converted for medical use, Ironbound Plaza sits on the corner of Market Street, adjacent to Newark Penn Station, Paramount said. The firm touted the triangular-shaped facility’s 30,000-person average weekday passenger count, which will benefit 7-Eleven and Blink’s first Newark location as they look to serve the city’s growing Ironbound district residential population and downtown corporations.
“We recognized an excellent opportunity to reposition and repopulate a historically significant property with national tenants that truly will serve the surrounding community,” said Richard Dunn, senior vice president of Paramount Assets. “This includes commuters looking to grab a cup of coffee on the way to the train, Newark-based professionals wanting to get in a workout after business hours, and local residents needing a quick grocery pickup — and every combination therein.”
David Dunkelman of Soloff Realty represented Blink Fitness at the property, while Urszula Zoltek from Zoltek Realty represented 7-Eleven.
Paramount Assets, which has four decades of experience in repurposing, reconstructing and renovating vacant downtown properties, said it preserved many original features in the renovation and redesign of Ironbound Plaza. Those include the building’s architecturally distinct façade, while the original walk-in bank vault plays prominently in the design of the lower level.
The firm’s in-house construction team is overseeing the fit-out for Blink Fitness, which is set to open the new location in March. Paramount also said 7-Eleven will occupy the tip of the triangle and is slated to open by the second quarter.
As part of the project, Dunn also touted the support of city officials and the Newark Community Economic Development Corp.
“The opening of Ironbound Plaza is another step forward in the creation of a Transit Village in the Penn Station area,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said. “We are creating a residential, retail and commercial hub that takes advantage of the connection of Penn Station to the entire region while helping to create a walkable downtown.
“The creative re-use of a former bank building for a sports club and retail exemplifies our strategy of preserving Newark’s historic structures and repurposing them to meet today’s needs.”