A rendering of the LA Fitness slated for 237-249 South Orange Ave. in Newark — Courtesy: JJ Operating Inc.
By Joshua Burd
A real estate investor has secured the approvals to build an LA Fitness in Newark, marking a major step forward for its redevelopment of a former Pathmark site.
The firm, JJ Operating Inc., expects the health club to be open at 237-249 South Orange Ave. later this year, according to a news release Friday. The tenant will serve as the anchor at the 54,126-square-foot complex and will be the latest national chain to join the burgeoning South Orange Avenue corridor, sitting across the street from University Hospital.
Lisa John-Basta, member with the West Orange-based Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, represented JJ Operating in securing all land use approvals. Michael Horne of CBRE represented LA Fitness in the lease.
“With our formal approvals in place, we are now able to move full speed ahead with construction to kick off the redevelopment project,” said Jack J. Jemal, partner with New York-based JJ Operating Inc. “We are excited to bring LA Fitness, a first class health club, to the market with occupancy scheduled for late 2018.”
JJ Operating is planning what it described as significant improvements to the complex and is banking on other retailers and national brands following LA Fitness to the property. In recent years, the surrounding neighborhood has attracted operators such as Shoprite, PNC Bank, Home Depot and Rite Aid.
The investment firm also touted the appeal of University Hospital’s 3,100 employees.