All photos courtesy: iFLY
By Joshua Burd
The renowned Paramus retail submarket is about to become more experiential.
This spring, an indoor skydiving company is set to complete construction of its first New Jersey location, offering customers timed packages of flight time that mimics the feeling of free-fall skydiving, but safely indoors in an air-conditioned environment. The new location at 211 Route 4 will be among more than 60 in 14 countries for the operator, iFLY Indoor Skydiving.
Real estate services firm Newmark Knight Frank said recently that iFLY will open the 6,000-square-foot space in April under a lease with Madison Realty Capital. Brokers say that, for Paramus and Route 17, such an addition is important for the long-term health of the historically dominant retail corridor.
“When they presented to the town, they made a valid point — it is important to adapt with the times and think about these kinds of new and exciting uses with retail,” NKF Director Dean Tselepis said. “This sort of innovation keeps customers coming, ensuring the continued success of this local market.”
Tselepis, who is based the firm’s Rutherford office, represented Madison Realty with fellow NKF Director Jerry Putterman. The nearly two-acre property sits at the Forest Avenue intersection along the westbound side of Route 4, occupying the former site of the well-known Forum Diner, which closed in 2007 and was torn down last year.
And with daily traffic counts exceeding 150,000 vehicles, the location will be hard to miss, especially for a single-story building that’s expected to be 60 feet tall. That’s not to mention the visibility it will gain from motorists heading to the Bergen Town Center across the street and those coming from the east toward Ikea or Westfield Garden State Plaza.
“This checked all of the boxes,” Tselepis said. “It’s easy access and, for anybody that’s going there, it’s a destination.”
Tselepis also pointed to the long-term success of the 20-year-old operator, which has locations in Yonkers, New York, and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, but had been seeking an entrance to the northern New Jersey market in recent years. The project continues the growth of so-called experiential retailers, as apparel companies and many other traditional operators struggle to drive traffic to their brick-and-mortar locations.
New Jersey in recent years has also seen the addition of Topgolf, a sprawling sports and entertainment complex in Edison, and will welcome the education-themed “mini-city” concept known as Kidzania to the American Dream Meadowlands project.
For iFLY, Tselepis said the new location could very well be its only one in northern New Jersey, adding that “Paramus was obviously the only place that makes sense for them.”
“iFLY has added an A plus location in the best retail market in New Jersey,” he said. “They are going to become an integral part of the market’s retail landscape and will make an excellent neighbor for the other offerings along this busy corridor.”