Pierson Commercial serves as the retail broker for both the Madison Building at 427 Bloomfield Ave. (left) and 475 Bloomfield Ave. in Montclair, which Saxum Real Estate has modernized and repositioned as part of its value-add investment strategy. — Courtesy: Pierson Commercial
By Joshua Burd
A leasing team has filled the retail space at a 35,000-square-foot building in downtown Montclair, following efforts to update and reposition the historic property.
According to Pierson Commercial, the building’s retail broker, the property at 427 Bloomfield Ave. has attracted tenants including Grayford’s, Goji Superfoods and Haus of Highlights. They join a growing list of office users at what’s known as the Madison Building, which Saxum Real Estate acquired in 2015 and subsequently renovated as part of a value-add investment.
Pierson Commercial’s Neil Ruppert has spearheaded retail leasing on Saxum’s behalf.
“Montclair’s vibrant, walkable downtown and its highly visible boutique retail buildings are continuing to attract consistent tenant demand, with great attention given to those with a ground-floor retail presence along Bloomfield Avenue,” Ruppert said. “Modern businesses have been pursuing — and will continue to seek — to establish, expand or relocate their operations within popular urban-suburban municipalities, where lifestyle conveniences and transit are just steps from the front door.”
Originally built in 1912, the Madison Building is a designated historic landmark with a soaring atrium lobby that is surrounded by open-concept walkways on each floor and flexible floorplans, according to a news release. With the completion of the recent transactions, the building is now 91 percent leased overall, as brokers look to attract additional tenants to Montclair’s retail- and transit-rich downtown.
Ruppert is also marketing ground-floor space at a prominent former bank building less than two blocks away, at 475 Bloomfield Ave., which it says is suited for a full-service restaurant or professional or medical office.
“The Madison Building and 475 Bloomfield Avenue property are cornerstone assets within the dynamic Montclair market, offering a blend of sophisticated historic elements and modern conveniences,” said Matthew Wassel, Saxum’s director of leasing. “Saxum focuses on delivering unique opportunities for tenants in key downtown markets, and Saxum has positioned itself as a thought leader in identifying and executing on underappreciated assets with the potential to attract a wide range of users.”
Saxum has also implemented value-add renovations at 475 Bloomfield Ave., which sits at the corner of North Fullerton Avenue adjacent to a municipal parking deck, according to a news release. Built in 1922 and acquired by Saxum in 2018, the three-story, 25,000-square-foot property is a former Chase Bank branch, with interiors featuring traditional architectural elements, a grand raised roof with a large skylight and marble finishes.
Ownership has executed a lease and is building out high-end co-working and shared office space within the building, the news release said.
“Offering frontage along the popular Bloomfield Avenue Business District, 475 Bloomfield Avenue has current availabilities suited for professional/medical offices and a full-service restaurant,” Ruppert said. “An architectural anchor with an iconic façade, the property also offers rare branding opportunities at the highly visible Five Corners.”