Elizabeth Developer Moving to Newark, Adaptively Reusing Buildings

Eclipse Building 36 40 Clinton Street Newark
Eclipse Building, 36-40 Clinton Street, Newark. Photo via Caryl Communications.

A North Jersey development firm says that it is moving forward with plans for several new projects in the state’s largest city, including two on the same street.

Paramount Assets, which is also behind local projects such as William Flats and Halston Flats, will be engaging in the adaptive reuse of two buildings on Clinton Street in Downtown Newark. The company is not only going to be redeveloping the Baldwin Building at 30-32 Clinton Street into 20 apartments and 1,430 square feet of retail space but also will be rehabilitating the old Eclipse Building at 36-40 Clinton Street. Both properties are situated between Broad Street and Mulberry Street and are expected to be renovated and redeveloped by the first quarter of next year, according to a statement from Paramount Assets.

Jersey Digs first reported the news of the Baldwin Building redevelopment plans last year when a firm called 30 Clinton, LLC sought approvals from the Newark Central Planning Board in connection with the project. The structure used to contain several non-profit organizations but will soon contain studios, one-bedroom units, a gym, a rooftop terrace, and a lounge.

Plans to redevelop the Eclipse Building date back to 2016 when Cecil H. Sanders, Jr. of Sandstone Associates proposed 22 apartments on floors three through eight of the building in an application to the Newark Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission. An LLC associated with Paramount Assets acquired the building from Sandstone Associates for $3.4 million in 2017. The statement from Paramount Assets mentions that the development firm is now planning 27 one-bedroom units in the building along with a gym and a lounge. The existing post office along Clinton Street within the building is expected to remain.

This news comes as LLCs registered out of the company’s office have been buying up property all over Newark’s central business district over the last few years. For instance, NJ Parcels records show that one LLC spent $1.65 million last year on a parking lot on East Kinney Street near the U.S. Courthouse and another paid $2 million for a building at the corner of Broad and East Kinney Streets. Several other properties in this vicinity that currently contain parking lots are also now in the hands of LLCs that are based out of the Paramount Assets office.

Richard Dunn, the Senior Vice President of the company, told Jersey Digs in an interview in November that the firm does not yet have concrete plans for these sites and plans to keep them as parking lots for the time being.

“We are still trying to determine what the future’s going to bring to Newark,” Dunn said, explaining that “we’re still in the planning stages to determine what the best uses of those properties are.”

Dunn confirmed the company’s acquisition of 29-31 Academy Street, a four-story building located in Downtown Newark at the corner of Halsey Street and mentioned that the building could possibly be converted into a mixed-use development with eight to 10 units down the line on the upper floors.

”That is a very historic building as well so we would have to be very cautious on what we do with the building,” he explained.

The nearly 130-year-old structure, described in National Park Service documents as “a good example of late nineteenth-century eclecticism,” was purchased for $1.45 million last year.

Meanwhile, Dunn told Jersey Digs that Paramount Assets is working with City Hall and other local firms on possible upgrades to Treat Place, an alley located near Teachers Village.

“All parties are working together for the betterment of Treat Place because it’s going to become a hub…with all of the residential development that’s going on on William Street,” Dunn stated, mentioning that the side street could possibly be converted into a pedestrian plaza with outdoor seating and murals.

Property records show that 225 Halsey, LLC shelled out $3 million in October for a parking lot located at the corner of Halsey Street and Maiden Lane just a stone’s throw away from Treat Place. The site used to be owned by the parent company of The Star-Ledger.

Paramount Assets will also be moving its headquarters to Downtown Newark at some point later this year. Roughly 70 employees will work in the new 12,000-square-foot corporate office within the building at 45 Academy Street, according to Dunn. The company’s existing office in Midtown Elizabeth will be shuttered once the move is completed.

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