The surge in development in Downtown Newark is reaching one of the city’s most iconic landmarks: the Paramount Theater.
The marquee of the Paramount is one of the best-known symbols of the state’s biggest city. Simply reading “Newark,” this ghost sign at 193-195 Market Street near the Prudential Center is regularly featured in articles discussing changes throughout the community. Now, major changes could be coming to the former theater itself since plans are advancing to redevelop and expand the structure into the neighborhood’s latest mixed-use development.
The Downtown Newark-based RBH Group, which is responsible for nearby Teachers Village and the proposed Four Corners Millennium Project, is seeking to begin construction early next year on redeveloping this property. The project involves preserving the facade of the Paramount while building a new structure behind it.
A spokesperson for the RBH Group confirmed to Jersey Digs that the company is currently in the process of designing the mixed-use development and explained that “we plan to restore the facade and redevelop into retail and housing, the retail component of which may even have a theater.”
According to a listing posted last month by Hudson Real Estate out of Manhattan, the residential portion of the project is expected to include 220 units. The firm is currently marketing a “big box retail/commercial opportunity” for the upcoming development, stating in a flyer that 23,900 square feet of retail space will be available on the ground floor while 25,828 square feet would be for lease on the second story. Floor plans for the project show that a residential lobby and parking would also be included in the new building.
Although none remain open today, Newark was once home to multiple historic theaters like the Paramount. This venue opened its doors in 1886 as a vaudeville house called H.C. Miner’s Newark Theatre, according to Cinema Treasures, and was remodeled in 1917. In recent years, the interior of the theater has not been maintained and has sat unused, while the portion of the building at the street level below the marquee has contained stores over the years such as Dee’s Amazing Deals and Culture & Culture African Accessories. However, the entire structure is currently vacant as the RBH Group prepares to begin construction.