Pierson Commercial named leasing agent for Junction at Gateway Center (SLIDESHOW)

Retail anchor of redeveloped Gateway being pitched as upscale retail, food and beverage mecca

Onyx Equities has named Pierson Commercial as the leasing agent for its newest retail hub — the Junction at Gateway Center — the 100,000-square-foot retail component that will anchor the mixed-use redevelopment of the Gateway Center.

Onyx officials said construction of what they are calling a Jewel Box entryway is currently in progress. When completed, the entryway will provide a two-story steel, aluminum and glass portal into what Onyx officials feel will be an upscale retail, food and beverage mecca that also offers free access to Newark Fiber’s 10G Network.

The four-building Gateway complex, which sits at the epicenter of Newark’s revitalization and transit crossroads, draws more than 75,000 weekly visitors from the region through its skybridges to Newark Penn Station, the Legal Center’s office complex and Panasonic’s corporate headquarters. Its second-floor interconnected concourses are also being redeveloped to attract retail, fitness, entertainment and dining opportunities.

Onyx’s investment in Newark also includes opening Gateway’s ground floor to street-facing retail for the first time in the building’s 50-plus-year history.

Matthew Flath, vice president of asset management at Onyx Equities, said the Junction will play an important role in the economic development of the city.

“As the retail anchor for the Gateway Center, the Junction is an extremely important — and highly unique — component forming the center of Newark’s reemerging business community, and will play a vital role in New Jersey’s economic recovery,” he said.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Pierson Commercial leasing team at the Gateway Center. Their vast experience in large-scale, mixed-use and downtown retail redevelopment projects has already provided for a very structured and quick start of leasing activity. We look forward to bringing a new and exciting local, regional and national tenant retail mix to the biggest and most unique community asset and office complex in New Jersey.”

Pierson Commercial’s Ryan Starkman, who is heading the leasing team, said the Junction’s current availabilities range from 1,000 to 16,000 square feet and feature a new, visually prominent floor-to-ceiling glass presence.

Both exterior street-level and interior concourse-level opportunities offer ease of access to prospective consumers and patrons across all four buildings, he said. Gateway One, which sits adjacent to the Doubletree by Hilton, also offers a fitness box that is adaptable to entertainment or concert hall use, while Gateway Four offers small shop space opportunities ideal for food and beverage customers.

Starkman said construction on base building work is expected to be completed by late 2021.

“We are excited to be a part of such a transformative project in the heart of Downtown Newark,” he said. “Our goal is to curate a dynamic retail environment that not only services the office complex, but connects the development to the remainder of the city, drawing patrons from Newark and the greater New York metro area.”

Stretching from Mulberry Street to Raymond Plaza West, Gateway Center has been reimagined by Onyx Equities and its partners to elevate the complex’s central positioning as Newark’s primary access point for commuters, travelers, Prudential Center visitors and local residents.

In total, the center is comprised of 2.3 million square feet of Class A office space, more than 100,000 square feet of retail and more than 1,000 on-site parking spaces.

Onyx Equities also recently invested $200,000 into installing post-COVID-19 office repopulation measures and completed several construction projects during the pandemic, including the multimillion-dollar renovation of the Gateway One Garage.

Appealing to a wide audience, the development also plays a major day-to-day role in the immediate area, where there is a growing population of 300,000, a daytime workforce population of 200,000 and 58,000 riders who board at Newark Penn Station daily. In addition, more than 60,000 vehicles pass the Junction at Gateway Center along McCarter Highway each day.

The entire Gateway Center complex has undergone sweeping capital improvements and service enhancements since being acquired by Onyx Equities and its partners in 2018. These include renovated lobbies, improved collaborative spaces, a unique concourse walkway, modern buildouts and exterior plaza improvements, including pedestrian walkways.

Service additions include a custom-designed complexwide dining menu/catering app, which is currently in the development phase, for the exclusive use of Gateway Center office tenants and visitors. Once finalized, the app will allow users to place orders from multiple dining establishments at one time and have it delivered at a predetermined time and date.

“The Junction at Gateway Center is raising the bar for a total work and lifestyle convenience experience, and we are pleased to be at the forefront of this process,” Starkman said.