Shortly after acquiring three of the four Gateway buildings in Newark, Onyx Equities announced plans to create the Junction, a 100,000-square-foot dining and retail experience on the concourse that will bring together the tens of thousands who enter the buildings each week.
On Wednesday, when announcing eight restaurants that have signed leases to open in the Junction in late first quarter/early second quarter of 2022, Onyx officials announced they were making sure Newarkers were not left out of the process.
Onyx will hold a competition to award the final available restaurant space to a Newark-based operator. The space will be built out and delivered at no upfront cost to the operator. (Interested parties can download the competition guidelines and entry form here.)
The winner will join the eight restaurants announced Wednesday:
- Brooklyn Dumpling Shop;
- Chip City Cookies;
- Fresh & Co.;
- The Brookdale;
- Greek from Greece Bakery & Café;
- 375˚ Chicken & Fries.
Onyx officials said the restaurants, which were selected in an effort to provide a variety of cuisine options with grab-and-go convenience and full-service offerings, will all open at the same time in what they are calling the Market Street Corridor, a 10,000-square-foot section of the Junction.
They will join three current options in the complex: Jersey Mike’s Subs, Café Margherita and Dunkin Donuts.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said the Junction will have great impact in the city.
“Newark is a great center for dining, and Onyx Equities is adding a new dimension to that with its transformation of the Gateway Complex to accommodate eight diverse upscale restaurants,” he said. “Residents, visitors and Gateway workers alike will all enjoy outstanding dining choices and Newark’s hospitality in one place.”
It also will bring jobs.
Onyx officials said they will create a platform to connect Newark’s robust talent pool with the restaurateurs through a job fair. The job fair is expected to take place in early 2022, to coincide with completion of construction of the Junction’s extensive renovations and the opening of the new restaurants.
Onyx co-founder and Principal Jonathan Schultz said the Junction will help bring together the area.
“We want to be a connection point for the millions of people who come through Gateway Center and the retailers and restaurateurs that want to be in Newark, as well as those that have been here for generations,” he said.
The 2.3 million-square-foot, four-building Gateway Center complex draws over 75,000 weekly visitors through its skybridges to Newark Penn Station, One Riverfront Center and Panasonic’s corporate headquarters.
Its second-floor interconnected concourses, what is now known as the Junction, is near the completion of a multimillion-dollar renovation to attract retail, fitness, entertainment and dining opportunities, as well as improve the pedestrian and tenant experience within the complex.
Onyx’s investment in Newark also includes opening Gateway Center’s ground floor via a new pedestrian grand entrance and street-facing retail for the first time in the building’s 50-plus-year history.
“We are heartened to see that businesses agree with our belief that the Gateway Center is the conduit for commerce opportunities that will play a vital role in New Jersey’s post-pandemic economic recovery,” Onyx Vice President of Asset Management Matthew Flath said.
“Onyx is committed to working with our retail and office tenants to provide safe, healthy and exciting work environments that their staff feel comfortable coming back to.”
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. It will feature a two-story steel, aluminum and glass jewel box entryway into the Junction.
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.