Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey holds ‘wall breaking’ for its 1st Leadership Center in Newark

Paramount Assets, a real estate firm known for its restorations of underutilized, historic buildings and urban redevelopment projects, hosted a recent “wall breaking” and ceremonial lease-signing event, signifying the start of construction for the new Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Leadership Center in Newark.

Located at 375 McCarter Highway and spanning 5,436 square feet, the Girl Scout Leadership Center embodies GSHNJ’s commitment to investing in the future of girls and the community. This facility will serve as a hub for the region’s 13,000 current Girl Scouts and 9,000 adult volunteers, offering a diverse range of programs and events. Additionally, it will provide tailored services to meet the unique needs of local girls and families.

Attending the wall-breaking event and providing remarks or supporting the facility’s importance to the community were:

  • GSHNJ CEO Natasha Hemmings and board Chair Naima Ricks;
  • City of Newark Council President LaMonica McIver;
  • Newark East Ward Council Member Michael Silva; and
  • Kaitlin McGuinness, senior projects specialist with U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s office.

The ground-level facility will feature substantial program, administrative, storage and street access retail space, along with basic kitchen facilities, internal restrooms, ample parking and 24-hour security. The exterior signage will include a community-oriented Girl Scouts-branded mural created by a local Newark artist, enhancing the center’s integration within the local cultural fabric.

“Newark was the ideal choice for our first-ever Girl Scout Leadership Center due to its strategic location, dynamic growth and vibrant diversity, which embody the multicultural ethos that Girl Scouts aim to promote,” Hemmings said. “This expansion allows us to bring Girl Scouts to girls who may not have had access before, as well as to better serve our current membership of Girl Scouts, offering innovative and equitable access in a safe, supportive space.

The 375 McCarter Highway building, built in 1979 and renovated in 2024, is well located, fronting both McCarter Highway and Broad Street. The 151,032-square-foot, ADA-compliant property has convenient and quick access to Route 21 and U.S. 1&9 and is located three-quarters of a mile from Interstate 78, just over a mile to Newark Penn Station and less than two miles from Interstate 280. The building is also adjacent to a major bus route that runs every 20 to 60 minutes, seven days a week.