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Deals & Dealmakers

Onyx Equities Debuts Head-Turning Renovation at Gateway Center’s Grand Opening in Downtown Newark

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka joined John Saraceno and Jon Schultz, Co-Founders and Managing Partners for Onyx Equities to reveal the Jewel Box entrance to Gateway Center.  The new two-story, glass enclosed entrance is part of a $60 million renovation that will change the way that commuters, visitors and residents interact with the building and the surrounding neighborhood.
From Left to Right: John Saraceno, Mayor Ras Baraka, Jon Schultz.

On Thursday, May 19th, Onyx Equities was joined by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and other Newark elected and civic leaders to unveil the new two-story “Jewel Box” entryway into Gateway Center, downtown Newark’s cornerstone redevelopment project that links three newly reimagined Class A office towers through a massive 100,000 square foot retail/dining concourse known as The Junction, opening later this year.

The event celebrates a pinnacle moment in Gateway’s transformation – one of the largest in New Jersey’s history, and Newark’s revitalization as an international center for commerce, culture and cuisine.

“The new Jewel Box entryway and the larger Gateway redevelopment project are a testament to what New Jerseyans have always known: there is no better place in the world to live, work, and play,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Visitors, employees, and families will all benefit from this game-changing development, which showcases some of the best dining options and recreational activities the Garden State has to offer. Now more than ever, Newark remains an internationally renowned commercial and cultural hub.”

Located along Raymond Plaza West across from Newark Penn Station, the “Jewel Box” was designed as a welcoming beacon for all Newark visitors, employees, and residents, and will soon serve as the main entrance into The Junction, which will deliver an exciting combination of food options from Newark’s local culinary talent and well-known restauranteurs from across the Hudson River in late 2022.

Recently announced restaurant tenants include Serafina, Mökbar, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, Fresh & Co, Greek from Greece Bakery & Café, Farinella, 375˚ Chicken & Fries, Chip City Cookies, The Brookdale, among other notables – many of which were highlighted as part of the Grand Opening celebration. Additional fitness, educational, and wellness retailers will round out a total lifestyle program.

“The Jewel Box is a state-of-the-art entrance to the Gateway Center, one of our city’s signature complexes,” Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said. “Adjoined with The Junction that opens later this year, it will showcase our excellence, hospitality, and diverse array of food to Newark residents, workforce, and visitors. “We are thankful to Onyx Equities for transforming such an important center in the heart of our downtown.”

“We are opening The Jewel Box at a really exciting time when people are coming back to the office,” said Jonathan Schultz, Co-Founder and Principal at Onyx Equities. “This was not just about improving the pedestrian and employee experience within the complex; it is part of a larger overall reinterpretation of what Newark can be for businesses and residents looking for a thriving urban community.”

“Our design intent was to activate the streetscape and create a welcoming connection to the community. Designed in the 1970s, Gateway was deliberately inward-facing with little connection to the life of the city, but Onyx’s new vision re-engages the community,” said Roger Smith, Design Director. “With street level local retailers, a landscaped public plaza and the two-story entrance hall across from Newark Penn Station, Gateway will become Newark’s new front door.”

Comprised of some of the tallest buildings in the city, the transformation of the 2.3 million square foot, four-building Gateway Center complex is nothing short of spectacular. Inside and out, over $50 Million in capital improvements bring the vision of world-renowned architect Gensler to life, introducing a new exterior façade, modernized lobbies and common areas, tech-forward collaborative spaces, generous and flexible office build-out configurations, state-of-the-art post-COVID sanitation systems, a newly renovated parking garage, and a best-in-class retail experience that anticipates over 75,000 daily visitors once complete thanks to direct skybridge connectivity to Newark Penn Station, a Doubletree by Hilton, One Riverfront Center, Panasonic’s Corporate Headquarters, and several new residential developments under construction.

“Gateway is on course to be New Jersey’s premier office and dining destination – the first of its kind in our state,” said Matthew P. Flath, vice president of asset management at Onyx Equities. “We know we’re hitting the right note because we’re attracting world-renowned restaurants like Serafina and celebrity chefs like Esther Choi of Mökbar, as well our top-tier regional and local culinary talent.”

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. Prudential Center, home of the New Jersey Devils and Seton Hall Pirates Basketball, is directly across the street and four major universities with over 50,000 students are nearby.

To learn more about Gateway Center, visit For retail leasing inquiries at The Junction, contact Jason Pierson and Ryan Starkman of Pierson Commercial Real Estate at (927) 823-4800. For information about Class A office opportunities within 1, 2 & 4 Gateway Center, contact Tim Greiner and Blake Goodman of JLL at (732) 707-6900 x5.

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