NEWARK, NJ - For years, the stretch of Broad Street between William Street and Branford Place has been home to discount stores, wig shops and New Jersey’s largest pawnbroker-jeweler.

But in a sign of how much and how quickly Newark is changing, the corner of the block will soon be anchored by a luxury apartment complex. 

Paramount Assets, a development company based in Elizabeth, is turning the former United Women’s Garment Workers’ Union building at 869 Broad St. into retail space and 37 luxury units. 

Sign Up for E-News

The project, known as William Flats, will retain some historic features like the building’s facade. Paramount Assets Vice President Richard Dunn said the company received the OK from Newark’s Preservation and  Landmark’s Committee for the project.

“We decided the historical structure of this building made it really a treasure for Newark,” Dunn said today at a real estate broker open house.

The building was originally used as city hall in the late 1800s until the government’s center was moved up the block and across the street, Dunn said. The iconic gold dome of today’s city hall can be seen from the modern-day apartments.

The residential development will feature a fitness room, tenant lounge and an eco-friendly living wall with tropical plants. Each flat will be built with 12-foot ceilings, hardwood floors and recessed lighting.

The project is slated for completion by October. 

A 7-Eleven and Santander Bank have leased out retail space on the ground level, and there’s still room for an additional business, said Paramount Assets Director of Leasing and Marketing Samir Guzman.

Paramount Assets also owns properties that have been turned into restaurants like O’Lala Empanadas on Market Street to create entertainment options for newcomers to Newark.

Guzman added that people from Brooklyn, Hoboken and Jersey City have shown interest in leasing at William Flats. “They’re looking for city life...but they cannot afford those places,” he said.

Paramount Assets has been in the business of adaptive reuse projects of historic buildings for a while, redeveloping projects in Paterson and Elizabeth. The company also redeveloped 127 Halsey St. into residential units while still preserving its outer facade, too.

The company recently bought the property that encompasses the former Little Theatre and Broad Street Cafe, but hasn’t said what it plans to do with space.

Download the TAPinto mobile app for Android or iOS.