Bidding has opened on a large piece of property in the Ironbound District that stakeholders say could forever change the course of Newark’s most iconic neighborhood.
The owners of the famed Iberia restaurant placed the 5.2-acre site on the open market earlier this month, and are courting developers who may see it as a prime parcel for a high-rise office or residential tower.
Frank Giantomasi, a real estate attorney with Chiesa, Shahinian & Giantomasi who is representing the owners in the potential sale, said the site – with frontage on major thoroughfares Market Street and Ferry Street – could be key in the city’s plans to attract new professionals seeking both easy access to Newark Penn Station and amenities including restaurants, shopping and nightlife.
“This could be the first development that truly creates a walking class of commuters,” he said.
The Iberia property is currently home to both the restaurant and two storage facilities, but is mostly occupied by blacktop parking spaces, which city officials have often lamented as a deterrent to major development as they look to create a transit-oriented district similar to what has sprung up around the PATH station in Harrison.
“We’re slowly losing against towns like Harrison, Jersey City, Hoboken to develop the area around Penn Station, so we can create the conditions to attract new people,” East Ward Councilman Augusto Amador told the Star-Ledger last year.