The Paramount is part of the second phase of Metrovest'sconversion of the former medical center's 10 buildings and twomillion sf into mixed uses, collectively called the Beacon.Metrovest got the nod for the project, expected to cost $350million, from the Jersey City EDC in late 2003 and began thelong-term planning a year later after the medical center wascompletely relocated to a newcampus here.

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The Paramount was the last of the medical center buildings to becompleted, and like the others, all built during the GreatDepression, features art deco design. It features terrazzo floors,marble lobbies, terra-cotta engravings and glass and brassrailings, and its lobby has seen the shooting of a number of moviescenes. One of its primary uses was as nurses' quarters.

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"There is a tremendous amount of detail involved in preservingthe art deco design throughout the building," says Lloyd Rosenberg,president and CEO of DMR Architects of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, whosefirm did the redesign work for the Paramount. "Metrovest hascreated a work of art at the Beacon. It's really a beautifulcomplex and building, and an extraordinary historicalundertaking."

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Phase one, "which is nearly sold out," says a Metrovestspokesman, involved the conversion of three buildings into therenamed Mercury, Capitol and Rialto buildings. As reported byGlobeSt.com, the two-story, 3,200-sf condo on top of the Capitolbuilding sold in early 2007for a local record price for a high-rise residential unit at $2.3million.

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At build-out, the campus' 10 buildings will be turned into atotal of 1,200 residential units. Also part of the plan are 80,000sf of retail professional center and a 25,000-sf Club Aqua fitnesscenter. Details of the build-out of the remaining half-dozenbuildings haven't been released.

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