Real Estate

JLL inks sale of 373K sq. ft. office building in Paramus

JLL announced Monday it has closed on the sale of a 373,420-square-foot office building in Paramus.

JLL marketed 650 From Road on behalf of the seller, Mack-Cali Realty Corp. A joint venture between Onyx Equities and Garrison Investment Group purchased the asset.

The five-story property, situated on a 20-acre site, offers tenants a cafeteria, on-site daycare and an atrium lobby. It is located within close access to the Garden State Parkway, routes 17 and 4, and Interstate 80. It is also adjacent to the future development of the 365-bed, 910,000-square-foot Valley Hospital.

The sale also included a one-story, free-standing, 10,000-square-foot building recently leased to a medical tenant.

The JLL Capital Markets team representing the seller included Jose Cruz, Kevin O’Hearn and Andrew Scandalios, senior managing directors; Stephen Simonelli and Michael Oliver, senior directors; and Mark Mahasky, director.

“We are excited to complete the transaction on behalf of Mack-Cali” Cruz said.  “The property location, accessibility and tenant base made this a desirable asset for the investment community.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.

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CBRE report: N.J.’s industrial market breaks records

New Jersey’s industrial market is continuing to break records in the second quarter of 2019, according to CBRE’s Q2 2019 New Jersey Industrial MarketView report.

The report said the strength of the overall market was best demonstrated by the continued rise in rents, with deals nearing $13 per-square-foot in North Jersey and $10.50 per-square-foot in Central Jersey – well above the average asking rates.

The market also experienced a 20 basis point drop in availability rate when compared to the first quarter, ending the quarter at 6.2% – the lowest rate seen in the state’s industrial market since the first quarter of 2005.

Leasing activity of 6.7 million square feet in the second quarter, although the highest second quarter result since 2001, was slightly lower than the 6.9 million square feet posted in the first quarter of 2019, CBRE found.

The report showed net absorption at 3.6 million square feet, which was 900,000-square-feet below the first quarter. However, this was the 10th consecutive quarter with a positive result.

The quarter ended with seven buildings delivered to the market, bringing 2.1 million square feet of new industrial space to the area, CBRE said. About 45% of the new product was pre-leased upon delivery and more than 6.7 million square feet is currently under construction across 20 buildings.

“As market fundamentals remain incredibly strong, although fluctuating, New Jersey’s industrial market continued to break records with higher asking rents and very low availabilities for quality product,” Mindy Lissner, executive vice president, CBRE, said. “Given New Jersey’s central location, at the epicenter of the Northeast distribution corridor, and strong demand by e-commerce and logistics users, the market is poised to remain robust for the foreseeable future.”

Third-party logistics providers dominated the second quarter leasing, taking up more than 41% of the activity. Food and beverage was the next industry, at 18.5%, and e-commerce coming in at third with 12.5%.

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Atlantic Health, Kindred Healthcare: New hospital in Madison nears completion

A joint venture between Atlantic Health System and Kindred Healthcare announced on Tuesday the completion of Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute, a new, inpatient rehabilitation hospital located in Madison.

The $24 million, two-story, 38-bed hospital is the first standalone hospital to be built from the ground-up by Atlantic Health, it said. The hospital is expected to begin accepting patients “in a few weeks” following regulatory approvals, the joint venture said.

The joint venture said the hospital will be located off Route 124 on a 40-acre parcel of Giralda Farms land owned by Atlantic Health. The 46,000-square-foot area will be developed into a campus for health services, they said.

“Joining forces with a nationally recognized leader allows us to expand access to extraordinary rehabilitation services in our communities” said Amy Perry, senior vice president, Integrated Care Delivery, and CEO of Atlantic Health System’s hospital division. “We are proud to partner with Kindred to provide top-caliber patient care in the exceptional healing environment that has been created at Giralda Farms.”

The hospital will have a number of additions and amenities, including a therapeutic courtyard; bionic, assisted moving systems for patients; a gym with ceiling lifts and new equipment; a simulated home space; an ADL Suite; bariatric rooms; a brain injury unit with dedicated gym; private rooms; meeting spaces for families; a putting green; basketball court; and more.

“We are pleased to work with the premier healthcare provider in New Jersey as we address the growing need for inpatient rehabilitation services in the New Jersey and New York area,” Russ Bailey, chief operating officer of Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services-IRF, said. “Atlantic Health System has been a great partner and we look forward to continuing to work with them on this high-quality rehabilitation hospital that will greatly benefit the community.”

“This new hospital gives our team all the tools they need to care better for our patients, and gives patients the setting they need to prepare them to return to their lives,” Joseph Rempson, medical director for the new hospital, said.

The groundbreaking for the facility was held on May 22.

“Mayor Conley and the Madison Borough Council are looking forward to the opening of the new Atlantic Health Rehabilitation Institute,” Carmela Vitale, Madison Borough councilwoman, said. “This state of the art facility will be a tremendous asset to Madison and the greater area community, serving those in need of rehabilitative care.”

The building was designed by Earl Swensson Associates and constructed by Holt Construction.

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Atlantic City Executive Council: Building a strong foundation for the future

There is economic opportunity and a promise of renewal in Atlantic City with the opening of a new college campus, new businesses and the reopening of two once-closed casinos. Exciting things are taking shape under Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration, and the Department of Community Affairs has seized the chance to strategically plan a path to help move the city forward.

The plan is embodied in the “Atlantic City: Building a Foundation for a Shared Prosperity” report, often called the Transition Report, that was released in September 2018 and provides recommendations for the process of returning Atlantic City to local control. The report revealed that it will take sustained cooperation and hard work by the city, state, community, businesses and key stakeholders to help Atlantic City rise to where it ought to be — a thriving community and top destination for people to visit.

Partners in this effort understand they need to do many things well and they need to ensure the work produces real progress for the residents of Atlantic City and its many diverse organizations and business enterprises. 

Under the guidance of Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and Jim Johnson, special counsel in the Governor’s Office, the state and city have developed a strategy for getting the work done. The strategy includes convening the Atlantic City Executive Council, which brings together key stakeholders to share information and collaborate to achieve the Transition Report’s recommendations. The Executive Council meets monthly on Stockton University’s Atlantic City campus and is comprised of representatives from commercial enterprises, public and private institutions, government agencies, city schools, civic associations, labor groups, community organizations and city youth. 

The Executive Council is developing a new Atlantic City Implementation Plan, which is nearly complete and will break down each strategic objective into actionable items. The Implementation Plan will outline the lead stakeholders doing the work, the strategy to get the work done, actions needed to accomplish the work, the impact of the work on the community and the end goal. Once finished, the Implementation Plan will serve as a baseline for monitoring performance and progress of the Executive Council’s projects.

Meet some members of the Atlantic City Executive Council and read their vision for the future of Atlantic City:

DCA leadership

Lt. Gov. Sheila Y. Oliver
Department of Community Affairs

“The Atlantic City Executive Council has been instrumental in moving progress in Atlantic City forward — one step at a time. We understand this transformation isn’t going to happen overnight, but we know that we are on the right path with an outstanding collaboration of minds sitting at the same table every month working on positive solutions for the city.”

Jim Johnson
Special counsel
Governor’s Counsel’s Office

“Too often, when people come together to solve big challenges, they start with what’s wrong in the situation, instead of what is strong. Atlantic City has many strengths. With unified effort and a clear vision of where we want to go, Atlantic City can continue its rise together.”

Atlantic City government

Frank F. Gilliam
Atlantic City

“Atlantic City is surely on the rise. I want to thank the office of DCA and the lieutenant governor for their unwavering support and the continuous dedication of the Atlantic City Executive Council.”

Marty Small
Council president
Atlantic City

“The Atlantic City Executive Council has been essential in bringing stakeholders to the table in an effort to form a community partnership using combined resources to make Atlantic City all that we want it to be. I look forward to being a part of the short- and long-term solution, with this diverse group of individuals that make an extremely strong team.

“To take our city to the next level fiscally, we need to grow the middle class and attract professionals from various careers and offer them incentives to buy homes in our city, which adds to our ratable base, which has a positive effect on our taxpayers.”

General Executive Council members

Joyce Hagan
Executive director
Atlantic City Arts Foundation

“The Atlantic City Arts Foundation envisions Atlantic City as a community in which residents, businesses, government, employees and visitors value arts and culture as a means to stimulate economic development, encourage civic engagement and promote community well-being.”

Amber Hamlett
Youth representative
Hamlett Consulting

“I believe the successful future of Atlantic City is centered in the youth. As a 26-year-old entrepreneur, I have experienced many closed opportunities due to lack of access because of my age. If we create spaces for youth involvement and development in politics, business and community development, I believe our city can grow exponentially.

“Progress to me is centered around action. It is my experience and my family’s experience that many great ideas and even solutions are discussed around building Atlantic City, but implementation seems slow or not at all. I believe that the Executive Council has done something extremely unique by getting all stakeholders together at the table to task and execute initiatives.”

Lori Herndon
CEO and president

“There should be a coordinated effort to engage residents at an organic level, neighborhood by neighborhood. A greater bond with residents will help instill more community pride, spirit and trust. This, in turn, will lead to true grass roots support for larger, citywide initiatives.”

Joe Jingoli Jr.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City

“What’s currently happening in Atlantic City is the coming together of many bright, talented, motivated people whose goals are common — advancing the cause of the city, opening businesses in the city, working in the city, relocating businesses to the city and helping to guide the city in the upward trajectory track it is on.”

Harvey Kesselman; Michelle McDonald
President; vice president of academic affairs
Stockton University

“The Atlantic City Executive Council has been essential in bringing stakeholders to the table in an effort to form a community partnership using combined resources to make Atlantic City all that we want it to be. I look forward to being a part of the short- and long-term solution, with this diverse group of individuals that make an extremely strong team.

“To take our city to the next level fiscally, we need to grow the middle class and attract professionals from various careers and offer them incentives to buy homes in our city, which adds to our ratable base, which has a positive effect on our taxpayers.”

Howard Kyle
Chief of staff
Office of the Atlantic County Executive

“We see Atlantic City as a vital part of the Atlantic County economy and as an important component of a diverse, sustainable regional economy. We look forward to helping to integrate Atlantic City into a regional economy and breaking down the barriers between Atlantic City and the suburban communities and creating greater levels of cooperation and new synergies.”

Libbie Wills
1st Ward Civic Association

“As a resident, I see my key role on the council as a voice for the residents who, in the past, have not had a voice at the table. Our visions for Atlantic City are the creation of an economic development plan that includes our neighborhoods, the aging, the youth and the disabled. We also envision the development of the South Inlet with mixed income housing, improved waterfront and Atlantic Avenue with stores that meet the needs of the residents.”

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NAI Hanson announces new office leases in Secaucus

NAI James E. Hanson, a commercial real estate firm based in Teterboro, announced Tuesday it has negotiated two separate leases at 700 Plaza Drive in Secaucus.

NAI Hanson said Hudson Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine leased 2,418 square feet and Nippon Travel Agency America Inc. leased 1,655 square feet at the property.

Josh Levering and Nick DePaolera of NAI Hanson represented the landlord, The Carlton Group LLC, in the deals.

“700 Plaza Drive, located within The Plaza at Harmon Meadow, is a mixed-use commercial and residential complex featuring over two-million square feet of corporate offices, a 14-screen movie theatre, seven hotels, health club, convention center, as well as over a million square feet of retail space and numerous restaurants. Modern and fully-amenitized, 700 Plaza Drive is a fantastic opportunity for sub-3,000-square-foot tenants in the northern New Jersey market for tenants that prize quality facilities, good parking, and easy access New York City and the New Jersey Turnpike,” Levering said.

Hudson Pro Orthopedics, NAI Hanson said, is an orthopedic and sports medicine practice serving patients from its four existing offices. The new space will allow its team to better facilitate care of existing patients in the region and expand its service to the Secaucus community, NAI Hanson said.

“For the small office user, it is virtually impossible to find modern, well-located office spaces in the Meadowlands New Jersey market,” DePaolera said. “Therefore, a tremendous opportunity exists for landlords with buildings that can fill this need. We are happy to address this market niche at 700 Plaza Drive and look forward to continuing our activities with the landlord in assisting small businesses find a home in Secaucus.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Working together to deliver on promise more than 30 years in the making

Courtesy photo

Camden County Freeholder Jeff Nash.

On a summer day in 1992, I found myself among a large crowd inside the iconic RCA Building in Camden city where the world’s first recordings were set to vinyl. Then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton arrived at an otherwise desolate Camden waterfront for his first stop following his nomination at the Democratic National Convention in New York City. The future president spoke to jubilant supporters about his bold plans for urban renewal and the bright future envisioned for the city he visited that day.

In the almost three decades which followed, there have been many similar promises to rebuild one of the poorest and most dangerous cities in the United States. Most plans were well-intentioned, all very expensive, but, despite all these efforts, Camden remained impoverished with limited opportunities for its residents.

Shortly after the Clinton visit, then-Gov. Jim Florio announced the “Camden Initiative,” only to see the plan abandoned by the incoming administration of Gov. Christie Whitman. Moving forward, it was replaced by a plan to develop the waterfront and clean Admiral Wilson Boulevard, but which essentially ignored the city’s neighborhoods. Gov. Jim McGreevey attempted to correct course by investing $175 million into those neighborhoods, but the investment was spread too thin, given the enormous need. Then the Great Recession handcuffed any economic opportunities explored by the following Gov. Jon Corzine administration.

Ironically, it was a Republican, Gov. Chris Christie, who, with a Democratic Legislature headed by Senate President Steve Sweeney and then-state Sen. Donald Norcross, lifted Camden’s trajectory for the first time in decades. Christie observed that, over the course of his first term, state aid to Camden increased approximately 40% to $350 million annually. He lamented about tax dollars being used to maintain the unacceptable status quo — the most dangerous, poorest city in the nation. He recognized that, either something dramatic was to be done to reverse the trend, or the annual cost to taxpayers would soon reach an astronomical $500 million a year.

Thus, the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 was born, extending enticing tax incentives to companies willing to invest millions of dollars and certify full-time employment in Camden and four other distressed cities in the state. Specifically, the plan was designed to create new jobs, which, in turn, would generate new state revenue to offset state aid and tax credits.

Around the same time, the Urban Hope Act created new educational opportunities for students, and the city police department was replaced by a larger county-run Metro force.

The revitalization legislation exceeded expectations. Objective observers have hailed the city’s revival as a model for the transformation of a midsize urban center in the United States. The result: a $2 billion private sector business investment; thousands of new job opportunities; training for residents to fill jobs; demolition of dangerous buildings; revitalization of a dilapidated parks system; new market-rate housing; infrastructure repairs; higher educational achievements; and significantly lower crime.

The challenge for Camden today is to sustain that positive momentum in a volatile political environment fueled by Trenton turmoil. However, 30 years of failed efforts should remind us that we finally found a revitalization formula that works. Our focus must not be shifted by misguided politics, but rather remain on job training, education and safety for Camden’s residents and all of South Jersey.

If I had closed my eyes at the RCA Building that summer day in 1992, and reopened them today, I would see a thriving waterfront and improved neighborhoods. I would have to conclude that Clinton’s optimistic vision of Camden’s future came to fruition.

What I see for our future is the next president visiting some impoverished community elsewhere in America and envisioning that it could one day be a city transformed like Camden.

Jeff Nash has served as a Camden County freeholder for 27 years, first elected in 1991. He is also vice chairman of the Delaware River Port Authority, having served under five governors in that appointed position. He is an attorney who moved his law office to Camden city.

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Fast-casual Asian fusion chain coming to N.J.

A fast-casual chain is opening its first New Jersey restaurant in Secaucus, according to real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Poke Bros., which features Asian fusion cuisine, has leased 1,400 square feet at the Plaza at Harmon Meadow, located at 700 Plaza Drive, the real estate firm said in a news release.

The restaurant is expected to open in the fall.

David Townes and Alana Friedman, retail specialists in C&W’s East Rutherford office, served as the tenant brokers in the transaction, while Curtis Nassau and Jake Frantzman of RIPCO Real Estate represented the landlord.

“Fast-casual dining concepts continue to play an important role in the retail marketplace, meeting consumer demand for quality menu items prepared quickly and at an affordable price point,” Townes said in a prepared statement. “Known for its innovative and nutritious ‘sushi in a bowl’ Asian fusion concept, Poke Bros. currently operates 24 restaurants and is rapidly expanding in key East Coast and Midwest markets.

“We are pleased to bring this unique dining option to the Plaza at Harmon Meadow shoppers and the property’s tenants, as well as the community at large.”

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Cherry Hill law office changes hands

A 3,500-square-foot office property in Cherry Hill has changed hands for nearly $300,000, according to real estate firm Markeim Chalmers Inc.

The building at 61 Kresson Road, home to a law office, was sold by retired attorney James Muller to another, undisclosed attorney, who will move into Muller’s old location on the first floor, the Cherry Hill-based real estate firm said. The sale price was $299,000.

The new owner, through Glamm Holdings LLC, will rent out a pair of available suites on the building’s second floor.

Markeim Chalmers’ Kevin Burns, senior vice president, represented Muller in the sale of the two-story, freestanding property. Farrell & Knight Realty represented Glamm Holdings.

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Triple Five announces American Dream opening date

Circle the day on the calendar: Oct. 25. That’s when the dream finally begins.

Developer Triple Five Group announced Wednesday that it has set the last Friday in October as the official date for the opening of the American Dream mall and entertainment center in East Rutherford.

The long-awaited venue will include the indoor Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, DreamWorks Water Park, Big SNOW Ski and Snowboard Park and much more. It will total about 3 million square feet when completed.

“We know that the community has been eagerly awaiting the launch of this incredible global destination,” Don Ghermezian, American Dream’s president, said in a prepared statement. “We have a one-of-a-kind property that will reshape the way people think about entertainment, theme parks and shopping.”

Ken Downing, Triple Five’s chief creative officer, described American dream at 55% entertainment and 45% experiential retail.

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Somerset Development to lead transit village project in Somerville

Somerset Development has acquired a 31-acre site in Somerville from New Jersey Transit for $11 million, with plans to build a mixed-use complex including residences and more along NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley line, the developer and agency announced this week.

The Somerset Station project will include two rental apartment buildings totaling 371 units; 156 townhomes over 14 buildings; two parking garages; 4,000 square feet of retail space; and a 4,000-square-foot community center, Somerset Development said in a news release.

“This acquisition marks the culmination of 10 years of work between Somerset Development, the borough of Somerville and NJ Transit to realize our shared vision of transforming this former landfill site into a vibrant, mixed-use transit village,” Somerset Development CEO and President Ralph Zucker said in a prepared statement. “We are incredibly thankful to all of the partners who played a role in the planning and execution of this transaction, and look forward to beginning work on creating a development that can create a better, more prosperous future for downtown Somerville.”

Somerset Development will be the master developer, while AvalonBay Communities will build the apartment units and parking decks.

“AvalonBay is very excited to have the opportunity to help create a dynamic, transit-oriented development in Somerville’s wonderful, rapidly growing downtown,” AvalonBay Senior Vice President Ronald Ladell said in a statement. “We look forward to working with our colleagues at Somerset Development, and extend our gratitude to NJ Transit and the borough of Somerville as we begin the process of delivering this transformational mixed-use project.”

Somerset Development is leasing land for the parking decks, which will include 526 spaces, from NJ Transit over a 37-year term.

Construction will begin on the first part of the multiphase project later in the summer, Somerset Development said. The parking deck work will begin in 2020, NJ Transit added.

“After many years of planning the redevelopment of the whole landfill area, the borough council and myself are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Zucker, Somerset Development and NJ Transit on the concept design of the Somerset Station project,” Somerville Mayor Dennis Sullivan said in a statement. “This milestone project, with its variety of housing alternatives, public areas and community spaces, will offer a new and exciting neighborhood for future residents of Somerville to enjoy.”

Sullivan noted the project will link the downtown with a 17-acre open space area, and include a road link to Route 206.

The developer noted that the parking decks will replace existing commuter lots near the train station. NJ Transit commuters will be accommodated through secondary parking lots during the construction process.

“After more than a decade of delays, I am proud that my team at NJ Transit was able to advance this project to this next stage,” NJ Transit CEO and President Kevin Corbett said in a statement. “Mass transit provides cleaner, greener ways for people to get to work, school and entertainment. Planned communities that combine transit and a walkable lifestyle benefit everyone, and we are pleased to be a part of this initiative.”

Investors Bank provided financing for the acquisition.

The project has an estimated completion date of 2023.

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