The LeFrak Organization is all set to break ground on the latest new construction for its 25-years-in-the-making, $10 billion Newport development in Jersey City. According to the New York Times, all it needs is an office tenant. LeFrak has already erected 14 apartment buildings, seven office buildings and a shopping mall to Newport, but has recently slowed its development pace. The last office building went up in 2003.
It wants to start work on Pier 6, where it could add up to 1.25 million square feet of office space. The first building may rise to 17 stories, but its size would ultimately depend on what kind of tenant agrees to take space. A tenant would have to commit to at least 300,000 square feet to make the project feasible.
“We wouldn’t have stayed in business for 100 years if we were doing wild speculation,” said Jamie LeFrak, a principal of the company.
The complex is expected to cost $100 million to $300 million, and the rents will be far below Manhattan’s. The Hudson waterfront in New Jersey typically commands rent of about $38 per square foot for Class A space, but state tax credit programs could reduce the effective rents to about $20 per foot, the Times said.
As several financial firms, including Citigroup, Fidelity Investments and Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, have made commitments to New Jersey from Manhattan of late, LeFrak expects a similar tenant to be the impetus for the Pier 6 groundbreaking. [NYT]