In Hoboken, SJP breaks ground on final portion of massive corporate park

City officials say event marks major step in Sandy recovery
By David Jones | December 10, 2012 06:00PM

SJP Properties broke ground Monday afternoon on the Waterfront Corporate Center III, the final piece of a 26-acre mixed-used office park in Hoboken, N.J. The education publisher Pearson is slated to be the center’s anchor tenant.

SJP, under a partnership with USAA Real Estate Co., is developing the 500,000-square-foot site as the third and final office building at the 1.5 million-square-foot corporate and retail shopping complex.

Officials said the groundbreaking marked a major step in the city’s recovery following Hurricane Sandy, which caused extensive flooding in the Hudson County city and left the PATH commuter train system there badly damaged. “This is a strong testament to the fact that we are able to attract new business to Hoboken,” Mayor Dawn Zimmer told The Real Deal in an interview after the groundbreaking.

The $150 million site is being financed with the help of $66 million of Urban Hub Tax Credits from the state of New Jersey, over a 10-year period. The tax credits are designed to help attract businesses to relocate or to open new offices near major transportation hubs — making them more sustainable and more attractive to younger employees from New York and other major population centers.

“We’re all about talent, that’s what makes our business go,” said Will Ethridge, chief executive, North American Education at Pearson, said at the press event.

Pearson is relocating 900 employees from its existing offices in Upper Saddle River, N.J. and Old Tappan, N.J., and will occupy five floors of the complex. As The Real Deal previously reported, asking rents at the new site start at $38 a square foot.

The building, located at 221 River Street, will be next to the W Hotel and a short walk from the Hoboken Terminal, a mass transit hub for NJ Transit buses and trains, PATH, water ferries to Manhattan. It’s also a short drive to the Holland and Lincoln tunnels.

The 14-story building will be designed by HLW International and be the only Silver LEED complex on the Hoboken waterfront.

The new complex marks the latest in a series of developments for SJP. The firm is developing the new Panasonic North American headquarters in downtown Newark and is a partner on a $500 million luxury rental complex in Fort Lee, N.J., called the Modern. The two glass skyscrapers will hold a combined 900 luxury rental units.

SJP is also the developer of the struggling 11 Times Square in Manhattan. That 1.1 million-square-foot property is only 40 percent leased after three years.