Mack-Cali sells Paramus office property, Murphy enacts land bank reforms & more North Jersey real estate news

<em>Clockwise from the upper left: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signs "land bank" reform bill, former NFL star Phil Simms relists his 20-acre estate in Franklin Lakes, Mack-Cali Realty offloads a Paramus office building and details emerge on French luxury conglomerate Kering's move to Wayne.</em>
Clockwise from the upper left: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signs "land bank" reform bill, former NFL star Phil Simms relists his 20-acre estate in Franklin Lakes, Mack-Cali Realty offloads a Paramus office building and details emerge on French luxury conglomerate Kering's move to Wayne.

Mack-Cali offloads fully leased Paramus office building
Garrison Investments and Onyx Equities announced Monday their acquisition of a 373,320-square-foot office building in Paramus, NJBIZ reported. A team from JLL that had previously been at HFF — the two brokerages completed their $2 billion merger on July 1 — represented the seller, Mack-Cali Realty, on the deal. The joint venture between Garrison and Onyx acquired a total of 20 acres — with the potential for future development — at 650 From Road in Paramus. JLL said the sale of the property, located roughly 12 miles from the George Washington Bridge, also included a 10,000-square-foot free-standing building leased to a medical tenant. A source told The Real Deal that Onyx and Garrison paid $42 million for the property, which is 70 percent leased. The purchase by Garrison and Onyx comes two years after they acquired an 847,805-square-foot portfolio in Bergen County from Mack-Cali, a Jersey City-based REIT that last month ended a months-long boardroom battle with an activist investor. Garrison and Onyx are also part of another joint venture that paid $300 million earlier this year to buy 1.6 million square feet across 1, 2 and 4 Gateway Center in Newark alongside Axonic Capital, Prudential Financial and Taconic Capital Advisors. Commercial Property Executive reported that 650 From Road is part of a 2.2 million-square-foot portfolio in Paramus, Rochelle Park and Woodcliff Lake that HFF began marketing on behalf of Mack-Cali in January 2017. [NJBIZ]

Governor signs New Jersey “land bank” reform bill
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law last week a measure that will allow municipalities to designate a “land bank” to obtain vacant, abandoned and neglected properties for productive purposes, multiple outlets reported. The measure, which became effective on July 11, enables entities such as redevelopment agencies, county improvement authorities and department agencies to secure the land bank designation. The designation also permits municipal entities to purchase liens at a tax sale, carry out lien foreclosures and reposition abandoned properties for sale. Land bank-designated entities are required to form community advisory boards that will be updated and allowed to comment on decisions made by the designated entity. An online, publicly accessible database of current and former land bank properties is also required for all designated entities. The enactment of the measure into law comes four years after the bill was introduced into the legislature. reported last year that the Garden State has 391,428 vacant housing units, of which the highest concentration exists in Newark. The passing of the land bank measure comes as the legislature and Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive, grapple over the future of the state’s commercial tax credit law. [PIX11]

NJ firm touts local multifamily market after NY rent reforms
Ken Uranowitz, president of Livingston-based brokerage Gebroe-Hammer Associates, believes that an increase in demand for multifamily properties in New Jersey will transpire following the recent passage of New York’s controversial rent control laws. Uranowitz and Gebroe-Hammer, citing data from real estate analytics firm Reis pointing to a reduction in product delivery during 2020 and 2021, claim Garden State rents will be driven higher as apartment occupancies increase during the same time period. Gebroe-Hammer announced this week that it had closed $820 million in first half multifamily sales in New Jersey and the area around Philadelphia. The trades amount to 5,675 units sold across 65 deals. Gebroe-Hammer noted that its largest transaction so far this year was the $75 million trade of a 487-unit multifamily portfolio in Bergen and Hudson counties on behalf of Madison Hill Properties. TRD reported last month on Gebroe-Hammer’s role brokering the $58.5 million sale of 232-unit portfolio in Union County. [TRD]

Former NY Giants quarterback relists Franklin Lakes estate
Phil Simms, a former New York Giants quarterback who weighed in this week on his team’s current controversy at the position, relisted his 20-acre estate earlier this month in Franklin Lakes, reported. The new potential purchase price for the home at 930 Old Mill Road is $3 million less than what Simms sought when he first put the property on the market in May 2017. Simms’ estate was built in 2002 and consists of a 10,180 square-foot main building with seven bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a country kitchen with a large eating area and a private breakfast nook, as well as a guest house with one bedroom and one bathroom and an outdoor pool. The home also comes with a fully equipped gym, master suite with private baths, a study and a fireplace. noted that Simms and his wife purchased the property in 1999 for $1.55 million. The couple raised their three children — former National Football League quarterbacks Matt and Chris, and daughter Deidre — in the home, whose listing is held by Sotheby’s International Real Estate. Simms starred for the Giants from 1979 to 1993 before moving onto a football broadcasting career. Simms isn’t the only athlete looking to get out of his Garden State real estate. recently reported that Australian soccer star Tim Cahill has put his Saddle River mansion on the market at $6.75 million. [TRD]

Warren office park announces region’s largest lease of 2019
A joint venture between Mountain Lakes-based Vision Real Estate Partners and Philadelphia-based Rubenstein Partners confirmed Tuesday a new tenant for its Warren Corporate Center in Warren. The Real Deal reported that Bermuda-based Everest Reinsurance had agreed to take 315,000 square feet of office space at 100 and 200 Warren Corporate Center Drive, which had once been home to French telecommunications giant Alcatel-Lucent’s regional headquarters, while also serving as a key operations center for financial services behemoth Citigroup. The latter left the complex following the expiration of its lease in June, but by bringing Everest aboard the property’s new owners have embarked on a plan to reposition the site from a single-tenant complex to a multi-tenant office park. Vision and Rubenstein paid $136 million in 2016 to acquire the Warren Corporate Center from Northwestern Mutual Real Estate. The joint venture recently completed a 20,000-square-foot amenity building on the corporate campus called Warren Hill. [TRD] — Brian Baxter

Kering eyes 32-acre operations center in Wayne
Perhaps best known for its Gucci brand, French luxury conglomerate Kering announced plans last week to develop a logistics and office center in Passaic County, NJBIZ reported. The fashion group, according to a news release, is slated to develop a 770,000 square-foot distribution center with 80,000 square feet of office space. Kering said it hopes to receive a LEED Gold certification at its facility at 150 Totowa Road in Wayne, which is expected to open in 2020. The new center for operations for the Paris-based brand will support 350 jobs and replace the company’s existing facility in Secaucus. Property records show that the Wayne site is owned by Saddle Brook-based Peykar Family Properties, which purchased the property in 2005 for $13 million. GlobeSt reported in July 2017 that Peykar, also the owner of the carper manufacturing company Nourison Industries, had tapped Cushman & Wakefield to market a 459,822-square-foot spec warehouse at the site. Kering, which also owns the Bottega Veneta, DoDo, Pomellato and Saint Laurent brands, inked a lease in May for its Alexander McQueen label at 71 Greene Street in Soho. [NJBIZ]

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Pinnacle, Hampshire nab $38M loan for Montclair hotel
New York-based PMZ Realty Capital secured a bridge loan for $37.5 million for the MC Hotel in Montclair, NJBIZ reported. The financial services firm represented developers Pinnacle Companies and the Hampshire Companies in a deal that will fund the joint venture’s 159-room hotel in Montclair. Earlier this year, Hampshire and Pinnacle were chosen to redevelop Montclair’s Lackawanna Plaza. The MC Hotel, which will be part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, is the first full-service hotel to be developed in Montclair since 1938. (The George, a 32-room boutique hotel, opened its doors last year.) RE-NJ reported that the bridge loan was provided by a public mortgage REIT and was structured at a LIBOR-pegged interest rate with a three-year tenor. The latest bridge loan, which closed on July 9, is the second loan PMZ has sourced for the hotel. Hampshire said in a 2015 press release that U.S. Bank also provided construction financing for the project. Pinnacle and Hampshire’s MC Hotel includes a rooftop bar and lounge, 8,500 square feet of venue space, a farm-to-table restaurant and a lobby library. The MC Hotel is also part of a $120 million mixed-use collective known as Centro Verde, which encompasses the Montclair Center Gateway Redevelopment Plan. Aparium Hotel Group has been tapped by the developers to manage the MC Hotel. [NJBIZ]

Developer charts redevelopment for downtown Jersey City
Hoboken-based Manhattan Building Company, the developer behind Cast Iron Lofts and the recently traded Soho Lofts in Jersey City, is now facing pushback from local residents as it seeks to build 2,360 units on the edge of the city’s downtown, JerseyDigs reported. Manhattan Building submitted plans in June to the Jersey City Planning Board to redevelop nine acres along Bates Street and the New Jersey Turnpike extension, where it plans to construct four towers of between 23 and 50 stories. The master plan, designed by New York-based Studio V Architecture, includes a ground-level retail component and 1,180 indoor parking spaces. Manhattan Building claims that the development, if built, will generate $11 million in fees toward an Open Space Trust and include 20 percent affordable housing. RE-NJ recently reported that the project remains in its infancy and the developer still lacks the proper entitlements. But Manhattan Building, which has delivered roughly 800 rentals in an area known as South of Hoboken (Soho), has started working with Jersey City to change existing zoning restrictions for the redevelopment zone. [JerseyDigs]

American Dream mega-mall claims to be 85% leased
After announcing earlier this month that it plans to open by late October, Triple Five Group’s American Dream mega-mall in the Meadowlands is now 85 percent leased, reported. Don Ghermezian, a member of Triple Five’s founding family and president of the East Rutherford-based retail and entertainment complex, gave American Dream’s first leasing update in more than a year during a walk-through tour of the site with Fox 5 NY host Rosanna Scotto. American Dream, which in late June announced a unique partnership with Coca-Cola, expects to open its first phase on October 25, with subsequent portions of the 3 million square-foot development coming online by Christmas and early 2020. Once known as Xanadu, Edmonton-based Triple Five took over the long-delayed project in 2011. Despite continued delays, American Dream’s impending opening has many real estate professionals eager to see how the project fares amid a tough market for suburban retail landlords in the Tri-State area. American Dream, which announced a 35,000-square-foot restaurant and store lease this week with Asian eatery H Mart, plans to hold a job fair next week in Lyndhurst. []

Investor gets $57M financing for Essex, Hudson portfolio
Freddie Mac’s Small Balance Loans Program provided $57 million in financing last week for a 13-property portfolio owned by Newark-based OneWall Partners, RE-NJ reported. OneWall said the funds will be used to recapitalize 13 properties in East Orange, Orange and Jersey City, while a portion of the acquired financing will fund property upgrades. The portfolio, as noted by GlobeSt, includes eight properties in East Orange, one in Orange and one property in Jersey City. CBRE originated and closed the transaction on behalf of OneWall on July 10. OneWall acquired most of the portfolio for $63 million in 2017, a purchase that made the real estate investor the largest property owner in East Orange, according to news reports. East Orange has seen an increase in development in recent years due to its access to mass transit. Blackstone 360, another Newark-based developer, earlier this year secured a $33 million construction loan for an 18-story luxury residential building just three blocks from the Brick Church New Jersey Transit station. Hero Construction recently began work at 45 South Grove Street, the former site of the Blood Center of New Jersey, which is now being redeveloped into a mixed-use, high-rise apartment complex. [RE-NJ]

Resi brokerages rebrand, reshuffle leadership in New Jersey
Engel & Völkers, a German luxury real estate firm that recently expanded its operations in Brooklyn and Chicago, this week relaunched its presence in Hoboken and Jersey City under the leadership of Lisa Troyano-Ascolese, NJBIZ reported. Troyano-Ascolese, leader of the myHOMEboken team, succeeds her mentor Nicholas Costantino, who launched Engel & Völkers’ Hoboken office in late 2015. (He died the following year.) Under the leadership of Troyano-Ascolese, who has the listing for a Saddle River mansion that will hit the auction block next week, Engel & Völkers will continue serving buyers and sellers in Bergen County and along New Jersey’s so-called Gold Coast. Elsewhere in the Garden State, Christie’s International Real Estate announced on July 12 a rebranding of its operations in Northern New Jersey, where it operates in partnership with affiliate Special Properties Real Estate Services, led by Ilija Pavlovic. Earlier this year, Christie’s expanded its regional operations into Rockland County after absorbing David Sanders’ Sanders Properties in New City. [NJBIZ] — Brian Baxter