The Real Deal Tristate

Details emerge on Toys ‘R’ Us HQ sale in Wayne, iStar sets Asbury Park hotel opening date & more North Jersey real estate news

By Mario Marroquin | June 11, 2019 06:00PM

Clockwise from the left: Two key industrial properties in move forward in North Jersey, iStar to open its new Asbury Park Club Hotel in time for July 4th weekend, S. Hekemian Group is tapped to redevelop the former Mercedes-Benz USA campus in Montvale and a pair of developers tout key updates for Jersey City’s $1B residential tower at 99 Hudson and the $2.5B Riverton complex in Sayreville.

Details emerge on $19M Toys ‘R’ Us HQ sale in Wayne
Three months after The Real Deal reported on the sale of the former Toys ‘R’ Us corporate headquarters in Wayne, the 173-acre property has officially traded hands for $19 million through a bankruptcy proceeding in Virginia, according to NorthJersey.com. A limited liability company called Point View Wayne Properties clinched the sale in March at a price well below its estimated market value of $94.1 million, NJ.com reported. CBRE Group brokered the sale, but earlier this year declined to disclose the size of the deal or the name of the buyer. The property at 1 Geoffrey Way in Wayne includes two office buildings totaling 621,000 square feet of office space and a helipad. According to CBRE, the new owner of the site will seek to reposition it for multiple uses. The property was built in 1962 and previously housed the chemical conglomerate American Cyanamid. Toys ‘R’ Us acquired the acreage in 2003. The bankrupt toys retailer tapped JLL last year to carry out the sale of 275 properties across the country. Toy manufacturers Hasbro and Mattel said sales fell by 12 percent and 8 percent, respectively, last year as a result of a spate of Toys ‘R’ Us store closings that began in March 2018. [NorthJersey.com]

Asbury Ocean Club Hotel to open in time for July 4th holiday
Real estate investment trust iStar is planning to open the first phase of its 17-story hotel and condominium complex in Asbury Park by the July 4th weekend, according to the Asbury Park Press. The 54-room Asbury Ocean Club Hotel, to be operated by David Bowd of Salt Hotels, will be the first five-star boutique hotel along the Asbury Park waterfront. iStar has said that every room in the hotel, designed by Anda Andrei, Bonetti Kozerski and Gary Handel, will have 11-foot ceilings and a daybed or banquette. Guest amenities include a beach bellperson and a guest lounge with year-round programming. The hotel is also part of the larger Asbury Ocean Club development planned by iStar, which includes 130 condominiums — starting at $900,000 — located at 1101 Ocean Avenue, the site of the former Esperanza condo project owned by Hoboken-based Metro Homes. iStar owns 35 acres in Asbury Park, including about 1.25 miles of waterfront property, and the REIT is looking to invest $1 billion in the seaside city, where it is hoping to create a new private beach club. Jay Sugarman, chairman and CEO of iStar, recently spoke with TRD to discuss his plans for high-end living on the Jersey Shore and some of his more eccentric interests. [APP]

Hekemian to redevelop Mercedes-Benz USA campus in Montvale
Englewood-based developer The S. Hekemian Group secured unanimous borough council approval last week for the redevelopment of the former Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters in Montvale, RE-NJ reported. The redevelopment of the former Bergen County campus, to be called Triboro Square, will include 139,000 square feet of retail space, 350 residential units and 40,500 square feet of office space, as well as a 150-room hotel. Hekemian said demolition at the site has been completed and that construction is slated to begin later this year or in early 2020. The site is located just off Exit 172 of the Garden State Parkway, about 20 miles from the George Washington Bridge and one mile from the New York state border. Mercedes-Benz opted to vacate its former Montvale facility, located at 1 Mercedes Drive, in 2015. The global auto giant had its U.S. headquarters in Montvale since 1972, before relocating to Atlanta. Hekemian is also the owner of the 231,000-square-foot Shoppes at DePriero Farm retail center in Montvale, which is adjacent to the old Mercedes-Benz site. [RE-NJ]

Industrial market stays hot as 2 North Jersey projects move ahead
The former Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne and the former Ballantine Brewery facility in Newark, two key properties in New Jersey’s hot industrial market, pushed forward with key milestones within the past week, RE-NJ reported. Site preparations began last week at the Military Ocean Terminal, a 1.4 million-square-foot waterfront industrial site being developed by Lincoln Equities. NJBIZ reported that the 152.9-acre site has received zoning approvals for four industrial buildings ranging between 150,000 and 477,000 square feet. Lincoln Equities president Joel Bergstein said construction on what is now being called “Lincoln Logistics Bayonne” will commence in 2020, wrap up in two years and potentially create roughly 2,700 jobs. The development is a joint venture with Vancouver-based Global Container Terminals, which operates the 163-acre GCT Bayonne container terminal across the Port Jersey Channel. Lincoln Equities acquired the site last year from Ports of America Group. (Property records show that it traded to Lincoln Equities for $81 million in May 2018.) Cushman & Wakefield, which is marketing the site, said Grow New Jersey tax credits are available for the Lincoln Logistics development. Tax credits for up to 30 years have also been granted within the terminal redevelopment area. In nearby Newark, Turnbridge Equities has recently began marketing through NAI James E. Hanson its 807,000-square-foot Ballantine Industrial Center in the city’s Ironbound section. TRD reported in January on Turnbridge’s $61 million acquisition of the site. [RE-NJ]

Two of Garden State’s top real estate projects tout key updates
A pair of projects recently ranked by TRD as among the largest underway in the Garden State made important announcements within the past week. China Overseas America, which is behind the $1 billion 99 Hudson tower, which at 79 stories is the tallest building in New Jersey, released renderings and updated pricing figures for its development in downtown Jersey City, RE-NJ reported. The developer said the project, designed by Perkins Eastman, will include 65,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities, a 3,000-square-foot swimming pool and a 3,800-square-foot fitness center. Pricing for units at 99 Hudson, which range from studios to three-bedrooms, have been adjusted to start at $552,000, up from the $400,000 in unit pricing at the development when it was topped off last September. About 30 miles south of 99 Hudson, North American Properties’ $2.5 billion development in Sayreville also took a step forward last week. The Ohio-based developer hired a new executive director in Mark Fetah to oversee the 5 million-square-foot Riverton development, which it hopes to break ground upon this year. PGIM Real Estate partnered with NAP in 2017 when the latter acquired the 418-acre site from O’Neill Properties. According to NJBIZ, the site was previously owned by National Lead Paint, which vacated the property in the 1980s. NAP said Riverton will be similar to National Harbor and Wharf, a mixed-used project in Washington, D.C. [RE-NJ]

New Jersey’s priciest home returns to market at a big discount
A 33,000-square-foot estate in Alpine that for the better part of a decade was the most expensive home in the Garden State was relisted last month at $36 million, NJ.com first reported. The property, known as Stone Mansion, first hit the market in 2010 seeking $68 million but has had several price cuts in subsequent years, most recently settling at $39.9 million in 2018 before its listing was pulled. The home at 1 Frick Drive is owned by Richard Kurtz, CEO of Englewood-based developer Kamson Corporation, who carved it out of the 63-acre former Henry Clay Frick II estate he bought in 2006 for $58 million. The home, now listed with Dennis and Dolores McCormack of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International, has 12 bedroom suites, two art galleries, a wine cellar, saltwater pool, tennis court, indoor basketball court and a heated driveway, among other amenities. TRD recently reported on the priciest listings in North Jersey, almost half of which are located in Alpine. [TRD]

Multifamily properties trade in Monmouth, Ocean counties
A total of 45 residential units and 8,317 square feet of retail space across four investment properties traded in Belmar, Toms River and Little Egg Harbor last week, according to ROI-NJ. The Kislak Company, a Woodbridge-based brokerage, represented the seller in all four transactions, which sold for a combined $7.5 million. Kislak said one property at 34-38 Main Street in Toms River consisting of 12 one and two-bedroom units and 5,288 square feet of retail space traded for $2.4 million. Two properties in Little Egg Harbor — a 20-unit condominium property located at 19 Pine Valley and a seven-unit property at 158 Oak Lane — sold for $1.6 million and $975,000, respectively. The largest of the four trades was in Belmar, where six residential units and 3,029 square feet of retail space at 701 Main Street traded for $2.5 million. According to a report from Colliers International, retail asking rents in Ocean County closed last year at an average asking rent of $18.72 per-square-foot. Colliers noted that the Eastern Monmouth County submarket reached the highest average asking rents in Central New Jersey at $26.54 per-square-foot. [ROI-NJ]