The Real Deal Tristate

Sale closes on 718-acre Meadowlands site that Trump sought to develop, Morristown office property gets $54M loan & more North Jersey real estate news

By Mario Marroquin | June 18, 2019 05:45PM

Clockwise from the upper left: Investors clinch $43M Kingsland Tract acquisition, Bow Street wins four seats on Mack-Cali’s board of directors, Strategic Real Estate secures $54M in financing to buy a Morristown office complex and East Brunswick’s One Tower Center sells for $38M to Edison-based American Equity Partners.

Russo, Forsgate close on $43M industrial tract purchase
Developers Forsgate Industrial Partners and Russo Development have finalized their $42.5 million acquisition of a former Bergen County landfill that they plan to turn into an industrial complex for e-commerce, NorthJersey.com reported. The 718-acre site spanning Lyndhurst, North Arlington and Rutherford is where Russo and Forsgate plan to erect a 3 million-square-foot logistics center after winning a competitive bidding process for the land from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority in 2015. Russo and Forsgate said the site, known as the Kingsland Tract, has been zoned to accommodate up to six buildings, with initial deliveries slated to start in late 2021. The land was part of a failed $1 billion development by EnCap Golf Holdings of Florida in 1999 that President Donald Trump sought to rescue a decade later after it went into default. Trump’s development effort with North Carolina-based Cherokee Investment Partners similarly failed and the joint venture project was nixed by the Meadowlands Commission in 2008. CBRE represented the NJSEA on the latest deal with Teterboro-based Forsgate and Carlstadt-based Russo. According to data from JLL, the Meadowands submarket had 59.7 million square feet of industrial space with an average asking rent of $11.66 per square foot during the first quarter of this year. [NorthJersey.com]

Morristown office property snags $54M loan
Strategic Real Estate secured a 10-year, interest-only loan from Morgan Stanley this week to finance its acquisition of an office property in Morristown, NJBIZ reported. A debt and structured finance team at CBRE led by James Gunning, Donna Falzarano and Kyle Saviano sourced the financing and arranged the $53.6 million loan to cover the sponsor’s prior all-cash buy of the 320,274 square-foot office complex at 445 South Street in Morristown. Travelers Insurance, Covanta Energy Corporation and Arch Reinsurance Company are current tenants at the property, which is located just off I-287 and less than 2.5 miles from the Convent New Jersey Transit station. Property records show that the site last traded to a limited liability company associated with China Construction America in April 2013 for $70.1 million. Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based investment manager Keystone Property Group began marketing a 487,000-square-foot Morristown office complex nearby at 412 Mount Kemble for $95 million in April. According to JLL, average direct asking rents in the Route 24 submarket reached $34.51 per-square-feet for Class A product during the first quarter of 2019, while vacancy stood at 22.5 percent. [NJBIZ]

Mack-Cali looks to future after board battle ends
Jersey City-based Mack-Cali Realty confirmed Tuesday that activist investor Bow Street had won four seats on its board of directors after a months-long proxy fight, GlobeSt reported. Four of Mack-Cali’s current directors opted not to seek reelection during the real estate investment trust’s annual meeting on June 12. That led Bow Street to install four of its chosen candidates, a move that National Real Estate Investor reported could eventually led to a potential sale of Mack-Cali or a major disposition of assets. Bow Street became embroiled in a campaign for change at Mack-Cali in March after the REIT rejected a $2.4 billion takeover bid that would have spun off a suburban office portfolio into a new REIT. As previously noted by The Real Deal, Mack-Cali formed an independent committee in May to explore its strategic options, including a potential sale. Mack-Cali’s outgoing directors — Nathan Gantcher, David Mack, Alan Philibosian and Vincent Tese — will be replaced by advisory firm CEO Alan Batkin, French businessman Frederic Cumenal, former Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin and Nori Gerardo Lietz, a Harvard Business School lecturer and president of real estate advisory firm Areté Capital. Mack-Cali, which has shaken up its executive ranks in recent years, sold an office-flex portfolio in Westchester County for $487.5 million in March. [TRD]

East Brunswick’s One Tower Center trades for $38M
The tallest office building in Central Jersey sold this week to American Equity Partners, NJBIZ reported. The 23-story building in East Brunswick, known as One Tower Center, is 39 percent occupied by tenants such as First Choice Loan Services, Prudential and accounting firm Withum, according to CBRE Group, which brokered the deal on behalf of the seller and procured the buyer. The 415,743-square-foot building, whose price per square foot pencils out to roughly $91, had been owned by Boston Properties. The new owner, Edison-based AEP, intends to improve and reposition the property, which is part of the three-building Tower Center complex that includes the East Brunswick Hilton. Two Tower sold separately for $60 million in late 2015, according to NJBIZ. Boston Properties, a fast-growing real estate investment trust, said it had agreed to unload One Tower in April after shortening its hold period. One Tower is located on a 14-acre site immediately adjacent to the New Jersey Turnpike and U.S. Routes 1 and 18. [TRD]

River Edge luxury rental complex in Garfield for sale
Cushman & Wakefield is marketing the 104-unit River Edge rental complex in Garfield on behalf of Jersey City-based C6 Capital Partners, NJBIZ reported. The 3.4-acre property, located less than half a mile from the Garden State Parkway and Route 46 and two miles from the Plauderville New Jersey Transit station, is currently 98 percent leased. The complex consists of a pair of four-story buildings that include studio, one- and two-bedroom units. C6 Capital, which bought River Edge two years ago when it was built for roughly $27 million, is now reportedly looking to trade the complex for $35 million. Cushman said in marketing materials for River Edge that its units “feature nine-foot ceilings and spacious floor plans with high-quality finishes, including stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, hardwood floors, and individual washer and dryers.” River Edge’s other amenities include an outdoor swimming pool with a tanning area, an outdoor patio, covered parking, fitness center, package concierge services and a virtual doorman. [NJBIZ]

NKF hired to help reposition Woodland Park office campus
Woodland Park-based developer Mountain Development Corporation is looking to create a blank canvas for companies seeking technologically advanced office space at its 101,880-square-foot office complex in Woodland Park, according to ROI-NJ. MDC has tapped Newmark Knight Frank to market 5 Garret Mountain Plaza, where the developer reportedly looking to add a rooftop deck overlooking the Ramapo Mountains. MDC, which has been marketing the site since 2017, is seeking a single tenant to occupy over 50,000 square feet at the property. The building was 100 percent leased to Cytec Industries until two years ago, when the chemical technologies company left following its $5.5 billion acquisition by Brussels-based Solvay. According to JLL, total vacancy in the Route 80 and 23 submarket ended the first quarter of this year at 24.3 percent. 5 Garret Plaza was built in 1984 in the midst of an office construction boom in the Garden State. [ROI-NJ]

NJ multifamily properties get Fannie, Freddie financing
Progress Capital secured $23.4 million in refinancing this week for a 96-unit development in Union City, RE-NJ reported. An unnamed developer received the nonrecourse financing for its Hudson County property at 115-129 37th Street, a residential development known as Hudson Heights. The financing, underwritten by Red Capital and sourced from Fannie Mae, comes with a rate under 4 percent for 10 years with interest only for three years, according to RE-NJ. Property records show that the parcel was last sold for $1.7 million in July 2012 to a Clifton-based limited liability company. Elsewhere in Hudson County, NJBIZ reported last week that real estate lender Procida Funding had provided an $18.5 million construction loan for a new micro-apartment building in Jersey City. Meanwhile, in Bergen County, the regional arm of Minneapolis-based NorthMarq Capital arranged $44.43 million in refinancing for a 516-unit residential portfolio in Little Ferry, according to NJBIZ. The loans from NorthMarq were arranged by the borrower via its relationship with Freddie Mac and were structured with seven-year terms and two years of interest-only payments followed by a 30-year amortization schedule. [RE-NJ]

KRE, Ironstate unveil 549-unit Jersey City rental tower
Ironstate Development and KRE Group announced last week a preview leasing period for their new 46-story apartment tower in downtown Jersey City, NJBIZ reported. The 549-unit rental building at 235 Grand Street, designed by HLW with interiors from Bentel & Bentel, is rising on the site of a former Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County. The latter moved in 2014 to a new facility at 18 Park View Avenue, a 422-unit building in Jersey City also developed by Ironstate and KRE. Last week the co-developers of 235 Grand, as their project is known, touted a new website and renderings for the building, which expects to open its doors for occupancy in September. The Real Deal caught up with Ironstate co-founder Michael Barry earlier this year to discuss his firm’s development endeavors in the Tri-State area. [NJBIZ] — Brian Baxter