Somerville moves forward with 31-acre transit village, Woodcliff Lake office property sold for $36M & more North Jersey real estate news

TRD TRI-STATE /
Jul.July 02, 2019 06:00 PM

Clockwise from the upper left: Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s penthouse in Hoboken sells for a record-setting sum in the city, a five-acre estate in Cedar Grove returns to market after a hefty price cut, Somerset Development and president Ralph Zucker finalize an $11M purchase of a 31-acre site in Somerville and the Silverman Group is tapped to market an office site in downtown Morristown.

Somerset Development buys 31-acre site in Somerville
New Jersey Transit completed the transfer of ownership Monday of a 31-acre tract in the Borough of Somerville to Somerset Development, the Courier News reported. The Holmdel-based developer, which acquired the land for $11 million, said the site will be home to a new transit village that will include 371 apartments across 14 buildings, 156 townhomes, two parking garages, 4,000 square feet of retail space and a 4,000-square-foot community center. GlobeSt reported that AvalonBay Communities will develop the 370 rentals and a parking facility. Somerset also agreed to lease a subdivided tract to construct and operate a 526-space parking structure for a 37-year term to be shared by NJT commuters and residents. Construction of the parking facility will reportedly begin in 2020, while the overall mixed-use project, known as Somerset Station, should be finished by 2023. The Somerville Planning Board approved Somerset’s purchase of the site in May 2018 after rejecting a number of proposals from other developers. Investors Bank is providing financing for the acquisition. Somerset’s recently acquired tract is part of a larger landfill site being remediated by Somerville, which is in Somerset County. The Real Deal also reported this week on Somerset’s plans to redevelop a former AT&T headquarters near Chicago. [MCJ]

Hartz Mountain unloads Woodcliff Lake office property
The 118,000-square-foot office building at 155 Tice Boulevard in Woodcliff Lake was sold Monday for $36 million to Sheila Properties, NJBIZ reported. According to Cushman & Wakefield, which brokered the transaction on behalf of the seller, Secaucus-based Hartz Mountain Industries, the property is fully occupied by Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai Co., whose Eisai Medical Research unit occupies 160,000 square feet of office space in Woodcliff Lake. The Bergen County deal works out to $305.08 per square foot. A CBRE market report found that the Montvale and Woodcliff Lake submarket had an availability rate of 25.6 percent during the first quarter of this year. Average asking rents in the submarket closed the first three months of 2019 at $27.03 per square foot. Hartz Mountain has been one of the main beneficiaries of the industrial boom in New Jersey, although TRD noted earlier this year that the firm has recently made aggressive strides to position itself as a residential developer in both Secaucus and Jersey City. [NJBIZ]

Ex-New Jersey guv’s Hoboken penthouse sells at record sum
Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s “crash pad” in Hoboken’s Hudson Tea Building traded for a record setting $3.9 million last week, the New York Post reported. The sale of the condominium at 1500 Washington Street, which was rented by the former governor after his 2003 divorce, surpassed the previous record holder for the priciest trade in the city – New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s former home in the same building that sold for $3.55 million last year. Corzine’s former apartment, a 2,820-square-foot penthouse, has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, 13-foot ceilings, loft-style windows, hardwood floors and a kitchen with a wine refrigerator. The penthouse unit, most recently listed at $4.35 million with Paul de Zagon of Berkshire Hathaway Hudson River Properties, was acquired by financier Bill Hearon. The Post noted that Hearon had previously acquired two other Hudson Tea Building units in 2009 and 2013. Toll Brothers City Living is the developer behind the 12-story, 247-unit building, the site of a former Lipton Tea factory until it was converted into rentals during the 1990s. Toll Brothers bought the waterfront property in 2005 and turned it into condos. [TRD]

‘Rock Ledge’ in Cedar Grove relists after 30% price cut
An Essex County estate returned to the market last week at an asking price 32 percent less than just seven months ago, according to JerseyDigs. The eight-bedroom, 14-bathroom home at 32 Club Way in Cedar Grove is situated on 5.35 acres straddling the municipalities of Cedar Grove and Montclair. The owners of the property, known as Rock Ledge, have tapped James Conticello of Keller Williams City Life Realty to oversee a potential sale for the property, which now has an ask of $5.5 million. The 13,200-square-foot home includes an in-law suite, maid’s quarters and a one-bedroom pool house with a living room, fireplace, full kitchen and bath. The residence comes with a wine cellar, sauna, workout room, media room and a life size chess set, according to its listing on Zillow. The property also includes two parking garages, one attached and one detached, which have a total of 16 parking spaces. Rock Ledge is back on the market almost exactly seven months after it was relisted for $8 million. Gawker reported nearly a decade ago that the five-acre estate was marketed by Turpin Realtors while it was under development with an ask of $16.5 million. Property records show that 32 Club Way is owned by Brian Martin, who acquired and consolidated parcels for the estate in 2008. [JerseyDigs]

Silverman Group marketing Morristown built-to-suit office
Jones Lang LaSalle, which closed this week on its $2 billion buy of HFF, has began marketing 110,000 square feet of built-to-suit office space in downtown Morristown, NJBIZ reported. The brokerage is working on behalf of Basking Ridge-based Silverman Group, which hopes to develop new office space atop the existing 27,790 square feet of retail space it owns at 58 South Street and 10 Pine Street. JLL’s Frank Recine, Blake Goodman and Jon Compitello will oversee the assignment, according to NJBIZ. Silverman has planned a 290-space mechanical parking deck on a parking lot already on the property. RE-NJ reported that the developer has tapped Marchetto Higgins Stieve Architects for the site, which will occupy 1.6 acres and will become the first air rights development in Morristown. Morristown Green reported earlier this month that Silverman is suing Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty for allegedly trash-talking the firm’s proposal and, ultimately, killing its plan to bring the Garden State headquarters of global accounting firm Deloitte to South Street. Dougherty allegedly called Silverman a bully for trying to pressure local officials into approving a project he claimed would destroy downtown Morristown. According to research from CBRE, the Morristown submarket had 258,000 square feet of leasing activity in the first quarter of this year, with an availability rate of 22.4 percent and an average asking lease rate of $27.99 per square foot. [NJBIZ]

Developer touts Opportunity Zone site in Newark
A limited liability firm known as Beira Corporation recently began marketing a 33,572-square-foot development site within a designated Opportunity Zone in downtown Newark, one block from the Prudential Center and two blocks from Newark Penn Station. According to JerseyDigs, the tracts at 36-42 Columbia Street, as well as 94, 102, and 104 Green Street, could be redeveloped into a high-rise mixed use residential building being designed by Cedar Grove-based Inglese Architecture + Engineering. Marketing materials from White Plains, New York-based E Realty Advisors, which represents Beira, state that the tract at 36-42 Columbia Street is occupied by a single-story warehouse that sits within Newark’s Downtown Core Redevelopment Plan. It is permitted for a mixed-use building of up to 24 stories and 402 residential units, as well as a six-story base that includes commercial space and parking. Property records indicate the site on Columbia Street was assessed at $1.5 million and last traded for $65,000 in 1983. The development site is located one block from Newark’s Mulberry Commons park project, which will turn several tracts of land into a park fronting Edison Properties’ Ironside Newark warehouse conversion project. Beira’s site, which is seeking $16 million, is also located one block from RPM Management’s Richarson Lofts, which opened in 2012. [Brevitas]

Union County rental communities trade for $13M
Livingston-based brokerage Gebroe-Hammer Associates recently completed two sales totaling 72 rental units in the cities of Plainfield and Summit, GlobeSt reported. Gebroe-Hammer said the largest of the trades it orchestrated was the $12.85 million sale of the 53-unit Beech Spring Apartments rental complex in Summit. Beech Spring Apartments, located at 7 and 10 Beech Spring Drive, occupies 3.59 acres. The garden-style apartment complex consists of one- and two-bedroom duplex layouts about 24 miles from Manhattan. The property was built in 1938 and is located 0.3 miles from the New Providence New Jersey Transit train station. Property records show the site was sold by a limited liability company associated with Passaic-based Madison Hill Properties to an undisclosed buyer. Eight miles south in Plainfield, Gebroe-Hammer traded 19 units at 410-420 Watchung Avenue for $2.9 million. That property includes 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and is located one block from local NJT station. Property records show that Barry Williams, a businessman from Fanwood, sold the property in May to an LLC associated with Lakewood-based OliveTree Management. The brokerage noted that Plainfield has a 54.9 percent renter population and an annual property appreciation rate higher than 90 percent of other municipalities in the Garden State. [GlobeSt]

Jersey City real estate investor charged with mortgage fraud
Anthony Garvin, 49, has been indicted again on charges of running a $30 million mortgage fraud scheme involving properties in Jersey City, Union and elsewhere in New Jersey, NJ.com reported. Garvin, a real estate investor and realtor who resides in Jersey City, had already been indicted two years ago on a conspiracy charge related to a mortgage scheme that allegedly ran from January 2011 through August 2017. Christopher Goodson, a Newark-based lawyer charged at the time with Garvin, pleaded guilty late last year to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Garvin now faces additional charges on five counts of bank fraud and one count of bank fraud conspiracy, according to a statement last week from federal prosecutors in the Garden State. The U.S. Department of Justice claims that Garvin and his co-conspirators obtained fraudulent home equity lines of credit, or HELOC loans, using bogus documents and other falsified information. Mortgage Professional America, citing information released by prosecutors, reported that Garvin engaged in numerous short-sale flips of New Jersey properties that had defaulted on their mortgages. [NJ.com] — Brian Baxter

L+M secures $20M in financing for Newark housing
Larchmont, New York-based L+M Development Partners received $20 million in financing for 270 units of Section 8 housing near Weequahic Park in Newark, Real Estate Weekly reported. The outlet noted that the developer and Prudential Financial struck a deal that will enable the extension of the Section 8 contract for Zion Towers at 515 Elizabeth Avenue. Resources from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Financing Agency, City Community Capital and Wells Fargo were also granted to the developer. According to TAPinto, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs agreed to extend the Section 8 contract for the rental complex for 20 years. The refinancing will enable the developer to carry out $20 million in renovations at the complex, which L+M acquired in 2017. L+M said the loan will help finance new kitchens and bathrooms for every unit, renovations to the lobby, community room, roof repairs, new windows and elevator and air systems upgrades. L+M and Prudential Financial also partnered with Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey to provide support services for 12 one-bedroom units slated for mental health and special needs residents. TAPinto noted that L+M bought the property for $28 million in 2017 from a limited liability company associated with Newark-based Radiant Property Management. L+M recently celebrated the opening of the Walker Building, its 264-unit, mixed-income project at 540 Broad Street in Newark. [REW]


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