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August 18, 2011

$78M Journal Square Building in Jersey Sold to Israeli Investors

August 18, 2011
By Nicholas Ziegler, News Editor

In a $78 million transaction, Israel-based Gaia Real Estate purchased the nine-story 2 Journal Square property in Jersey City, N.J., from Hartz Mountain Industries. The 325,000-square-foot Class A building is fully leased to Broadridge Financial Solutions, a spinoff of ADP, the payroll- and human-resources firm.

Gaia, repped by Cushman & Wakefield’s New Jersey office, has been searching for a suitable investment property in the United States and found its mark in the 1987-era building. “Because Israel is a small country and they don’t have very many investment-worthy properties,” Cushman & Wakefield vice chairman Andrew Merin told Commercial Property Executive, “a U.S. property was where they felt comfortable putting their money.”

And the location, which Marin calls “the sixth borough of New York” due to its proximity to both New York City and a major transportation hub, will likely keep the building at the forefront of desirable properties. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates both bus and train service from the same plaza as the Journal Square property.

“We had previously marketed the property, but we sold it in an off-market situation,” Marin said. “We came to terms at the end of last year but it took some time to work out the details.” And one of those details was rather large: Included in the $78 million purchase price as a $38 million loan assumption. But he sees the sale as a good investment, adding that “the whole cost of doing business in New Jersey is less than it is in Manattan.”

Broadridge’s lease is set to expire in 2018, with a long-term renewal anticipated.

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