Boutique Office Asset Trades in Jersey City

American Realty Advisors purchased the 16-story tower for $101 million.
30 Montgomery St., Jersey City, N.J.

30 Montgomery St., Jersey City, N.J.

New York—For $101 million, American Realty Advisors has purchased 30 Montgomery St., a 16-story boutique office tower in the Hudson Waterfront submarket of Jersey City, N.J., the company announced late last week. The 15-story, 315,385-square-foot building is one and a half blocks from the Hudson riverfront and is 71.6 percent leased to 46 tenants, including the Jersey City Department of Housing, Economic Development & Commerce.

The sellers, though not officially disclosed, appear to be Onyx Properties, which acquired the 1973-vintage building in 2006, and Rubenstein Partners. They had invested a reported $25 million in substantial upgrades to windows and the facade and in other renovations in 2012.

The building is located one block from the Exchange Place PATH station, which offers non-stop access to Wall Street in under five minutes, as well as access to New York Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan in under 25 minutes. The location is also near the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line, the New Jersey Transit bus lines and New York Waterway’s Paulus Hook ferry terminal, which provides 10- to 15-minute service to Lower Manhattan and Midtown.

The seller was represented by David Bernhaut, Andrew Merin and Gary Gabriel of Cushman & Wakefield.

American Realty Advisors declined to provide additional information to Commercial Property Executive.

The company reportedly was attracted to the building by its transportation links to Manhattan, access to amenities and position as a lower-rent alternative in “an emerging 18-hour live/work/play location.” American noted the similarities to Fulton Marketplace on Chicago’s Near West Side, where the company recently acquired Google’s Midwest headquarters.

“The Jersey City office market is in the midst of transformation,” Eric Cannon, American’s senior director of the Investment Group, said in a prepared statement. “Historically a back-office operations-concentrated submarket for the financial services industry, the market is becoming a diversified mix of front-office users spanning a variety of fields, including technology, business services, media, consumer products and publishing.”

He also noted that 30 Montgomery’s 21,000-square-foot floor plates stand out in a market dominated by office towers with large floor plates. “We expect this asset to continue to cater to a niche tenant market, offering functionality and identity to the market’s underserved smaller-space office users, as well as an expansive window line with views of the New York City skyline.”

New Jersey’s unemployment rate as of February was 4.3 percent, versus a nationwide rate of 4.9 percent, according to a first-quarter report from Transwestern. The 24-million-square-foot Hudson Waterfront submarket absorbed nearly 400,000 square feet in the first quarter, per the same report, and the submarket’s average vacancy is 10.6 percent, compared with the statewide average of 16.0 percent.