C&W Arranges $104M Financing for NJ Office Campus Buy

The property in Hopewell consists of three Class A buildings adding up to 553,941 square feet.
1300 Merrill Lynch Drive in Hopewell, N.J.
1300 Merrill Lynch Drive in Hopewell, N.J.

Hopewell, N.J.—An affiliate of Capital Commercial Investments Inc. has received $103.6 million in financing to acquire 1300, 1350 and 1400 Merrill Lynch Drive in Hopewell.

Overall, the property consists of three Class A office buildings adding up to 553,941 square feet within a larger campus consisting of a total of 1,788,961 square feet in 12 Class A buildings.

Cushman & Wakefield served as the exclusive advisor for CCI and arranged financing through affiliates of Barclays and Morgan Stanley.

“Arguably, the nicest built, highest quality and amenitized Class A office building in the entire Princeton market is the Merrill Lynch Drive Hopewell Campus,” John Alascio, Cushman & Wakefield’s executive director of equity, debt & structured finance, told Commercial Property Executive. “The idea that you could buy that property at a significant discount to replacement cost and still have a number of years left of remaining term from an investment-grade tenant, was appealing.”

Situated in the amenity-rich Princeton/Route 1 submarket, the property is currently 100 percent net leased to Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corp. through November 30, 2024.

“The buyer believes this is a core asset for the tenant and they will have a long-term commitment,” Alascio said. “There are a lot of misnomers about the state of the office market in New Jersey, but the reality is that the Princeton submarket continues to be one of the best performers in the state. Class A market vacancy is sub-12 percent. Princeton offers a lot of diversified companies, from pharma to finance to technology, and continues to be a thriving market.”

The campus was originally constructed more than 15 years ago for Merrill Lynch and features amenities such as structured parking, multiple cafeterias and an indoor basketball court.

According to Alascio, the Barclays and Morgan Stanley teams delivered a seamless execution for the borrower, understanding both the business plan as well as the best-in-class nature of the asset and larger market analysis.

Image courtesy of Yardi Matrix