Location Key for Planned New Jersey Office Redevelopment

Banking on an advantageous location to attract tenants in a shaky economy, The Hampshire Cos. purchased a 98,400-square-foot, four-story office building on a little more than 19 acres in Iselin, N.J. Hampshire Global Partners, an entity controlled by The Hampshire Cos., plans to re-develop and upgrade the office building and develop the rest of the site. “The new owners plan to redevelop the property. They will turn the existing building into a Class A property. It is currently C or D. They’ll do that now and develop the balance later,” Jeffrey Dunne (pictured), vice chairman in CB Richard Ellis’ New York Institutional Group, told CPN. Dunne and colleague Kevin Welsh, along with Jeffrey Babikian to represent the seller on the deal, Siemens Shared Serivces L.L.C.The location of the site right on a major rail line providing good mass transit in a strong office market made this acquisition attractive, Dunne said. The property is currently approved for 474,000 square feet of Class A office. “It has reasonably sized floor plates and a good location in a strong mass transit-oriented submarket and there is nothing quite like it available in the area,” Dunne added. “They risk [the buyer is] taking is in the refurbishment. Right now, it is tired and doesn’t match up with the quality in that park. It will be like a new building.” The property’s location near the Metropark train station–the largest mass transit hub in the state–was a definite drawing card, Dunne said. “For certain types of tenants, they can hop a train and be in Philly, New York, among many other locations in short order. They can walk out of the office building 100 yards to get on the train,” he added. Among tenants in the area are a number of Fortune 500 corporations including Cisco Systems, IBM, JP Morgan, Microsoft, Prudential and Wachovia. A 200-room Hilton Hotel and Conference Center are also located across from the site. A master plan for the newly acquired property includes a phased strategy for the site along with a repositioning of the existing building and a proposed new second building, according to information from the buyer. The renovated and expanded existing building will become the new gateway to The Hampshire Cos.’ development site. The design will focus on creating a signature image for the building and future complex. The expansion will create a 110,000-square-foot four-story Class A office space that will be the first step toward future development. The building is also pursuing LEED Silver certification, according to company information.