Pearson Signs 200 KSF Office Lease on Hoboken Waterfront

After signing Pearson to a 200,000-square-foot lease at the Hoboken Corporate Center across from New York City, SJP Properties will commence construction of a 500,000-square-foot building to complete its mixed-use complex.

February 9, 2012
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

SJP Properties has lured Pearson away from its current home in Upper Saddle River, N.J., to Waterfront Corporate Center in Hoboken. With the educational media and news publications provider’s new lease agreement for 200,000 square feet at Waterfront Corporate Center III, SJP will commence construction of the 500,000-square-foot building, which will be the final segment of the developer’s 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use complex.

In addition to premier office space, Waterfront III will feature 25,000 square feet of retail space and boast LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. SJP will kick off construction of the building, designed by the architectural firm of HLW International, this fall. Pearson will set up shop on five floors of the 14-story tower.

“We anticipate that the prestige of having a high-caliber company like Pearson make a commitment to Waterfront Corporate Center III will attract additional interest from other companies looking to take advantage of what is the last opportunity to occupy brand new construction on Hoboken’s waterfront,” Jeff Schotz, an executive vice president with SJP Properties, told Commercial Property Executive.

SJP staff represented the real estate company in the lease transaction, while Pearson relied on Richard Berzine & Co. and Jones Lang LaSalle. Pearson will relocate its New Jersey workforce of approximately 900 employees to Waterfront III soon after the property’s completion in the summer of 2014.

Pearson’s impending move will have a much larger impact on the Bergen County office market, the location of Pearson’s current home, than the Hudson Waterfront office market, the site of the company’s future digs. The numbers tell the story. The direct vacancy rate in Bergen County was 16.3 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a report by commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, compared to an enviable 4.4 percent in the Hudson Waterfront area.

Schotz speculates that Waterfront III will do no damage to the submarket’s good numbers. “We expect that companies will be eager to take advantage of the remaining opportunities within the building now that we have announced that the property will be under construction later this year,”he said. “This site is in a phenomenal location near to the Hoboken Terminal, which offers multiple modes of mass transit, as well as all of the lifestyle amenities afforded by downtown Hoboken.”

SJP has a bit of experience in stealing big tenant relocation deals in New Jersey. In spring 2011, SJP and partner Matrix Development Group secured a commitment from Panasonic to move its headquarters in Secaucus to 250,000 square feet at Two Riverfront Center, effectively initiating construction of the 410,000-square-foot office tower.

*This story was updated Feb. 10, 2012, at 7:34 a.m. EST.