PNC Bank Renews 131 KSF of New Jersey Office Space

PNC Bank has decided to stay put at its longtime digs in East Brunswick, N.J., with the signing of a 131,400-square-foot lease at Two Tower Center Blvd.

January 23, 2012
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

PNC Bank has decided to stay put at its longtime digs in East Brunswick, N.J., with the signing of a lease renewal at Two Tower Center Blvd. The bank will maintain its 131,400-square-foot regional headquarters office in the 400,000-square-foot building.

Commercial real estate services firm CBRE Group, tapped by Sentinel Real Estate Corp. to act as the 24-story tower’s leasing agent last year, signed PNC to a long-term deal that included the bank’s switching of its offices from the 19th floor to the ninth. Along with PNC, CBRE represented the landlord in SorinRoyerCooper’s lease renewal and expansion, which took the law firm from 5,400 square feet to roughly 19,500 square feet. Additionally, the CBRE signed Merrill Lynch to a new lease for 8,800 square feet.

“Both tenants extended their lease agreements solely because of the high quality of this exceptional asset and Merrill Lynch was indicative of the ‘flight-to-quality’ we are seeing throughout the market,” Joseph Sarno, an executive vice president with CBRE, said. Two Tower Center, sited on 4.6 acres within a three-building complex featuring a hotel and an additional office structure, includes such coveted extras as a seven-level parking facility, an onsite cafĂ© and an onsite bus hub providing a convenient transit option for the approximately 40-mile trip to and from Manhattan.

Retention is key for office property owners in a market where occupancy levels are anything but high and options are abundant. The current overall vacancy rate is 28.7 percent in the Brunswick/Piscataway submarket, and 24.4 percent in the State of New Jersey, as per a report by commercial real estate services firm Newmark Knight Frank, which represented PNC in the lease transaction. There is a bit of rosy news in the Garden State; while the office market recorded negative absorption for 2011, the fourth quarter brought a ray of sunshine with just more than 240,000 square feet of positive absorption.