The Crossings at Jefferson Park, 115 South Jefferson Road, Whippany, NJ
WHIPPANY, NJ—With Barclays Capital’s $69 million acquisition of The Crossings at Jefferson Park in Whippany, Vision Real Estate Partners and Rubenstein Partners have completed a benchmark New Jersey suburban office campus transformation. Barclays—an anchor tenant at the 525,000-square-foot, class A property—purchased the asset this week.
In a joint venture partnership, Vision and Rubenstein purchased the Crossings property, 115 South Jefferson Road, in October 2012 from Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management for about $25 million, according to Real Capital Analytics, a proprietary research database.
The firms immediately launched a multi-million-dollar revitalization and rebranding of the 65-acre campus, with a redesign specifically focused on promoting health, wellness, and sustainability.
“From the outset, we recognized the outstanding potential of this property,” says Vision Real Estate Partners’ Sam Morreale, founder and managing partner. “We purchased The Crossings for a smart price and invested significant capital in creating an environment that would attract today’s most discerning office space users. The fact that an existing tenant—particularly such a prominent tenant as Barclays Capital—approached us with the desire to become owner/occupier provides the greatest testament to what we have accomplished.”
The Crossings’ three buildings were renovated as part of the repositioning, including a complete gut and rebuild of the property’s 150,500-square-foot 200 Building, which has since attracted household-name tenants including Arthur J. Gallagher, PSKW and WithumSmith+Brown. The Crossings also serves as home to JP Morgan Chase and Lord Abbett. The buildings all emphasize spaces and services that foster productive, collaborative workplaces.
“Within the suburban New Jersey office market, there are certain well-located properties that have great potential to be remade into second-generation class A assets. We recognized The Crossings is a great example of a property that could be modernized through strategic investment into improvements,” says Stephen Card, principal and Mid-Atlantic regional director for Rubenstein Partners. “We are incredibly proud of the outcome and our ability to attract a global organization like Barclays Capital.”
Vision and Rubenstein also completed the multi-million-dollar adaptive reuse of a former powerhouse structure at The Crossings, introducing a stand-alone amenities center. Aptly named The Powerhouse, the 11,000-square-foot building provides enhanced gourmet food services with indoor and open-air seating; a multi-function business lounge with casual seating and WiFi; and a 2,300-square-foot health and wellness center offering state-of-the-art equipment, free weights, and locker rooms with showers.
The Powerhouse is the centerpiece of the redeveloped campus and furthers The Crossings’ distinctive work/play environment. It is located close to the property’s bike share station and bike storage, and 1.3 miles of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure – which connects directly to Morris County Parks Commission’s Patriots Path.
The 65-acre campus, highlighted by rolling berms, mature trees and abundant landscaping, originally housed a division of ITT and served as a data center for Bear Stearns. It includes enhanced electrical, HVAC and fiber infrastructure. The property is easily accessible from Routes 24 and 10 as well as I-287.
Jones Lang LaSalle’s Tom Walsh and Joe Garibaldi represented Vision Real Estate Partners and Rubenstein Partners in the Crossings sale. Dan Loughlan and Scott Lesh of JLL represented Barclays Capital.
The Crossings is the second major suburban New Jersey office investment recently completed by Vision Real Estate Partners and Rubenstein Partners in the Whippany section of Hanover Township. The companies in late 2016 wrapped up a pioneering, five-and-a-half-year initiative that successfully repurposed and redeveloped a 194-acre former Alcatel-Lucent campus at 67 Whippany Road. The property today houses Bayer Healthcare’s East Coast Headquarters and MetLife Investments’ Global Headquarters.
Together, 67 Whippany Road and The Crossings represent $500 million in total investment volume and 1.9 million square feet of existing and approved corporate space – a boon to the local, regional and state economies.
Both projects included public-private participation, including Grow New Jersey tax credits that helped bring about 5,000 permanent jobs to these projects.
Rubenstein and Vision in 2016 acquired Warren Corporate Center in Warren, NJ, and are investing in an amenity-centric repositioning like they completed at The Crossings. The 176-acre Warren Corporate Center campus, which contains approximately 820,000 square feet in five buildings, sits adjacent to an I-78 interchange.