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Manulife REIT Acquires Secaucus Office Tower for $115M

500 Plaza Drive, Secaucus, NJ 500 Plaza Drive, Secaucus, NJ

SECAUCUS, NJ—Manulife US REIT, a Singapore-listed real estate investment trust, has acquired 500 Plaza Drive, the world headquarters of Quest and The Children’s Place, in Secaucus, New Jersey, for $115 million.

CBRE Institutional Properties announced represented a venture between Marcus Partners and a global institutional partner in the sale. The CBRE team was led by Jeffrey DunneTravis Langer and Jeremy Neuer, and also identified the buyer.

“The newly redeveloped 500 Plaza offers tenants and visitors alike an exceptional work environment, providing both the convenience and amenities demanded by premier organizations and their employees.  Today the property is a unique headquarters-quality facility and we are proud to continue providing property management services under Manulife US REIT’s capable new ownership,” says Paul Marcus, CEO of Marcus Partners.

CBRE has a long history of helping owners trade properties in the Plaza Drive complex. It represented ownership in the sale of 500 Plaza to Marcus Partners and its partner in 2014 for $69 million and previously represented owners selling the neighboring 400 Plaza Drive in 2015, 100 Plaza Drive in 2013 and again in 2016, and 200 Plaza Drive in 2013.

500 Plaza Drive is an approximately 460,000-square-foot class A office tower offering urban convenience within a prime suburban location.  Located at the crossroads of Route 3 and the New Jersey Turnpike, 500 Plaza is accessible via public transportation in approximately 15 minutes from midtown Manhattan.  The property is situated within the iconic 200-acre Harmon Meadows, a 4.4 million square foot amenity-rich environment with numerous restaurants and hotels, more than one million square feet of national and big box retail, a newly developed LA Fitness Club and a 14-screen movie theater.  The “live, work, play” nature of Harmon Meadows will be further bolstered by Hartz Mountain’s development of 470 new apartments, expected to be completed this Fall.

During its ownership tenure, Marcus Partners completed a $17.8 million base building capital improvement program which transformed the property into a state-of-the-art, high quality work environment. The repositioning program included a complete lobby renovation, significant common-area upgrades, creation of a full-service cafeteria, coffee bar, conference center, and high-end fitness center/locker rooms, along with substantial upgrades to both building finishes and grounds. As part of the program, Marcus Partners also constructed a new 222-car parking deck, renovated an 1,100-car parking deck, and created 34 visitor-parking spaces.  Since the renovations were completed, ownership has signed five leases totaling approximately 258,000 square feet, which collectively increased occupancy to 99 percent. Leasing activity included a new world headquarters location for Quest Diagnostics and a renewal of AXA.

“The 500 Plaza acquisition is a ‘win-win’ for new ownership and the Harmon Meadow brand given the enormous improvements made to 500 Plaza, the addition of 470 new apartments and new hotel concepts at Harmon Meadow and Quest’s relocation of their headquarters to 500 Plaza,” says Jeff Dunne. “500 Plaza will also provide Manulife US REIT with a long term stable cash flow stream from an institutional quality tenant roster.”

500 Plaza Drive was the last acquisition in Marcus Capital Partners Fund IMarcus Partners is currently investing its fully discretionary $250 million Marcus Capital Partners Fund II, pursuing a mix of strategic and opportunistic investment strategies.  It is seeking well-located commercial office, medical office, industrial, research and development, and life science properties located along the East Coast.  It currently owns and/or manages a diversified portfolio that includes nearly eight million square feet of commercial real estate.

CORRECTION< 7/20/2017, 8:03 a.m.: Because of incomplete information from the broker, an earlier version of this story omitted Jeremy Neuer of CBRE from the team associated with the transaction.

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