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On Same Day It is Sold, Duff & Phelps Says It's Remaining in Morristown, NJ, Lease

Headquarters Plaza, Morristown, NJ Headquarters Plaza, Morristown, NJ

MORRISTOWN, NJ—Duff & Phelps is staying in Morristown, even as the company announced its sale earlier today (Nov. 1) by a consortium of investors.

The New York-based corporate valuation and investment advisory firm has renewed its 33,000-square-foot office lease at Headquarters Plaza in Morristown. A long-time tenant at the downtown Morristown office tower, the financial services firm occupies two full floors at the 571,000-square-foot property.

Duff & Phelps said earlier today that a company backed by the Permira funds has agreed to acquire Duff & Phelps for $1.75 billion. Selling equity holders include The Carlyle Group, Neuberger Berman, the University of California’s Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents and Pictet & Cie. As part of the transaction, the Duff & Phelps management team will maintain a significant equity stake in the firm and will continue to lead the company in their current roles. The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

“This renewal followed a methodical process in which we carefully examined alternatives within the larger Morris County market,” says Richard Mirliss, who led the Colliers International NJ team that co-brokered the transaction. “Ultimately, Morristown’s CBD amenities – from restaurants and shopping to mass transit – are a major driver in the firm’s ability to attract and retain talent. Headquarters Plaza, itself, has a full-service Hyatt Regency Hotel, a 35,000 square-foot fitness center with pool, a 10-screen AMC movie theater and onsite, covered parking.”

Colliers International NJ and JLM Partners co-brokered the transaction as tenant representatives. In addition to Mirliss, the Colliers team included Richard J. Madison, Alex Vitro and Jack Callahan, based in Parsippany, NJ, and Dan Arends and David Burden, based in Chicago; along with Jim McCormick from Washington DC-based JLM Partners.

As landlord representatives, Robert Donnelly Jr. and Ben Brenner from Cushman & Wakefield serve as exclusive agents for Headquarters Plaza, which is owned by the Olnick Organization and Fisher Development Associates.

Mirliss notes a lack of available big-block space in Morristown continues to present a supply/demand challenge. “Morristown has very few availabilities that meet larger tenant requirements,” he says. “Based on Duff & Phelps’ current and anticipated needs, it really proved to be the best fit for today and can also accommodate future expansion.”

CORRECTION, 11/01/2017, 2:13 p.m.: An earlier version of this article did not reflect the news of Duff & Phelps’ sale by Carlyle Group and other investors.

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