NEWARK, NJ—Beijing Ideal Group, a Chinese investment and development firm, has acquired One Newark Center, a class-A, 423,028-square-foot commercial office building in the heart of downtown Newark, from a joint-venture between The Praedium Group and Mack-Cali Realty Corporation.
One Newark Center is strategically located on Raymond Boulevard between McCarter Highway and Mulberry Street, just one block from historic Military Park and Newark Penn Station. The building’s proximity to the train station provides tenants with NJ Transit, PATH and Amtrak service to New York and points along the Northeast Corridor, as well as access to the Newark Light Rail system.
Jones Lang LaSalle capital markets professionals oversaw the sale transaction. All three firms were represented by Joseph Garibaldi and Thomas Walsh, managing directors; Stephen Feinberg, vice president; and Katelyn Borovsky and Heather Lombardi, associates. JLL’s personnel worked closely with Brian Lindenberg, vice president of asset management at Praedium.
“Spurred by Newark’s progressively transforming landscape, One Newark Center was one of New Jersey’s most sought-after investments in 2017,” says Walsh. “Prospective buyer profiles ran the gamut, and included institutional investors, regional operators and even foreign funds.”
The sale includes the sixth through the 22nd floors of One Newark Center, totaling 423,028 square feet. The first five floors are owned and occupied by Seton Hall Law School. The offering also includes a 10-story, 945-space parking structure that is physically connected to the office tower.
“The purchase of One Newark Center demonstrates Beijing Ideal Group’s confidence in the future of Newark and the surrounding region,” says Garibaldi. “The Chinese investment and development company saw great potential in the office tower. The building is well positioned to take advantage of Newark’s tremendous momentum as the city is attracting major corporations such as Broadridge Financial and Mars.”
Investor interest in Newark has never been higher, he noted, as evidenced by the December 2016 sale of the 337,500-square-foot Two Riverfront Plaza to a Kuwait-based investment fund, and the October 2016 sale of the 973,000-square-foot 80 Park Plaza, both of which are located one block from One Newark Center.
“The fact that another international buyer has invested in a Newark office building speaks volumes about the evolution of the market,” says Lindenberg. “The perception of the city continues to improve in the eyes of international investors, attracted by Newark’s connectivity to New York and the rest of the tri-state region.”
Newark’s long-touted renaissance is coming to fruition with a pipeline as diverse as any submarket in New Jersey. Approximately 7,500 residential units have either been built or are under construction within 1,500 yards of One Newark Center, creating a vibrant street life. Following Prudential’s 2012 announcement to develop a world-class headquarters along Broad Street, a number of stalled development projects have either since been completed or are now underway, including Hahne & Co., One Theatre Square, One Riverview, the Carlton Hotel and several others.
Newark is also investing in its green spaces. The city is revitalizing historic Military Park and recently announced that the 22-acre Mulberry Commons will transform acres of surface parking lots into a “High Line-esque” park, bridging the central business district with the Ironbound neighborhood.”
One Newark Center offers a unique amenities package that includes a full-service café, featuring an outdoor patio, and an on-site parking garage for 945 cars. The office building’s location provides tenants with a wealth of retail and restaurant options, and cultural attractions such as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center; the Prudential Center, which will open the new Grammy Music Experience later this year; and the Newark Museum. The 22-story office building was constructed in 1992 and offers easily-divisible floor plates ranging from 22,000 square feet to 26,000 square feet, some with outdoor balconies.