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Middle Market Digest – The Northeast

Here is a roundup of the latest leases, sales and other transactions in the Northeast middle markets.

This week by the numbers

Manhattan leasing activity totaled 7.35 million square feet in the fourth quarter of 2017, 10 percent above its five-year quarterly average, bringing annual leasing activity to 28.43 million square feet at year-end, a 24 percent increase from 2016’s total. In its New York City Office Marketviews research, CBRE says the quarterly Manhattan availability rate was 11.5 percent, down 20 basis points from Q3 2017, but unchanged from a year ago. Quarterly net absorption registered 750,000 square feet, bringing the year-end total to negative 544,000 square feet. The average asking rent, at $72.91 per square feet, declined one percent quarter-over-quarter, but was virtually unchanged from a year ago. Sublease availability currently stands at 2.3 percent, down 10 bps from Q3 2017, but up 20 bps year-over-year.

“The fourth quarter capped off a strong year for the Manhattan office market,” says Nicole LaRusso, Director, Research & Analysis, CBRE Tri-State. “A robust economy supported business expansion and gave a boost to leasing activity. Average rents and the availability rate held steady for Manhattan overall, though availability might tick up as more space comes to market this year. With the stimulus provided by the new federal tax law, we may see a boost to corporate demand for space that would prolong economic expansion.”

Deal Tracker Daily

BROOKLYN, NY—GFI Realty Services brokered the $46-million sale of a portfolio of three Brooklyn multifamily properties, comprising a total of 145 rent-stabilized units. Located at 320-328 Ocean Parkway (pictured), 420 Avenue F in Kensington, and 2302 85th Street in Gravesend, the buildings were owned by Jeremias Family Partnership and had been controlled by the Jeremias family for several decades. The properties were purchased by the Hertz family, which recognized the strong location each property had within its submarket, and paid an aggressive $317,000 per unit for the portfolio. The deal was co-brokered by GFI Realty’s Erik Yankelovich, Aron Taub and Isaac Moskowitz and Meridian Capital Group’s Lipa Lieberman, Adam Sprung and Mark Steinmetz, with both firms advising the buyer as well as the seller.

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Albertsons LLC, an affiliate of the parent company of ACME Markets, sold a strip center that included an ACME store at 7010 Germantown Avenue, for slightly more than $5.9 million, or about $152 per square foot, to a joint venture of Fortress Capital Investors and Cardinal Capital Investors in a deal brokered by Marcus & Millichap. Albertsons then leased back the property as part of a 69-property portfolio across the country. Preet Sabharwal, Michael Scali, and Dan Corcoran of Marcus & Millichap’s Manhattan office, had the exclusive listing to market the property.

EXTON, PA—A new Whole Foods Market has opened at PREIT’s Exton Square Mall in Exton, PA. As part of PREIT’s anchor remerchandising initiatives, the new tenant is replacing the former Kmart space to bring a sought-after offering to the well-located property, furthering its transformation into a regional shopping and entertainment destination with a diverse tenant roster. Occupying 55,000 square feet, Whole Foods Market represents the next phase of the property’s ongoing remerchandising.

STAMFORD, CT—Eastern Union Funding has arranged financing of $55.2 million for AJH Management’s acquisition of The Wescott, a 261-unit Class-A apartment community located in Stamford, Connecticut. David Singer, senior vice president at Eastern Union Funding, arranged the seven-year loan through Greystone at an interest rate of 3.564 percent. The total sale price was $67 million. The seller was TH Real Estate, an affiliate of Nuveen, a TIAA company.

PASSAIC, NJ—The residential and commercial real estate firm Stonegate Buildings is planning a $20 million redevelopment of an old warehouse into the South Market Street Lofts, representing the conversion into sixty-three lofts of high-quality design to meet the desires of millennials and creative professionals. The project required a multi-layered process involving numerous private and public agencies. The abandoned building is adjacent to the Greenwood Lake Railway Line, which had not been privately owned since the 1860s, and a former distribution canal turned gravel lot, which was subject to a land lease between The City of Passaic and SUEZ in partnership with North District Water Supply Commission.

FAIRFIELD, NJ—J.G. Petrucci Co. has delivered a 25,000 square feet office building to the Essex Regional Educational Services Commission (ERESC) in Fairfield, New Jersey. The new building will be home to the commission’s administrators who offer a wide range of services to students, families, and communities throughout several New Jersey counties. Since opening its doors in 1979, the ERESC has grown to be the largest educational services commission in the State of New Jersey and turned to J.G. Petrucci to accommodate its need for an energy efficient office building with an improved layout and larger footprint.

LINDEN, NJ—Seagis Property Group has completed a multimillion-dollar renovation of 340 South Stiles Street in Linden, which includes upgrades to the building and grounds at the 504,000-square-foot industrial complex. The privately-held Philadelphia, PA based firm, which owns and operates more than 10 million square feet of industrial buildings in logistically driven locations along the Eastern Seaboard, purchased the property in November 2016. Cushman & Wakefield orchestrated the sale and subsequent rapid lease-up of the port-market asset.

NEW YORK, NY—The Durst Organization and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have signed Fractal Analytics to a five-year lease for a 7,822 square foot prebuilt on the 76th floor of One World Trade Center. Group RMC Corporation has signed a five-year lease for 6,584 square foot prebuilt on the 83rd floor of the building. Fractal Analytics is moving from their corporate headquarters across the river in Jersey City, and Group RMC is relocating from their Financial District offices. Fractal Analytics was represented by Managing Director Lee Barnes of the Woodman Group. The landlord was represented by Director of Commercial Leasing Karen Kuznick of The Durst Organization and Senior Associate Connor Daugstrup of Cushman & Wakefield.  Group RMC was represented by Vice President Zac Price of CBRE, and Karen Kuznick from Durst and Managing Director Peter Trivelas and Executive Director Justin Royce of Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord.

NEW YORK, NY—The new Statue of Liberty Museum officially topped off when its final structural beam was raised in a ceremony on Liberty Island. Slated to open in 2019, the museum is designed by FXFOWLE, ESI Design, and DeSimone Consulting Engineers. This milestone was achieved little more than a year after the project broke ground. DeSimone Consulting Engineers, a leading engineering firm with offices worldwide, worked closely with FXFOWLE, the National Park Service, and the Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation to help create the new cultural facility. In addition to an indoor museum, Lady Liberty’s new 26,000-square-foot center will include a sprawling outdoor plaza and a rooftop terrace with incredible views of the Manhattan skyline. When completed, the structure is anticipated to achieve LEED Gold Certification.

PARSIPPANY, NJ—Commercial Realty Group is nearing completion of a major renovation project at 111 Littleton Road in Parsippany, NJ. The renovations to the building were designed and managed by Paul Newman of Kimmerle Newman. Site renovations were designed and managed by Mario Ionelli and Steve Borghio of Borghio & Dewberry. CRG has retained the services of NAI James E. Hanson, a leading New Jersey-based full-service independent commercial real estate firm, as the exclusive leasing agent for the building. The renovation is slated for completion in 1Q 2018. 111 Littleton Road is a 36,289-square-foot three-story office building in one of the most in-demand office markets in Morris County.

NEW YORK, NY— Jordan Metzger, Matthew Schneid and Elizabeth Navatto from the law firm of Cole Schotz advised Primary, a health and fitness-focused co-working firm on a 48,873-square-feet lease expansion at 26 Broadway, New York, NY. Primary currently operates on the eighth floor of the 32-story Financial District tower and the expansion will add the entire third floor. The co-working space will occupy a total of 73,873 square feet in the building and will use the third floor to accommodate 130 new shared office suites. Primary is a co-working company founded on the basis of introducing elements of health and fitness into a work environment in order to help a workspace community thrive. The co-working space offers unlimited studio classes, bike storage & day lockers, and weekly events, among other member benefits.

WOODBRIDGE, NJ—The Stro Companies leased 11,600 square feet of flex industrial space to Marovato Industries at 2 Amboy Avenue, Woodbridge, NJ. 2 Amboy is a 65,000-square-foot flex industrial facility featuring units 2,000 to 35,000 square feet just off Route 440 near the Outer Bridge Crossing and minutes from the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway, I-287, US 1 and Route 9. The property was redeveloped from a manufacturing facility to multi-tenanted flex industrial facility by Stro in 2008. Marovato is a Brooklyn based provider of pipe support and engineering. The company also operates Marovato Italian Imports, an importer of Italian foods. Marovato leased two units at 2 Amboy to expand their warehouse capacity for both of their business lines. The company selected 2 Amboy Avenue, due its easy access to Brooklyn via the Outer Bridge Crossing. Marovato was represented by Richard Goski and Catherine Goski of NAI DiLeo-Bram & Company, who also represented Stro.

Executive Moves

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Colliers International Philadelphia named Tim Pulte senior executive vice president. Tim will lead and support the continued growth and success of the industrial and office brokerage divisions in Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware. Tim brings more than 31 years of industry experience to Colliers. He previously served as chief operating officer for the Delaware River Port Authority, and held executive positions with GVA Smith Mack, Pulte Homes, GMH Capital Partners, and Grubb & Ellis.

MOUNT LAUREL, NJ—NAI Mertz appointed two new employees to its Pennsylvania offices. Jared Licht will serve as a Sales Associate in its Bucks County, PA, office, and Tila Paris (pictured) will serve as administrative assistant in its Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania office. Matt O’Rorke, Sales Associate, joined the Mount Laurel, NJ team.

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