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The 10 Biggest Real Estate Deals In New Jersey In The Past Year

The past 12 months in New Jersey have been a continuation of yearslong trends favoring industrial and multifamily assets. Vacant land potentially usable for distribution centers has been increasingly hard to come by, and access to New York City remains king. 

We've rounded up the 10 largest real estate transactions by price in the state to give a brief snapshot of investor behavior at the top of the market. All sale prices and transaction closing dates come from the Reonomy platform.

10. 300 Kimball Drive, Parsippany

The office building at 300 Kimball Drive in Parsippany, N.J.

In March, State Farm Insurance sold the 400K SF office building it once occupied at 300 Kimball Drive in Parsippany for $66M to a private buyer identified in property records as 300 Kimball NJ LLC.

State Farm had owned and occupied the building since it was constructed in 2001, before vacating in stages starting in 2013, renovating and leasing what space it gave back, Real Estate Weekly reports.

HFF represented State Farm in the transaction, and said it received significant interest from both private equity advisers and high net worth individuals, intrigued by the value-add upside in a recently renovated, 78% occupied building, REW reports.

9. 987 Broad St., Newark

The lot at 987 Broad St. in Newark, N.J.

On April 17, a private buyer paid $69.3M for a plot of vacant land at 987 Broad St. in downtown Newark under the name Nevada Street Urban Renewal LLC. The same company had already applied for development permits for a mixed-use project including "affordable assisted living," medical facilities, child care and urban day care, Jersey Digs reports.

Nevada Street Urban Renewal's business address is listed at the 24th floor of 200 Vesey St. in Manhattan, which Jersey Digs reports is the office for developer Jonathan Rose Cos., a developer of mixed-income housing projects that touts its commitment to social and neighborhood responsibility on its website.

8. Gateway Center, Newark

One Gateway Center, part of the Gateway Center office complex in downtown N.J.

The acquisition of One Gateway Center in Downtown Newark's placement on this list is slightly misleading, as the office tower and its $70.2M purchase price were part of a larger deal to consolidate the ownership of the entire Gateway Center office complex. 

A joint venture of Onyx Equities, Garrison Investment Group, Taconic Capital Advisors and Axonic Capital acquired One, Two and Four Gateway Center at the end of 2018 in the state's largest office transaction in 2018, according to GlobeSt. The total transaction was valued at $300M for the 1.6M SF development, The Real Deal reports.

Onyx has taken the management position in the JV, and will undertake renovations to several elements, including the busy PATH station concourse at the base of the complex. Onyx also leased 8K SF in One Gateway for its own offices in June, Jersey Digs reports.

7. Country Club Plaza, Paramus

Country Club Plaza, an office complex located at 115 West Century Road in Paramus, N.J., as of October 2018

Garrison Investment Group and Onyx Equities, in a separate joint venture than the one that purchased Gateway Center, sold the 304K SF office complex called Country Club Plaza in Paramus in November, RE-NJ reports. The two buildings of the complex are located at 115 and 117 West Century Road, and sold for a combined price of $74M to Premium Capital Resources.

Garrison and Onyx bought Country Club Plaza in 2016 for $33.2M, according to Reonomy data, and sunk over $3M into renovating the complex. It turned out to be a rousing success, as it achieved 250K SF in new leases, bringing the property to 97% occupancy, according to RE-NJ. The leasing success led to the JV doubling its initial investment less than three years later.

6. 198 Van Vorst St., Jersey City

The apartment building at 198 Van Vorst St. in the Paulus Hook neighborhood of Jersey City as of July 2018

In January, Equity Residential purchased the multifamily development at 198 Van Vorst St., blocks away from the Morris Canal waterfront in the Paulus Hook neighborhood of Jersey City, Multi-Housing News reports. The 131-unit property was completed in 2013 and was 92% leased as of December, according to MHN.

Equity Residential did not disclose the price at which it acquired the property from institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, but Reonomy data —which scrapes from public records — lists the sale price for the Jan. 9 transaction as $77.05M.

5. FedEx distribution center, Trenton

The FedEx distribution center at 584 U.S. Highway 130 in Trenton, N.J.

In October, Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp. announced the purchase of a 347K SF, new construction distribution center at 584 U.S. Highway 130 within the city limits of Trenton, New Jersey, for $85.2M. Reonomy data lists the seller as a subsidiary of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Suncap Property Group.

The distribution center was net-leased to FedEx in 2018 for 15 years, giving the property long-term stability in an industry that has yet to truly feel the effects of tariff-driven price increases or a dip in the investment cycle.

4. The Jordan, Hoboken

The Jordan, a new construction apartment building at 1200 Clinton St. in Hoboken, N.J.

Nearly a year ago, 109 Holdings LLC sold the apartment building at 1200 Clinton St. in Hoboken to 1200 Clinton Equity LLC for $87.5M, Reonomy data shows. reported in September of 2017 that 109 Holdings was developing the property, which was already mostly occupied and nearly complete at the time.

In 2016, a joint venture of Ursa Development Group and Fields Development Group opened up leasing at 1200 Clinton St., a six-story, block-long apartment building called The Jordan, Jersey Digs reports. The 159-unit project sat on the site of a former coal burning plant that was decontaminated in 2013.

3. Distribution center, Monroe Township

A satellite view of the distribution centers along Interstate 95 at Davidson's Mill Road in Monroe Township, N.J.

In September, Zurich Alternative Asset Management purchased a 733K SF distribution center in Monroe Township from The Morris Cos. for $99.5M, NAI Hanson told RE-NJ. The property is the largest of a group of three warehouses at 355-375 Davidson's Mill Road, sitting right beside the New Jersey Turnpike.

The Monroe Chamber of Commerce lists 355 Davidson's Mill Road as the address for Wakefern Food Corp., a supermarket conglomerate that owns brands like Shop-Rite and the Fresh Grocer. Wakefern says it is the largest private employer in New Jersey.

2. Park 80 West, Saddle Brook

Park 80 West, the office building at 250 New Pehle Ave. in Saddle Brook, N.J.

Brooklyn-based Galil Management purchased the office complex called Park 80 West in Saddle Brook, a suburb 10 miles northwest of Manhattan, Commercial Observer reported. Park 80 West Owner LLC paid $115.5M for the property in a transaction that closed Aug. 28, according to Reonomy data.

To finance the transaction, Galil obtained a $103M CMBS financing package led by Wells Fargo, CO reports. The new ownership plans $11M in capital improvements for the building, with CBRE leading leasing efforts.

1. Soho Lofts, Jersey City

The Soho Lofts apartment building in Jersey City

The priciest acquisition in New Jersey in the past 12 months unsurprisingly came from the hottest asset class in the hottest submarket in the state.

AEW sold the 377-unit Soho Lofts to Roseland Residential Trust, the multifamily subsidiary of Mack-Cali Realty, NJBIZ reports. HFF brokered the $263.8M transaction, which closed April 1. The multi-tower building was completed in 2018 and sits right outside the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.

The deal closed mere weeks before minority investor Bow Street began agitating for a sale of Mack-Cali’s office properties, with the goal of spinning off Roseland into a separate REIT. The proxy battle culminated in Mack-Cali shareholders appointing four new board members handpicked by Bow Street in June.

How Mack-Cali’s strategy shakes out over the next few months will give insight into Bow Street’s thinking, but most consider multifamily the more valuable of the REIT’s two portfolios.