UNICOM Global acquired the 1.24 million-square-foot Merck & Co. campus in Readington in October.
For all the buzz around walkable, urban submarkets and higher-density workplaces, our readers have never lost interest in the fate of the Merck property in Whitehouse Station.
I was reminded of that on Jan. 3, when a story about a potential buyer for the complex quickly became the most-read item we’ve ever had on RE-NJ.com. So imagine my excitement when I had a chance to visit the property last month and hear directly from UNICOM Global CEO Corry Hong, whose company had just closed on its purchase of the 1,100-acre campus.
The event was all I could have asked for when it came to meeting the founder of this little-known, California-based IT services company that had come to rescue one of New Jersey’s largest stranded assets. And it quickly became clear that there was much more to this story than the fact that Merck had finally found a buyer (as if that weren’t enough).
As you’ll read in this month’s cover story, Hong was all too candid and all too bullish about his plan for the 1.24 million-square-foot complex, which calls for opening the campus to other tenants and creating a regional hub for technology and innovation. Those plans are still taking shape, but the company is doing far more than simply backfilling office space — and it’s clear that it has a different take on real estate than most other major corporations these days.
Our November issue also dives into another buzzworthy topic — the new federal Opportunity Zone program, which has the potential to drive new investment to distressed neighborhoods. Developers and state officials are gearing up to tap into the program and take advantage of its highly touted tax benefits. Yet they are doing so while trying to balance two key priorities: finding shovel-ready projects that will allow investors to maximize those benefits, while driving capital to challenged areas that may have higher barriers to entry.
Elsewhere in this issue, we showcase a long-awaited plan that will bring a new 199-unit retirement community to Wyckoff and Hawthorne. The project is noteworthy in that it will complete the Christian Health Care Center’s historic 78-acre campus, which spans two counties, while capturing the demand for high-end senior living space in northern New Jersey.
We bring you those stories and more in our November issue. Incredibly, we are quickly approaching the holiday season and what will hopefully be a busy end of the year. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our second-to-last issue of 2018 and continue to rely on Real Estate NJ as your go-to source for commercial real estate news in New Jersey.
As always, we welcome your story ideas, questions and feedback. Enjoy the issue!