75 Livingston Ave. in Roseland — Courtesy: Bergman Real Estate Group
By Joshua Burd
A joint venture has acquired a Roseland office building from Mack Cali Realty Corp., with plans to invest more than $1.5 million to improve the 94,000-square-foot property.
The buyers, Bergman Real Estate Group and Gottesman Real Estate Partners, announced Monday that they had closed on 75 Livingston Ave. as part of their fourth joint venture. They now expect to upgrade the building over the next 24 months, seeking to capitalize on its location directly off Interstate 280 and easy access to the region’s major highways.
Terms were not disclosed. Michael DiFede, director of acquisitions for Bergman, and Patrick Leary, vice president of Gottesman Real Estate Partners, represented the firms in their acquisition. TriState Capital Bank, represented by Senior Vice President Alex Fatenko, provided acquisition financing.
“Our two firms’ philosophy is to invest in well-located, undervalued assets with long term growth potential,” said Michael Bergman, CEO and president of Bergman Real Estate Group, which is based in Woodbridge. “We see 75 Livingston as an ideal addition to our growing portfolio of suburban office buildings that are ripe for repositioning.”
The three-story building was 67 percent occupied at the time of the acquisition and is leased to local law firms and other professional businesses. Sitting on 7.5 acres at Livingston Avenue and Becker Farm Road, the property was originally built by Bellemead Development Corp. in the mid-1980s as part of a nine-building, 1.2 million square-foot office campus known as 280 Corporate Center.
Bergman and Gottesman now plan to spend more than $1.7 million on upgrades to the lobbies and restrooms, a new on-site café with seating and newly paved parking lots, the firms said in a news release. Plans also call for new exterior monument signage, a bike-share program, electric charging stations, rooftop solar panels and possibly a fitness center.
Bergman added that the planned improvements will create a building that “supports a healthy work and play balance” and tap into the demand for suburban office buildings with amenities. “Historically, 75 Livingston has always been an attractive property and location,” Bergman said. “Companies want to be close to the metro markets of New York City and Newark, but equally important, convenient to some of the nicest suburban communities in New Jersey. There is also public bus transportation to Newark, Manhattan and several other local town destinations.”
They touted the building’s location less than a quarter-mile from a four-way interchange of I-280, with access to the Garden State Parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike and other highways.
“Our firms share a similar vision — to identify and acquire unique, underperforming investment opportunities and to work really hard at repositioning and stabilizing the asset and for the long term benefit of our tenants,” said Andy Gottesman, CEO of Gottesman Real Estate Partners. “Our strong partnership and hands-on ownership approach has resulted in several successful turnarounds of similar properties, and we are looking forward to doing the same for 75 Livingston.”