The Birch Group is planning a series of upgrades at 51, 101, 103 and 150 JFK Parkway in Short Hills, including updates to lobbies, cafes, common areas and restrooms. — Courtesy: The Birch Group
By Joshua Burd
The Birch Group is providing a first look at its plans to renovate four well-known office buildings in Short Hills after acquiring the nearly 830,000-square-foot portfolio last year.
The firm, which has tapped JLL as its leasing agent, is slated to invest more than $10 million to update lobbies, cafes, common areas and restrooms across 51, 101, 103 and 150 JFK Parkway, according to a news release. It also plans to include additional walking paths for increased connectivity to and walkability to The Mall at Short Hills, as it looks to draw new tenants to a portfolio known as The Collection at Short Hills.
“As one of the most affluent suburban office submarkets in the country, Short Hills is well-known for its established prestige, and we’re confident The Collection at Short Hills will not only continue to meet but also surpass the heightened expectations of the regional tenant base,” said Mark Meisner, The Birch Group’s president and founder. “Investing in tailored approaches to asset management is a hallmark of our strategy and we enacted an individualized improvement program specific to this submarket, which zeroed in on optimized work environments, top-tier building management, and luxury amenities. We look forward to officially unveiling The Collection at Short Hills, a truly one-of-a-kind office experience.”
Based in Nyack, New York, the investment firm acquired the portfolio for $255 million from the former Mack-Cali Realty Corp. The previous owner had completed more than $15.2 million in renovations prior to the spring 2021 deal, capitalizing on one of the state’s highest-end suburban submarkets for office space.
The Birch Group now plans to further reposition the 828,422-square-foot portfolio off Route 24, while marketing spaces as large as 123,000 square feet, at 103 JFK Parkway. It’s doing so with a JLL team that includes executive managing directors Tim Greiner and Frank Recine, Senior Vice President Brendan McBride and Associate Vice President Mike Pietrowicz.
The team is pitching the space with the potential to offer a new lobby, outdoor roof deck and entry pergola for prospective tenants.
“We see 103 JFK Parkway as one of the best opportunities in the market for companies looking for a trophy-quality headquarters location,” Greiner said. “As the world gets back on its feet and as companies look to return to the office, there is demand for high-end, well-located and fully amenitized space that creates a compelling environment for both clients and employees.”
Existing tenants at The Collection at Short Hills include Citibank, Investors Bank, KPMG, Bank of America, UBS, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo. Those users already have access to features such as private terraces, outdoor spaces, high-end finishes, landscaped outdoor spaces, modern security systems and comfortable lounge areas.
“Over the past few years, there has been a demographic shift to the suburbs and the migration of this talent pool represents an extraordinary opportunity to meet demand for prime office assets as companies place a renewed interest in providing top-notch office experiences for employees,” said Chris DeLorenzo, an executive vice president with The Birch Group. “As one of the largest office owners in New Jersey and a prolific leader in the tristate area, The Birch Group set out to create a distinct community brand in Short Hills due to its unparalleled local and regional highway access, proximity to private country clubs, high-end hospitality, and other conveniences that you simply can’t find elsewhere.”