The owners of 56 Livingston Ave. recently held a lease signing ceremony with their newest tenant, law firm Connell Foley. — Courtesy: Mountain Development Corp.
By Joshua Burd
The owners of a Roseland office building have leased 71,000 square feet to law firm Connell Foley, bringing another major professional service tenant to the newly renovated property.
The landlords, Mountain Development Corp. and Square Mile Capital Management LLC, announced the lease Monday at 56 Livingston Ave., or 56 at Roseland. Connell Foley is relocating its New Jersey headquarters from another location in the borough, with plans to move into its new space on the first and second floors by late spring.
The firm joins other tenants such as Lowenstein Sandler LLP, a national law firm, and Brown & Brown, the insurance firm.
“Our previous location served as the foundation for the growth of our firm,” Philip F. McGovern Jr., Connell Foley’s managing partner, said in a prepared statement. “In continuing to build our platform for the future, we were attracted to 56 at Roseland as it is a tremendous fit from the standpoint of location, building amenities, services and technological capability.”
McGovern added that Gensler is designing the firm’s “new forward-thinking office space,” which will include 58,000 square feet on the first floor with its main conference rooms, attorney offices and support operations. The 13,000-square-foot second floor will house Connell Foley’s working café, additional offices for the legal team and administrative workspace.
Michael Seeve, president of Woodland Park-based MDC, said the law firm’s decision to relocate its headquarters to the building after 30 years “reinforces the creation of an elite environment for the region’s top professional firms.”
“We are honored to have been chosen by their firm and by Lowenstein Sandler,” Seeve said. “Our world-class professional amenities are designed toward supporting their operations and personnel in a manner unmatched in the market.”
The deals represent a success story for MDC and Square Mile, which acquired the nearly 434,000-square-foot property in 2012 for $20 million. The complex, originally developed by Prudential Financial, later became the headquarters of Organon International before the latter was acquired by Merck in 2009.
MDC and Square Mile recently invested some $50 million in upgrades at the 56-acre property, with an eye toward life-safety generation amenities than ensure 24-hour legal operations for the law firms. In a news release, the owners also said 56 at Roseland includes an optimized data center, revamped heating and cooling infrastructure and other features.
The venture is now enhancing the building’s on-site café with new furniture and flooring, the news release said. The firm also touted a fitness center with a new weight room, cardio/yoga studio and fresh lockers with shower area, along with a green roof.
“This lease transaction announced today demonstrates 56 at Roseland’s standing as one of Northern New Jersey’s premier professional office settings,” said Square Mile Principal Matthew Drummond. “Our venture has modernized and repositioned this irreplaceable asset to serve the top end of the market and we’re pleased to welcome Connell Foley to its new headquarters.”
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is 56 at Roseland’s exclusive leasing agent, the news release said. The professional campus is located on the Interstate 280 corridor and offers accessibility to major highways.
The new lease comes as construction continues at Lowenstein Sandler’s 170,000-square-foot, third-floor space, which the firm will occupy starting next year. MDC and Square Mile touted the new space — designed by Manhattan-based Marner & Associates — as a fully branded “building within a building,” featuring its own tree-lined path named Lowenstein Drive that leads to the firm’s private entryway.
Gary Wingens, Lowenstein’s managing partner, said his firm was “excited to be joined by our colleagues from the Connell Foley firm at 56 Livingston.
“The building offers first class amenities, such as a new high-end gym and dining and catering facilities designed for professional service firms,” Wingens said. “Our people can’t wait for the move in 2017.”