Executives with Denholtz Associates and Bytech International joined local officials on Friday, Sept. 15, to cut a ceremonial ribbon at 655 Howard Ave. in Franklin. — Courtesy: Denholtz Associates
By Joshua Burd
A formerly vacant, dilapidated industrial building in Somerset County has found new life after more than 15 years, following a renovation and environmental cleanup by Denholtz Associates.
The real estate development and investment firm recently marked the completion of the project at 655 Howard Ave. in Franklin, a 75,000-square-foot building that is now home to an electronics accessories distributor. The redevelopment, which spanned less than a year, culminated with Denholtz selling the property to the occupier, Bytech International.
Both firms joined local officials last week to mark the opening of the rejuvenated property.
“Since day one, Denholtz Associates has recognized the importance of an investment strategy built around responsible, community-focused investments,” said Steven Denholtz, CEO of Denholtz Associates. “We have always sought to bring value back to our local communities through our projects and 655 Howard Avenue is no different.
“The project shows how an investment firm and municipality can work together on an adaptive reuse project that is truly a win-win proposition for everyone involved.”
Previously a stainless steel manufacturing facility for Acme Tube Co., 655 Howard Avenue was left to deteriorate for more than 15 years with significant environmental and structural issues, Denholtz said in a news release. But the Matawan-based firm acquired the building after seeing it as a potential investment opportunity, prompting it to work with township officials, the state Department of Environmental Protection, the previous owners and several highly experienced contractors to reposition the property.
The project called for remediation and an investment of $1.5 million that included a new roof, heating, lighting, landscaping, electrical systems, parking lot and paint. Denholtz hailed the finished product as not only a successful investment for its team, but a valuable ratable for Franklin Township and the new home for a growing business.
“655 Howard Avenue is a perfect distillation of the Denholtz investment strategy: finding projects that present an opportunity to unlock value where many others do not see it and leveraging our significant in-house capabilities to execute them,” said Steve Cassidy, president of Denholtz Associates. “This strategy has guided our company for over 65 years and will continue to guide us as we search for opportunities that enable us to deliver superior, risk-adjusted returns to our investors and meaningful projects to local communities.”