Two Riverfront Plaza in Newark, the home of Panasonic Corp. of North America — Courtesy: SJP Properties and Matrix Development Group
By Joshua Burd
SJP Properties and Matrix Development Group have sold Panasonic’s North American headquarters building in Newark to an overseas investor for a reported $165 million, the firms announced Wednesday.
The 337,500-square-foot, 12-story tower — one of the state’s most high-profile new office buildings in recent years — was sold to an entity advised by Arch Street Capital Advisors LLC. Published reports say the buyer was KFH Capital Investment Co., a Kuwait-based fund.
Located at Two Riverfront Plaza, the all glass tower is fully leased for the next 15 years to Panasonic Corp. of North America. The building altered Newark’s skyline when it opened in 2013, marking the city’s first new office tower in 20 years, but also drew attention for drawing the electronics giant away from its longtime home in suburban Secaucus.
The move was driven in part by a $102.4 million state tax credit under the former Urban Transit Hub program. But the tower also came ahead of the construction surge that is now being seen across downtown Newark, with billions of dollars in new investment underway or in planning.
“When we built this trophy office building three years ago, we recognized that the Newark market was on the brink of an unprecedented transformation, and that our building would be at its forefront,” Steven J. Pozycki, CEO of SJP Properties, said in a prepared statement. “This sale reflects the unparalleled quality of this building — which resulted in tremendous interest among institutional-grade investors from all around the world — as well as Newark’s growing reputation as an established hub for global business.
“We’re extremely proud to have delivered a building that has helped to put this city on the radar of international investors.”
The team of Jeffrey Dunne, Darcy Stacom, Kevin Welsh, Brian Scott and Brian Schulz of CBRE Institutional Properties, in collaboration with Dudley Ryan of CBRE’s East Brunswick office, represented SJP and Matrix in the sale.
The technologically advanced, sustainably designed tower sits alongside One Riverfront Plaza, commonly known as The Legal Center. The overall property includes a 462-space parking garage, a host of retail services and a pedestrian skyway to Newark Penn Station and the nearby Gateway complex.
The site also has an additional five acres of land available for future development.
“Since we acquired One Riverfront plaza … in 2001 and subsequently acquired the land now home to Two Riverfront Plaza, Matrix has been a believer and investor in Newark’s ability to serve as a premier destination for global businesses like Panasonic,” said Joseph Taylor, CEO of Matrix Development Group. “We’ve been extraordinarily pleased to partner with SJP Properties to develop this best-in-class headquarters facility, and are now excited that CBRE has identified a top investor that recognizes this asset’s superior market position.”
Dunne, whose team also procured the buyer of the property, said the sale demonstrates the widespread appeal for office buildings with blue-chip tenants.
“The sale of Two Riverfront Plaza demonstrates the continued demand for premier office assets in urban lifestyle environments with mass transit connectivity, such as Newark,” Dunne said. “As the headquarters for Panasonic Corporation of North America, one of Newark’s most prominent corporate anchor tenants, this world-class building is well positioned to provide the owner with long-term value.”