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  cost-prohibitive, while still meeting tenants’ need for speed to market.
“On pure lab absorption, I would say our market is very healthy,” said Jason Benson, a broker and senior vice president with JLL, noting
that established companies are expanding their lab footprint in the state. Others
are looking
to come from
markets such as
Manhattan and
Brooklyn, he
said, “needing
to scale their
operations and
recognizing that
the talent that they’re looking to hire is living here in New Jersey.”
Saraceno said Onyx was “receiving a pretty significant inflow of calls and interest, as many as I’ve seen
in my career relative to a new acquisition that we did.” That interest has run the gamut of size and user type, he said, citing pent- up demand and the lack of move-in- ready space in not just New Jersey, but also New York and Philadelphia.
“The convergence of life science and technology is booming right now in New Jersey, making our state a hub for research, innovation
two or three years from now, we want to know what’s available in that location.”
“We’ve seen a fairly wide range,” Saraceno said. “(For) some of them, the names you would know. Some of them, you wouldn’t, but they’re all very sizable firms.”
Owners such as Vision Real Estate Partners and Rubenstein Partners have captured that demand at existing office properties, thanks
in part to a tenant’s willingness to convert the space to a functional life sciences facility. At a campus in
Warren, which the firms have owned since 2016, PTC Therapeutics is in the midst of a build-out that will include offices, collaboration and conferencing spaces and research labs, under a 360,000-square-foot lease spanning 400 and 500 Warren Corporate Center Drive.
Similar projects in New Jersey have been mostly tenant-driven to date, market experts say, while cautioning that not every office building has the design and infrastructure needed
to support pharmaceutical or manufacturing. But landlords that are willing to retrofit a building on
spec, or at least prepare a core and shell, are likely to reap the rewards. In Jersey City, Thor Equities Group recently secured a 28,089-square- foot lease with EpiBone Inc., a clinical stage company that grows bone and cartilage for skeletal reconstruction. The deal followed Thor’s effort to create lab-ready space at the 350,000-square-foot building at 95 Greene St. — a former Colgate-Palmolive manufacturing facility — including extensive upgrades to mechanicals, HVAC, vertical conduits and a new rooftop generator.
Jason Benson
TM 13
    JRM Construction Management
  NJ | NY | CA | FL |
  Three Modern Primary Care Centers for Atlantic Health System
  Jon Schultz
and long-term opportunity,” said Jon Schultz,
Onyx’s other co-founder
and managing principal. “This transformative 100-plus
acre campus will introduce a unique multi-building mix of institutional-quality laboratories, support facilities and office space, positioning us at the industry’s epicenter.”
Saraceno also pointed to the “novelty” of a location that has never been available for outside tenancy and has been owner- occupied for decades, first by Schering-Plough Corp. and then
by Merck. That has drawn some interest from users who say they’ve “heard historically that Merck
had the best of the best from the standpoint of their infrastructure. And even if we don’t have a requirement today, we want to see it because, if we have a requirement

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