175 Park Ave. in Madison — Courtesy: The Hampshire Cos./
By Joshua Burd
The Hampshire Cos. has sold a 270,000-square-foot corporate headquarters building in Madison, the site of a sweeping project that transformed what had been a defunct call center facility.
The Morristown-based firm on Tuesday announced the sale of the property, 175 Park Ave., some seven years after completing its redevelopment and signing a long-term lease with Realogy Corp. Gulf Islamic Investments LLC, a United Arab Emirates-based financial services firm, purchased the complex for an undisclosed price.
“Typically, pursuing the complete redevelopment of an office building at the height of a market downturn runs contrary to prevailing real estate wisdom,” said James E. Hanson II, Hampshire’s CEO and president. “However, our ability to see real estate through a different lens allowed our firm to recognize a unique opportunity in the market back in 2012 and create one of New Jersey’s most valuable office buildings.”
“This sale exemplifies the strength of our vision for the property and our ability to create value across property types and economic climates.”
Real estate attorneys in Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP’s Florham Park office represented Hampshire in the sale.
Realogy Corp. — the parent company of residential real estate services brands such as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, CENTURY 21 and Coldwell Banker — has occupied the building since 2013. Hampshire delivered the property in 2012 after stripping a former Verizon call center to its steel and rebuilding the structure as a state-of-the-art office building.
The firm worked alongside architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates to complete the adaptive reuse project. With the design, the team sought to bring in natural light by cutting the central third out of the existing building to create a series of open-air courtyards.
Hampshire also touted the inclusion of amenities such as a fitness center, full-service cafe and conference and team room facilities. Meantime, the building has green roof technology and modern, energy-efficient mechanical systems that have earned it a silver certification on the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design scale.
The project has also garnered honors from MIPIM and the American Institute of Architects’ New York State and New Jersey chapters.
“Amidst international economic uncertainty and an increase in global investor interest in alternative investments, we have seen an uptick in foreign investment firms, particularly those in the Gulf, looking to acquire stabilized Class A office products in the United States,” said Norman Feinstein, vice chairman of The Hampshire Cos. “Our sale of 175 Park Avenue allowed us to realize substantial value from this asset while providing Gulf Islamic Investments with an ideal opportunity to deploy capital in line with their investment strategy for the United States real estate market.”
GII is a UAE-based private equity, venture capital, infrastructure and real estate investment firm that is regulated by the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority, according to a news release. Serving as co-investment adviser for GII was FD Stonewater, a boutique real estate brokerage, investment, development and asset management firm with offices in Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Newport Beach.