Vision Real Estate Partners has unveiled plans for a new 19,000-square-foot amenity center at Warren Corporate Center, an 820,000-square-foot campus in Somerset County. — Courtesy: Courtesy: Vision Real Estate Partners
By Joshua Burd
For some tenants at The Crossings at Jefferson Park, the biking and walking trails that weave through the Whippany office campus have become a modern-day meeting space, as have the food court and lounges inside the property’s new amenity center.
That’s according to executives with Vision Real Estate Partners, who are now looking to replicate and build on that success at another suburban office campus in New Jersey.
The firm has unveiled plans for a new 19,000-square-foot amenity center at Warren Corporate Center, a five-building, 820,000-square-foot campus sprawled across 176 acres in Somerset County. With Citibank as an anchor and a full building available at the property, Vision is set to begin work on the new ground-up lifestyle hub that is expected to be “a game-changer as it relates to the overall experience for creating a campus.”
“Leveraging what we’ve learned and the positive feedback we’ve gotten at Crossings, we feel this is something we absolutely want to incorporate in properties of this scale going forward,” said Sam Morreale, the Mountain Lakes-based firm’s founder and managing partner. “So it’s just a continuation of the culture that we want to provide to our tenants at these buildings.”
The new center will include a full-service dining hall with hot entrées, along with a deli station, salad bar, coffee bar and other offerings. Another key feature is the flexibility of the seating options, which can range from small private tables to large social gatherings for a workforce.
Plans also call for a green roof with outdoor seating and flexible conference spaces that can accommodate a large assembly, plus a full-service fitness center. And Morreale, whose firm owns both The Crossings and Warren Corporate Center with Rubenstein Partners, noted that the latter is nearly one and a half times the size of the 525,000-square-foot Whippany site.
One other key difference is that the Whippany building is a retrofitted version of an existing powerhouse structure, which measures 11,000 square feet. In Warren, Vision is expanding on the concept with added features such as a full-size basketball court.
All told, Morreale said the new amenity center should help create a corporate environment akin to a college campus, which traditionally has academic and administrative buildings clustered around a central student center. He believes that will resonate with a young workforce that may see similarities between where they learned and where they now work.
“We now think that space needs to be much more energetic and creative and combine both the work environment as well as the social environment,” Morreale said. “And we think that’s what companies need to be able to attract and retain not only the young workforce, but certainly to be able to differentiate themselves with their existing workforce to give them that type of overall better-quality work environment.”
Vision and Rubenstein are also set to renovate the single 156,000-square-foot building that is vacant at the campus, which they acquired last year for $136 million. With Citi occupying 80 percent of the property and a history of users such as AT&T and Lucent, Morreale said Warren Corporate Center offers an “institutional-grade” setting for new tenants.
The amenity building will no doubt help attract new tenants, he said. Vision recently secured the approvals it needed to get started on the project, which will be nestled in the knoll of a hill at the nexus of the paths leading to each building.
“The township of Warren recognized the significance of an amenity like this to attract corporations in town and they were very cooperative,” Morreale said. “They absolutely are partners of ours.”