44 Whippany Road in Morris Township — Courtesy: Marcus Partners
By Joshua Burd
An investment firm has sold a 232,000-square-foot office building in Morris County for $50 million, more than doubling the price it paid to acquire the property in early 2017.
Marcus Partners, which is based in Boston, touted the sale of 44 Whippany Road in Morris Township after a $7 million overhaul of the building and a leasing campaign that brought it to 97 percent occupancy. Liberty Properties LLC acquired the asset, in a sale arranged by JLL’s Jose Cruz, Kevin O’Hearn, Stephen Simonelli and Michael Oliver.
“44 Whippany is a terrific example of the successful value-add strategy enabled by in our in-house vertical integration,” said David Fiore, principal and New York regional director for Marcus Partners. “We delivered a best-in-class product that drew 140,000 square feet of new tenancy within six months of upgrade completion, bringing the property from 47 percent to 97 percent leased.”
Located just off Interstate 287, 44 Whippany is minutes from downtown Morristown. Marcus paid $21.5 million to acquire the building in early 2017, seeking to capitalize on the building’s location by launching a sweeping upgrade.
“We’re thrilled to have helped Marcus execute their business plan so quickly,” O’Hearn said. “Having sold this to them in 2017 when it was 47 percent leased, and now more than doubling occupancy, also reflects the high level of leasing demand for well-located properties that have been fully repositioned.”
To that end, the firm introduced new lobby and common area finishes, while adding a new Starbucks-branded, full-service café and a 95-seat conference center, according to a news release. Marcus also upgraded the building’s fitness center with new LifeFitness and Peloton equipment, while adding floor-to-ceiling glass installations on the façade and activating its third-floor roof terraces.
Outside, the investment firm added exterior patio installations, new landscaping and property signage, while expanding and repaving the surface parking areas.