A rendering of the future Jaguar Land Rover North America building in Mahwah, where the automaker is planning a series of renovations and an expansion. — Courtesy: Jaguar Land Rover North America
By Joshua Burd
Jaguar Land Rover North America will occupy 147,000 square feet at the former Sharp Electronics Corp. headquarters in Mahwah and expand the facility by 30,000 square feet, with plans to move into the revamped complex by early 2018.
The luxury automaker and its real estate team at JLL detailed those plans Tuesday after inking a full-building lease with the Becker Organization, which acquired the office property from Sharp. In a news release, Jaguar said it received approval from the Mahwah planning board, allowing it to move ahead with construction of a technology-driven training and technical center.
“To accommodate our growing business here in North America, we are pleased to move forward with developing a new expanded headquarters in our current hometown of Mahwah in the state of New Jersey,” Joe Eberhardt, CEO and president of Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC, said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to moving into a modern complex that reflects the new generation of Jaguar Land Rover products and provide a venue for events as well a location for the community to learn more about our brands.”
The deal, one of the largest in the state’s office market this year, developed as the electronics maker was in the midst of selling 1 Sharp Plaza to Becker and planning to lease back the space, JLL said in a separate release. At the time, Jaguar Land Rover was scouring the market and identified the 31-year-old Mahwah property as suitable location.
“We knew Sharp’s complex in Mahwah would make an ideal location for our client, so we reached out to executives at the electronics firm to let them know we had a client that was interested in leasing the facility,” said Scott Stange, a vice president with JLL in New Jersey. “Although Sharp was involved in a complex sale-leaseback, company executives were receptive to the idea.”
Once Sharp agreed to relocate, it had to identify a new facility and terminate its existing lease at 1 Sharp Plaza, JLL said, while Jaguar Land Rover needed to finalize its lease with the Becker Organization. The entire transaction hinged on approvals from the landlord and the lender, and the new expansion required the approval of local officials in Mahwah.
In the process, JLL worked with Jaguar Land Rover to obtain state incentives.
“This was an incredibly complex transaction with many moving pieces,” said Dan Breen, an executive vice president with JLL who specializes in incentives. “JLL helped Jaguar Land Rover secure $28 million in state incentives, which played a critical role in enabling the luxury automobile manufacturer to open its new complex here in New Jersey.”
The company, the North American arm of the British automaker, will relocate from a 27-year-old complex on MacArthur Boulevard in Mahwah. Designed by Gensler, the upgraded facility will feature new finishes, windows and signage and use the company’s trademark colors, Sunshine Gray, with accents of silver metallic.
The headquarters and its 250 employees manage the automaker’s business in the United States and Canada and provide support for 377 Jaguar and Land Rover retailers. The new space will allow the company to grow its headcount up to 315 employees in the coming years.
Sharp, meantime, recently signed a 105,000-square-foot deal to relocate its U.S. headquarters to 100 Paragon Drive in Montvale. The company also received a state incentive package, a $6.9 million Grow New Jersey award, as part of its plan to expand in the state.
Along with Stange and Breen, the JLL team representing Jaguar included David Stifelman, Scott Lesh and Joseph Garibaldi. The Becker Organization was represented in-house by Bryan Becker, founder and CEO.
“The new complex will house the luxury automobile manufacturer’s North American headquarters as well as a dealership training and technical center,” Stifelman said. “In addition, Jaguar Land Rover intends for the site to become the ultimate consumer experience facility.”
The Sharp complex, which was built for the company in 1985 at the site of a former Ford Motor Co. automobile manufacturing plant, is adjacent to Route 17 and Route 287.