Harborside Plaza in Jersey City — file photo
By Joshua Burd
Mack-Cali Realty Corp. and E-Trade Financial Corp. have completed a lease renewal in Jersey City, where the online brokerage will expand to more than 130,000 square feet.
The real estate investment trust said Wednesday that E-Trade has signed a 132,000-square-foot lease at Harborside Plaza 2. The transaction includes 26,000 square feet of expansion space and follows the state’s approval last month of a 10-year, $20.1 million tax credit package tied to a plan to bring more than 250 new jobs to the Jersey City location.
Mack-Cali announced the lease in a recap of its second-quarter results, although it noted that the E-Trade lease was finalized after the end of the quarter. Its top Q2 lease was a 130,000-square-foot deal with Plymouth Rock Assurance at 581 Main St. in Woodbridge.
“Our team’s leasing efforts resulted in good progress as we signed over 453,000 square feet of leases in the quarter and an additional 271,000 in the first month of the third quarter,” said Michael J. DeMarco, Mack-Cali’s CEO. “Traffic and interest continue to be strong both in our waterfront portfolio and our suburban assets.
“(Our) pipeline of deals has grown since last quarter,” DeMarco added. “However, the pace of conversion from prospect to signed lease continues to be a lengthy process.”
The state Economic Development Authority approved the Grow New Jersey incentive for E-Trade in mid-June. The company told the EDA that the new space at Harborside would house its customer technical services operations, which is now based in the Philippines but would be relocated to the U.S.
The move would bring 251 new jobs to New Jersey and represent a capital investment of nearly $21 million, the EDA said. E-Trade was also considering an alternative site in Alpharetta, Georgia, where it already occupies 132,000 square feet, but Jersey City was the more expensive option.
Mack-Cali’s Q2 report also highlighted a recent 67,000-square-foot lease with The Trustees of Princeton University at 100 Overlook Center in Princeton. All told, the REIT said its core office portfolio was 83.2 percent leased at midyear.
The Jersey City-based company also reported several highlights within its residential holdings. The portfolio of its Roseland Residential Trust subsidiary was 97.5 percent leased as of June 30, while the developer was in the midst of leasing about 1,200 newly delivered apartments in high-end submarkets.
Those newly delivered buildings include a 295-unit property in Weehawken, known as RiverHouse 11, which is already nearly 60 percent leased less than 4 weeks after opening. Roseland has since broken ground on an adjacent 313-unit luxury complex in the master-planned Port Imperial area.
“With residential lease-ups in peak season, we are excited by the level of interest which has translated into excellent absorption,” DeMarco said. “With non-core asset sales essentially complete, the team’s focus remains squarely on leasing, recognizing that as a critical catalyst to drive results and value for our shareholders.”