A rendering of the upgraded Ballantine Industrial Center at 397-447 Ferry St., where NAI James E. Hanson is serving as the leasing agent for 807,401 square feet. — Courtesy: NAI James E. Hanson
By Joshua Burd
An investment group has hired NAI James E. Hanson as its leasing agent for more than 800,000 square feet of Newark industrial space, following the launch of a multimillion-dollar improvement project aimed at modernizing the well-known complex.
Brokers with the firm are marketing the space on behalf of Turnbridge Equities and investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, which acquired the Ballantine Industrial Center earlier this year. Located at 397-447 Ferry St., the complex offers 807,401 square feet that sits less than three miles from Port Newark-Elizabeth.
NAI Hanson’s Russell Verducci and Eric Demmers are leading the assignment.
“The Ports submarket is one of the state’s densest and most mature industrial submarkets,” Verducci said. “Due to this, it is rare to see prime industrial space come on the market. With strong institutional ownership and experienced property management services, the Ballantine Industrial Center is a fantastic opportunity for tenants searching for a quality industrial building in one of the region’s most in-demand markets.”
The complex occupies the former P. Ballantine & Sons brewery site in Newark’s Ironbound section, which closed in 1972 and was later repositioned as multitenant industrial space. After acquiring it in January, its current owners launched more than $10 million worth of improvements in order to align it with the needs of modern users.
The upgrades include roof and window replacements, select demolition of abandoned structures, yard and loading area repaving and extensive aesthetic upgrades, NAI Hanson said. The property now features more than 1 million square feet of industrial and loft space, with 397-447 Ferry St. making up the bulk of the square footage at 726,525 square feet.
The leasing team said 425 Ferry has three stories of industrial and office space in a variety of configurations, with ample drive-ins, 13-foot ceiling heights and new service elevators. The brokers also highlighted the Ballantine Industrial Center’s accessibility from the New Jersey Turnpike and interstates 78 and 280.
The Port submarket recorded vacancy of 3.7 percent and asking rents of $8.36 per square foot through the first quarter of 2019, NAI Hanson said. The asking rate is up $0.11 per square foot from the previous quarter and $1.17 per square foot from the start of 2017.
“Despite trade war fears and economic uncertainty, the Ports industrial submarket continues to see record-high demand coupled with an increasingly limited supply,” Demmers said. “With a high level of competition for limited space, landlords with prime spaces like Ballantine Industrial Center find themselves in a great situation.
“Just like our previous leasing assignments in this submarket, we look forward to leveraging our market knowledge and experience to help our client secure quality tenants at a fair price and continuing our track record of success at this historic property.”