The New Jersey Center of Excellence in Bridgewater
By Joshua Burd
A joint venture has reaped more than $150 million from the sale of a high-profile life sciences campus in Bridgewater, under a recent transaction by Newmark Knight Frank.
Brokers with NKF on Monday detailed the sale of The New Jersey Center of Excellence, a 783,500-square-foot campus on Route 202/206 that has been repositioned by Advance Realty Investors and CrossHarbor Capital Partners over the past five years. Thor Equities acquired the property from Advance and CrossHarbor for $152 million, as the New York City-based firm seeks to launch a life sciences platform.
The NKF capital markets team of Rob Griffin, Kevin Welsh, Matt Pullen, Brian Schulz and Jason Emrani represented the sellers and procured the buyer.
“The acquisition provides Thor with the rare opportunity to own an institutionally developed and best-in-class life sciences campus,” said Welsh, an executive managing director, whose Rutherford-based team worked on the deal with Griffin’s Boston-based team. “The property’s long-term, durable cash flow with upside through increasing below-market rents were key investment drivers for Thor.”
The Center of Excellence is part of a former Sanofi U.S. research campus that CrossHarbor and Advance acquired in 2014, capitalizing on its trove of high-end lab and office space across seven interconnected buildings. NKF said the campus, now anchored by Nestle Health Sciences, Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Ashland, is 86 percent leased with 9.1 years of weighted average lease term.
The 48-acre campus is also home to a host of other pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Advance and CrossHarbor, meantime, still own the balance of the 110-acre former Sanofi site, for which it has pursued a mixed-use redevelopment plan.
In announcing the sale, NKF also touted the campus’ central location on the Boston to Washington D.C. life sciences corridor and New Jersey’s own expanding life sciences economy, with access to a deep and highly educated labor pool and top educational research institutions.
“This sale highlights the successful repositioning of the former Sanofi campus by CrossHarbor and Advance, as well as the strong demand for life sciences investment offerings,” said Griffin, co-head of U.S. capital markets for NKF. “It further showcases the power of NKF’s collaborative capital markets platform, involving professionals from our New Jersey and Boston offices.”