650 From Road in Paramus — Courtesy: JLL
By Joshua Burd
A joint venture is touting its latest acquisition of an office building in Bergen County, where it now owns more than 10 percent of the Class A space in the surrounding market.
In a news release Wednesday, Onyx Equities LLC and Garrison Investment Group LLC said they now own 1.16 million square feet in Bergen County after they began to invest in office properties in the submarket in 2016. They made their most recent addition this past summer, purchasing a 373,420-square-foot complex at 650 From Road from Mack-Cali Realty Corp.
“We are excited to add another well-located Bergen County office asset to our portfolio,” said Stephen Sullivan, chief investment officer of Onyx Equities. “We believe there will be significant demand from tenants to lease space in the asset once we have employed our repositioning strategy.”
The strategy has paid dividends at its other buildings in Paramus and Rochelle Park. Onyx and Garrison’s portfolio in Bergen County has experienced nearly 255,000 square feet in positive absorption via new corporate relocations to the area and 342,674 square feet of renewals and expansions, representing 40 percent of the submarket’s total leasing activity in 2018 alone.
The partnership’s first investment in Bergen County came in 2016 when it acquired Country Club Plaza in Paramus. The following year, Onyx and Garrison purchased five buildings from Mack-Cali Realty Corp., including 61 South Paramus Road, 15 East Midland Ave. and 461 From Road in Paramus, along with 365 and 395 West Passaic St. in Rochelle Park.
The firms also noted that, since they entered the market two years ago, the total occupancy rate in Bergen County has increased to 80 percent from 77 percent.
“Paramus is very friendly to corporate enterprise and has a fantastic location at the nexus of Routes 4 and 17, right off the Garden State Parkway,” said Kristi Mazejy, director for Garrison Investment Group. “In upgrading these properties, we’re delivering the Class A office space and amenities that tenants want in a prime New Jersey location.”
Onyx and Garrison recently appointed Cushman & Wakefield as their leasing agent at 650 From Road, where they are marketing 200,000 square feet and planning improvements valued at some $10 million.
“The rapid lease up within our Bergen County portfolio shows that tenants are pleased with the location of the assets but are unwilling to accept the lack of immediate capital improvements, as they use the work environment as a key recruitment tool for new and current employees,” said Adam Karafiol, senior vice president of leasing for Onyx Equities. “The appreciation for our instantaneous investments into our assets is very obvious.”