80 Park Plaza in Newark — Courtesy: Columbia Property Trust
By Joshua Burd
A real estate investment trust has sold the Public Service Enterprise Group headquarters tower in Newark for nearly $175 million, according to the seller and brokers involved in the deal.
The company, Columbia Property Trust, sold the 973,000-square-foot building at 80 Park Plaza to a joint venture of Nightingale Properties and private investor Simon Glick. Brokers with CBRE represented the REIT and procured the buyers of the 26-story tower.
The CBRE institutional properties team of Jeffrey Dunne, Kevin Welsh and Brian Schulz represented Columbia Property Trust, working in collaboration with Dudley Ryan of CBRE’s Saddle Brook office. The sale comes 10 years after Columbia, an Atlanta-based company focused on high-end office properties, acquired 80 Park Plaza.
The Newark building has served as the headquarters for PSEG since 1979 and is 85 percent net leased to the utility for more than 14 years, CBRE said. It’s located in the heart of the city’s central business district and some two blocks from Newark Penn Station.
“The property’s long-term occupancy with PSEG provides stable cash flow with significant potential upside from the lease up of the top five floors,” Dunne said in a prepared statement. “Nightingale and Glick plan to implement a new capital improvement program to enhance the lobby and amenities that may facilitate lease up and augment the net operating income.”
The sale comes amid a growing development pipeline in the state’s largest city, including the recently opened Prudential Financial tower near Military Park and a recent expansion at 494 Broad Street. Nearby, developers are rehabilitating the former Hahne & Co. department store and converting it to a mixed-use complex anchored by Whole Foods.
For Columbia, the sale is the latest step in a plan to dispose of roughly $700 million to $1 billion of noncore assets, with about $532 million in assets already sold in 2016, the company said in a separate news release. Elsewhere in the Garden State, the REIT owns the 19-story office tower known as 95 Columbus on the Jersey City waterfront.
“We are pleased to have completed the sale of 80 Park Plaza in Newark, and at pricing within our expected range,” said Nelson Mills, CEO and president of Columbia Property Trust. “This transaction brings us to over $500 million of completed dispositions in 2016 and represents another significant step as we continue to focus on our core markets.”
Nightingale Properties is a commercial real estate investment firm founded in 2005 by Elie Schwartz and Simon Singer, according to its website. The New York-based firm primarily seeks value-oriented investments with repositioning or redevelopment opportunities in core and noncore markets across the U.S., with a portfolio of more than 11 million square feet.