Anthony Milelli, a principal director of PARQ, spoke Wednesday during a ceremony previewing plans to redevelop the Lanidex Plaza office campus in Parsippany.
By Joshua Burd
The transformation of a sprawling suburban office park in Parsippany is now on full display, as a development team continues its teardown of several aging buildings while marking the start of construction for 275 new apartments at the site.
Known as PARQ, the project is repurposing 23 acres of the Lanidex Plaza campus just east of Parsippany Road, with plans to create a walkable residential destination with on-site retail, green space and amenities that will cater to hybrid workers. The first phase of luxury rentals could arrive as soon as next year, its developers said Wednesday, as they welcomed public officials to highlight their progress.
“Through the tireless, passionate and diligent efforts of so many remarkable people, some of them here today, we present PARQ — a community that will offer a variety of options to live, work, play, and most importantly, one that will embody a sense of pride for all, one that will be a pillar of the community and one that will leave a legacy for many years to come,” said Anthony Milelli, a principal director of PARQ. “Today, as can be seen, we have made tremendous strides since our initial groundbreaking six months ago in making PARQ a reality as we look forward to finalizing the infrastructure plan and delivering PARQ 500 in the very near future.”
Wednesday’s event came four years after Milelli Real Estate Partners assumed full control of Lanidex Plaza, which had nine office buildings with a combined 450,000 square feet. Its location at the nexus of interstates 287 and 80 was once a key draw for tenants, but the market for suburban office space has declined over the past two decades.
Milelli has since partnered with Tema Development to form the team for PARQ, while tapping Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners to help craft a new vision for the site. That plan now includes 525 luxury apartments across two phases, along with retail space, indoor and outdoor amenities and ample parking.
PARQ will also feature 75 clustered courtyard townhomes with two-car garages, in addition to a clubhouse and outdoor pool, an athletic field, a concession building and a playground.
“In true New Jersey fashion, as Anthony taught me, we engaged in a thorough debate and deliberative process to consider our options because, when we build, we build for generations,” said Haytham Haidar, a managing director of the PARQ team. “And we take a long-term view looking at that arc, not for the next two minutes or two months, but for the next two years and the next 10 years.”
Minno & Wasko’s Stuart Johnson added: “I think we’ll continue to see residents working from home in some sort of hybrid manner — perhaps two to three days a week — so we’re really providing that flexible co-working space internal to the building.”
The PARQ team plans to knock down seven of the nine office buildings as it completes the redevelopment over the next several years. It has already razed three of them and has started demolition on a fourth, while it hopes to complete the second phase of apartments by late 2025.
It’s doing so alongside a team that includes Murphy Schiller & Wilkes LLP as finance counsel and Garofalo O’Neill Ruggierio LLC as land use counsel, plus Design 446, Greystar Real Estate Partners, Sue Adler of Keller Williams Premier Properties, Langan, Melillo + Bauer Associates and Mary Cook Associates.
The developer recently secured $91 million in construction financing, provided by two leading global insurance companies, to help jumpstart the $119 million first phase. JLL senior managing directors Michael Klein and Jon Mikula and Vice President Michael Lachs sourced the financing, which includes $68.2 million in senior debt and $22.7 million in mezzanine construction financing.
“They came to me with open arms and I appreciate that, Anthony and Haytham,” Parsippany Mayor James Barberio sad. “I really do because that means a lot to me as a mayor to tell me what you plan on doing in the township, and I believe this project will be good for the township of Parsippany-Troy Hills.”