120 Frontage Road in Newark — Courtesy: The S. Hekemian Group
By Joshua Burd
The S. Hekemian Group has sold a newly built, 76,000-square-foot industrial building just north of Interstate 78 in Newark, achieving a record price of more than $820 per square foot.
Located at 120 Frontage Road, the warehouse is also minutes from the vast network of highways that surround Newark Liberty International Airport, which sits directly to the south. That access helped fuel intense interest from tenants as the developer built the facility, driving record rents for New Jersey industrial space and the reported $62.75 million sale price.
LBA Realty purchased the facility, according to market reports, in a deal brokered by JLL’s Jose Cruz, Marc Duval, Jordan Avanzato and Nicholas Stefans. Alliance Ground International, a cargo handling services provider, leases the entire building for use as an off-airport air cargo facility.
“Our intent was always to hold this one generationally, but given the value creation that we brought together by developing the site, it just made no sense to hold,” Peter Hekemian, senior managing director with The S. Hekemian Group, wrote in an email. “It was really just a special deal to be involved in, a lot of fun, which you can’t often say as a developer in the state of New Jersey. We appreciate the whole team effort, including the brokerage team, to bring this one together.”
Hekemian noted that 120 Frontage, which sits on 4.5 acres, was the company’s first industrial project. The firm purchased the parcel in fall 2018 after being attracted to a location that “always seemed perfectly logical to me,” he said, pointing to “the planes that literally fly over your head when you’re on site.”
The S. Hekemian Group ultimately delivered a building that was slated to include 36-foot clear ceiling heights, 19 loading dock doors and parking for 46 cars.
“It’s a gem and we saw that from day one,” Hekemian added. “It was that locational story, and the clean development concept (and) execution that drove the tenant demand for the use of the building, which allowed us to surpass the previous record rent in New Jersey by 40 percent, and then allowed us to do the same on the sale exit with a super competitive bidding process.”
Cruz, Duval and Avanzato also brokered the sale of the development site to Hekemian’s firm in 2018.