The newly renovated facade of 500 Plaza Drive in Secaucus — Courtesy: CBRE
By Joshua Burd
A joint venture has reaped $115 million from the sale of a 460,000-square-foot office building in Secaucus, following its purchase of the property in 2014 and nearly $18 million worth of upgrades that attracted Quest Diagnostics as a tenant.
Representing the sellers, Marcus Partners and a global institutional partner, CBRE Institutional Properties said Wednesday that it brokered the sale of 500 Plaza Drive to Manulife US REIT. The buyer, a Singapore-listed real estate investment trust, has acquired a property at the nexus of Route 3 and the New Jersey Turnpike that is home to the headquarters of both Quest and The Children’s Place.
“The newly redeveloped 500 Plaza offers tenants and visitors alike an exceptional work environment, providing both the convenience and amenities demanded by premier organizations and their employees,” said Paul Marcus, CEO of Marcus Partners. “Today the property is a unique headquarters-quality facility and we are proud to continue providing property management services under Manulife US REIT’s capable new ownership.”
The CBRE team, which was led by Jeffrey Dunne, Travis Langer and Jeremy Neuer, was also responsible for procuring the buyer. The trade comes three years after CBRE represented the prior owner, Hartz Mountain Industries, in the sale of 500 Plaza to Marcus Partners and what was previously identified as Prudential Real Estate Investors.
The joint venture at the time paid $69 million for the building. The Marcus Partners team went on to spend $17.8 million in capital improvements, which included a complete lobby renovation and common area upgrades, plus the creation of a full-service cafeteria, coffee bar, conference center and high-end fitness center.
The firm also completed substantial upgrades to both building finishes and grounds, according to a news release. Marcus Partners also constructed a new 222-car parking deck, renovated a 1,100-car parking deck and created 34 visitor parking spaces.
The renovations have given way to five leases totaling about 258,000 square feet, which collectively increased occupancy to 99 percent, CBRE said. Chief among them was a 130,000-square-foot lease with Quest Diagnostics, which announced last June that it would relocate its headquarters to the building.
The property sits within the 200-acre, mixed-use Harmon Meadow complex, which includes restaurants, hotels, more than 1 million square feet of retail space and a movie theater. Master developer Hartz Mountain is also building new apartments at the property.
“The 500 Plaza acquisition is a ‘win, win’ for new ownership and the Harmon Meadow brand given the enormous improvements made to 500 Plaza, the addition of 470 new apartments and new hotel concepts at Harmon Meadow and Quest’s relocation of their headquarters to 500 Plaza,” Dunne said. “500 Plaza will also provide Manulife US REIT with a long term stable cash flow stream from an institutional quality tenant roster.”