The exterior of 300 Kimball Drive in Parsippany, where Transwestern oversaw a repositioning project that has helped repopulate the once-vacant building. — Photo by Mary Iuvone for Real Estate NJ
By Joshua Burd
A decision by State Farm Insurance to vacate 300 Kimball Drive in Parsippany was not just an opportunity for Transwestern’s New Jersey team in 2012. It provided a roadmap for other landlords, investors and brokers to create new value within the state’s glut of suburban office stock.
“This building helped us and we also helped the building,” McDonough said. “Most people hadn’t even been in this building because it was an institutionally owned and operated insurance company … and it was formidable.”
With a roster that includes Langan Engineering, Fiserv, FM Global and Transwestern, 300 Kimball was one of the first buildings in Parsippany to attract new tenants after a significant renovation. The $8 million project included a modernization of the 4,900-square-foot, first-floor lobby and a redesign of the café and fitness center. The building also underwent upgrades to boost its sustainability, such as LED lighting in the fitness center and the addition of low-flow toilets and automatic faucets.
All that was enough to help 300 Kimball earn a TOBY — short for The Outstanding Building of the Year — from the state chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association in 2015. In the meantime, Transwestern has overseen a similar project at 200 Park Avenue in Florham Park, working on behalf of Normandy Real Estate Partners to reposition the building and bring occupancy from 56 percent to 92 percent.
“The suburbs have stabilized,” McDonough said. “There’s not a whole lot of wind at our back, and I think in our two main projects — here and 200 Park — we’ve certainly outperformed the market significantly.”