65 Industrial Street South in Clifton — Courtesy: Tulfra Real Estate
By Joshua Burd
A joint venture has leased 204,000 square feet in Clifton to a well-known bakery business, in the completion of its effort to redevelop a 50-year-old manufacturing plant into new industrial space.
The owners, Tulfra Real Estate and The Hampshire Cos., inked the 15-year lease with Damascus Bakery Inc. at 65 Industrial Street South. The tenant will occupy the entire building, a former GlaxoSmithKline facility that is just minutes from Route 3 West.
The deal follows an extensive $10 million upgrade by Tulfra and Hampshire, which acquired the building in 2015. The partners sought to reposition the former plant for single-tenant use through changes such as raising the roof to 27 feet, changing the exterior skin, adding new lighting and sprinklers and installing new power, electrical and mechanical systems.
“This is an outstanding success story,” said Sonny Jumani, president and partner of Rochelle Park-based Tulfra Real Estate. “It is a testament to our team’s vision and talent. We knew that there was a huge demand for industrial space in the Meadowlands area. The fundamentals are very strong and very few large blocks of space were available.
“When we acquired the building, the building was old, empty and nonperforming,” he added. “We designed and executed a plan to make significant improvements to meet the demands of a large food tenant.”
Damascus Bakery, a Brooklyn-based, family-owned and -operated business since 1930, is a large-scale baker of paninis, pitas, roll-ups and wraps that can be found at retailers such as Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Whole Foods, Kings and Costco. The company currently has facilities in Brooklyn and Newark.
Mark Tannen of United Realty represented the tenant, while Chris Hile, Jenna Imperatore and Harold Imperatore of JLL represented ownership. Mitchell Berkey of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC represented the ownership on the lease agreement, the joint venture said, adding that Steven D. Fleissig of Greenberg Traurig LLP represented Damascus Bakery.
In recognition of the improvements, local officials in Clifton recently honored 65 Industrial Street South with a Commercial Beautification Award, the highest honor for architecture and development. It was the latest success for two development firms that have a relationship that goes back decades and have combined to develop more than 3 million square feet.
“Tulfra has become synonymous with redevelopment,” Jumani said. “This successful property transformation brings lots of jobs and revenue back to the city. We are proud of our accomplishment.”