The James at 87 Madison Ave. in Park Ridge — Courtesy: Claremont Development
By Joshua Burd
Veris Residential Inc. has agreed to buy a newly built, upscale apartment property in Park Ridge for $130 million, adding another 240 units to its New Jersey multifamily holdings.
The real estate investment trust, which is based in Jersey City, said this week that it would acquire what’s known as The James under an off-market deal slated close in the second quarter. Built by Claremont Development, the complex at 87 Morris Ave. is nearly fully leased after hitting the market last spring, boasting a location steps from NJ Transit rail service and a downtown location in Bergen County.
Veris Residential CEO Mahbod Nia announced the deal this week during the company’s first-quarter earnings report.
“The James is a great fit with our existing portfolio given its 2021 vintage — which is consistent with the comparatively low six-year average age of our portfolio relative to peers — its extensive amenity offering and its sustainability credentials,” Nia said, citing its National Green Building Standard Silver Certification. He also noted that Park Ridge is in one of New Jersey’s most populous and affluent areas, sitting 25 miles northwest of Midtown Manhattan.
The company is buying The James at a 4 percent capitalization rate, he said. And it’s doing so using a portion of the proceeds from sales of land parcels in Jersey City, Weehawken and West Windsor, which totaled $129.5 million, as part of a Section 1031 like-kind exchange.
Thomas Walsh, Joseph Garibaldi, Katelyn Borovsky and Nick Vanderslice of Walker & Dunlop represented both parties in the sale of The James.
“Since completion, The James outperformed all suburban underwriting metrics due to its overall superior quality and dearth of comparable competing inventory in the northern Bergen County submarket,” Walsh said. “Veris was not only attracted to the asset’s performance throughout lease-up, but they were attracted to the opportunity to acquire 245 units of the highest caliber institutional asset in an extremely high barriers to entry market with very little competition on the immediate horizon.”
Designed by Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners, The James has amenities such as a coffee bar, a clubroom with billiards and shuffleboard, a tasting room with a catering kitchen and co-working spaces with private offices. Additional features include a high-end fitness center and outdoor offerings such as a pool, grilling and dining areas and a turf lawn, among others.
It also includes more than 17,600 square feet of retail space that joins the downtown’s mix of shops, restaurants and local businesses, its developer said last year. Renters, meantime, are a block from NJ Transit commuter rail service on the Pascack Valley line and minutes from the Garden State Parkway and Palisades Parkway.
The deal is among Veris Residential’s largest acquisitions since the former Mack-Cali Realty Corp. and Roseland Residential Trust rebranded last December, with an emphasis on environmentally and socially conscious buildings. It announced the move while continuing to transition out of the office sector, despite signing a high-profile 15-year, 130,400-square-foot lease in Jersey City during Q1 with Collectors Universe, the world’s largest authenticator for collectibles.