The Garden State has become fertile ground for developers, and commercial real estate lenders both large and small are looking to get in on the action, while others are looking to retain and expand the market share they already have.
Competition among lenders is quickly growing as more people look to rent in New Jersey, the most urbanized state in the country, 94.7 percent of whose population is centered in urban areas, according to 2010 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. That abundance of multifamily properties just west of the Hudson River coincides with university expansions, new retail and office properties and other large real estate projects throughout the state.
Brian Whitmer, a senior director in investment sales for the New York tristate area at Cushman & Wakefield, works out of northern New Jersey and went through the pipeline of multifamily developments he sees in the works there. Of the 22,968 units he found in the pipeline in northern New Jersey, 59 percent, or 13,538 units, are in the Gold Coast—areas along the Hudson River like Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken.
Months of negotiations between SPJ Properties and Microsoft have finally paid off, with the tech giant signing a 230,000-square-foot lease at its new Midtown headquarters at 11 Times Square – and solidifying one of the top leasing deals of the year.
The company eyed the new space for months, as rumors swirled it would be vacating Vornado’s 1290 Avenue of the Americas, and last month transaction is the third biggest non-renewal leasing transaction of 2012.
There was a time when it seemed certain 11 Times Square would command some of the highest rents in city.
The building, which was developed by a venture between SJP Properties and its equity partner Prudential, was finished in 2010. As one of the newest buildings in Midtown, it is widely considered state-of-the-art, with many of the bells and whistles that tenants are supposed to be willing to pay a premium for, such as towering ceiling heights, LEED-certified efficient systems, a floor-to-ceiling glass façade that offers prodigious light and few structural columns to impede the efficiency of its spaces.
Entering the market at a tough juncture during the recession, SJP Properties nonetheless appeared to take a hard line on rents, and rightfully so: the building cost more than $1 billion to develop. According to several sources familiar with the property and its leasing history, the landlord held fast to projections it had set before the downturn—rents in the $80s per square foot and beyond.
Steven J. Pozycki has reeled in his white whale as one of the most sought after tenants in the entire city has landed at one of its most troubled office towers. According to numerous sources, Microsoft is poised to sign a long-term lease for 400,000 square feet at 11 Times Square, the office tower Mr. Pozycki’s New Jersey-based SJP Properties built just as the real estate bubble was bursting.
For months, the Seattle-based software company has been looking at new offices in New York as it mulled whether or not to leave its current home at 1290 Avenue of the Americas. Microsoft had been looking at space across Manhattan, but it seemed to have a special affinity for the West Side, having strongly considered Mort Zuckerman‘s swiftly rising 250 West 55th Street. For a time, Microsoft appeared interested in 11 Times Square but its focus faded in favor of other opportunities, until a last minute pitch by SJP brought the building back into the running and helped seal the deal.
Microsoft has been bumped from 250 West 55th Street, leaving it with two likely space possibilities: a renewal deal at its current home at 1290 Avenue of the Americas or a relocation to 11 Times Square several sources familiar with the company say.
The company had been in advanced talks to take space at the Read More
SJP Properties has reached out to Microsoft in a last ditch bid to bring the software and computing corporation to 11 Times Square sources say.
Microsoft is in the market for between 200,000 and 250,000 square feet and in recent weeks had narrowed its search to two locations, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, where it currently bases its New York offices, and 250 West 55th Street, a new skyscraper rising on Eighth Avenue.
Lease of the Week
Midtown is starting to matter again.
At least that’s the view to take from commercial real estate deals like Japanese financial firm Nomura Holding’s $60-per-square-foot, 20-year lease for a plush 47-story headquarters at 825 Eighth Avenue.
The arrival of a Japanese multinational at the Worldwide Plaza property embodies the roller-coaster ride of the Midtown office market over the past five years. It was bought by Harry Macklowe for $1.7 billion in 2007, only to be sold at a 60 percent discount two years later in a fire sale that saw George Comfort & Sons snatch it up for $600 million in 2009 when the building was half vacant.
When Kim Guadagno heard that the media and publishing giant Pearson was relocating from its longtime headquarters in Upper Saddle River, N.J., the first thing she recalled was a promise she had made.
Ms. Guadagno, New Jersey’s lieutenant governor and secretary of state, had been walking months earlier with Dawn Zimmer, the mayor of Hoboken, along that city’s waterfront.