The Hampshire Companies announces the sale of 175 Park Avenue in Madison, N.J. to Gulf Islamic Investments, LLC (GII), a leading United Arab Emirates-based advisory private equity, venture capital, infrastructure and real estate investment firm. Completed in 2012, the 270,000-square-foot building is the corporate headquarters of Realogy, a fully integrated residential real estate services provider with brokerage, franchising, relocation, mortgage, and title and settlement services delivered through its well-known industry brands including Better Homes and Gardens ® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Climb Real Estate®, Coldwell Banker ®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, Corcoran Group ®, ERA®, Sotheby's International Realty® as well as NRT, Cartus®, Title Resource Group and ZapLabs®, an in-house innovation and technology development lab.
Situated on over 15 acres in the heart of Morris County, the site was previously home to an outdated Verizon call center building. Working in conjunction with internationally-renowned architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), The Hampshire Companies recognized the potential of the location and executed an ambitious adaptive reuse project to dramatically transform the property into a Class-A headquarters office space for one of NJ’s largest companies.
“Typically, pursuing the complete redevelopment of an office building at the height of a market downturn runs contrary to prevailing real estate wisdom. However, our ability to see real estate through a different lens allowed our firm to recognize a unique opportunity in the market back in 2012 and create one of New Jersey’s most valuable office buildings,” said James E. Hanson II, President and CEO of The Hampshire Companies. “This sale exemplifies the strength of our vision for the property and our ability to create value across property types and economic climates.”
KPF’s design pulls the bucolic nature of Morris County directly into the office environment, creating a state-of-the-art workspace that is connected to its surroundings. The firm’s innovative design strategy sought to bring natural light in the building through cutting the central third out of the existing building to create a series of open-air courtyards. In addition to a striking design, the 270,000-square-foot Class A office building features a full range of amenities, including a fitness center, full-service cafe, and conference / team room facilities. 175 Park Avenue also boasts cutting edge green roof technology and state-of-the-art energy efficient mechanical systems that have earned it a LEED Silver Certification. The unique yet highly functional design allows Realogy to seamlessly support their 6,300 offices and approximately 300,000 independent sales associates across 113 countries and territories around the world.
Featuring proximity to headquarters buildings for the New York Jets, BASF, Summit Medical Group, and Dun & Bradstreet, several hotels, Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and the College of St. Elizabeth, as well as the brand-new AVE Florham Park luxury apartment building, 175 Park Avenue boasts a strategic location in one of New Jersey’s most desirable neighborhoods. 175 Park Avenue also offers easy access to major area highways, including Routes 124 and 24, I-78 and The Garden State Parkway. The Convent Station NJ Transit station is also minutes away and offers 45-minute Midtown Direct transit service to New York City.
Since its completion, 175 Park Avenue has been the recipient of several awards including Best Refurbished Building - Bronze Medal (MIPIM 2014), Design Award (AIA New York State 2014), Honor Award (AIA New Jersey 2013), Americas: Best Commercial Development (International Property Award 2013).
“Amidst international economic uncertainty and an increase in global investor interest in alternative investments, we have seen an uptick in foreign investment firms, particularly those in the Gulf, looking to acquire stabilized Class-A office products in the United States. Our sale of 175 Park Avenue allowed us to realize substantial value from this asset while providing Gulf Islamic Investments with an ideal opportunity to deploy capital in line with their investment strategy for the United States real estate market,” added Norman Feinstein, Vice Chairman of The Hampshire Companies.
GII is a UAE-based financial services company regulated by the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) managing $2.5 billion in assets and securing $5.5 billion in debt and in excess of $1.0 billion in equity. GII is committed to providing a diverse set of unique, duly researched, well-structured and risk-mitigated investment opportunities to its clients, with a view to achieve consistent and superior returns in the fields of private equity, venture capital, infrastructure and real estate. Under the leadership of a committed group of prominent shareholders and investors, GII’s team boasts deep experience in collective investment, strategic management, finance, and accounting.
Serving as co-investment advisor for GII was FD Stonewater, a boutique real estate brokerage, investment, development and asset management firm with offices in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Newport Beach.
About The Hampshire Companies
The Hampshire Companies is a full-service, private real estate firm based in Morristown, New Jersey. The Hampshire Companies is a vibrant, dynamic organization that combines creative vision and superior execution, thereby enabling it to create and enhance value in real estate investments. Additional information on The Hampshire Companies is available online at HampshireRE.com.
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R&J Strategic Communications