Samsung Inks HQ Lease at KABR-Owned 85 Challenger in NJ
14 Dec, 2009, Ridgefield Park, N.J.
Electronics giant Samsung Electronics America, Inc. today signed a 193,000-square-foot office lease at 85 Challenger Road in Ridgefield Park, announced Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. Arguably New Jersey’s most significant transaction of 2009, this blockbuster deal marks the successful, six-month turnaround of this Class A, 235,000-square-foot former REO asset.
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. , will relocate its United States headquarters to 85 Challenger from another local address. Cushman & Wakefield’s Metropolitan Area Capital Markets Group in East Rutherford, N.J., headed by Andrew Merin, David Bernhaut, Gary Gabriel and Jose Cruz, and leasing specialists Marc Trevisan and David DeMatteis represented building owner KABR Real Estate Investment Partners in the long-term transaction. CBRE’s John Oh and Paul March served as tenant broker.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Metropolitan Area Capital Markets Group in June orchestrated the sale of the then-vacant 85 Challenger Road from AIG (to which 85 Challenger had been returned under foreclosure) to KABR, a value fund dedicated to the timely and opportunistic purchase of select real estate assets in the New York metropolitan area. That transaction represented the tri-state area’s first post-Lehman large Class A office building investor purchase.
“AIG, which is a lending institution and not in the business of operating office buildings, made the right decision to return this building to the developer market following its foreclosure,” Merin noted. “KABR took advantage of a great opportunity to purchase a well-located trophy property at pricing realistic for 2009. Samsung’s commitment is incredibly meaningful for the New Jersey office market from both an investment and leasing standpoint.”
“Our confidence in 85 Challenger stemmed not only from its quality and location, but also its historic occupancy rate, which exceeded 90 percent,” said Kenneth Pasternak, chairman of KABR and a long-time real estate investor, as well as founder and retired CEO of Knight Trading. “We realized that as its owner we would be able to offer a fresh product at a greater value to tenants at other Class A properties. The lease with Samsung is a testament to the strength of this position.”
Shortly after the purchase, KABR appointed the Cushman & Wakefield leasing team to market the building for multi-tenant use. The company also is adding a new full-service cafeteria and updating the building’s common areas and elevator cabs – improvements that complement a recent $1 million lobby remodel.
“85 Challenger offers a tremendous opportunity in terms of price and location for companies looking for Class A space in the region,” said Trevisan, adding that prospective tenants continue to show interest in the remaining 40,000 square feet there. “KABR is an aggressive landlord. It is difficult for other properties to compete with what we can offer.”
85 Challenger Road has direct access to I-95/NJ Turnpike, Route 46 and I-80, and is just minutes from Manhattan, offering proximity to the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, and Newark Airport. The building is part of the 60-acre Overpeck Centre. The mixed-use office park serves as home to such notable firms as Bank of America and AGFA. It is the only office park in Northern New Jersey to have its own exit off the Turnpike.
The property is surrounded by dense, established housing providing access to a large labor pool, while also remaining convenient to the executive housing areas of northern Bergen County. Abundant area dining and retail, mass transit access and a new Hilton Garden Inn across the street, and a 22-acre county park within walking distance add to its appeal.
The Metropolitan Area Capital Markets Group specializes exclusively in real estate sales, joint ventures and financing in Northern New Jersey, Fairfield County, Conn.; and Long Island and Westchester County, N.Y. The team has completed more than $13.7 billion worth of transactions since 2000.