PARSIPPANY, NJ–The 350,000-square-foot complex at Morris Corporate Center IV  previously occupied by Pfizer Pharmaceutical and the chemical company Evonik Degussa is now in the hands of MetLife and is being marketed for lease.

The two-building complex, developed by SJP Properties has been vacant for more than a year, SJP’s executive vice-president Jeffrey Schotz tells The vacancy rate in Parsippany is running close to 30% in Parsippany at large, about 5 points higher than the statewide average – which is itself about 5 points higher than the national rate of 20% for suburban office space according to Moody’s.

MetLife, which had been the lender for the property, acquired it about six months ago in a “quiet transaction,” says Schotz.  He and Cushman & Wakefield’s broker Ken Flynn Jr. described the transaction as a sale, rather than a foreclosure.

Cushman & Wakefieldhas been tapped by MetLife to market and lease the Phase II complex, as it is known.  The Cushman & Wakefield team will be comprised of Ken Flynn Jr., Bill Brown and Jason Tenenbaum of the firm’s Morristown office.

“Morris Corporate Center IV Phase II is a Class A, award-winning office property,” said Robert Merck, global head of MetLife Real Estate Investors in a statement issued Friday evening.

He said that MetLife and Cushman & Wakefield have begun a capital improvement and “leasing enhancement” program that includes upgrades to common areas, the cafeteria and fitness center, renovations of the main and side lobbies, and preparation of the vacant space for marketing.

“MetLife is a strong owner with a great reputation and financial strength. With that combination, we anticipate a great deal of interest in this trophy asset,” said Flynn.

The complex is a Class A property with Energy Star designation, located at 369 and 379 Interpace Parkway. It consists of two interconnected five-story buildings with

42,000-square-foot floorplates. It was built in 1999.

Evonik Degussa relocated to 299 Jefferson Road in Parsippany in late 2011, after Vision Equities did renovations there.  Pfizer left its space in April of 2011 during a period when major pharmaceutical companies were consolidating and shrinking their footprints in New Jersey, and globally.