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NEWARK-First it was venerable publisher John Wiley & Sons moving its headquarters from Manhattan to Hoboken, NJ. Now, Newark has grabbed another piece of Manhattan’s publishing pie with the announcement that Matthew Bender & Co. will cross the Hudson to New Jersey’s largest city. Actually, Bender’s move will come first–its new space is available and the build-out is expected to be completed by next spring. Wiley’s is new construction that will take about 18 months to finish.

Bender’s destination is the historic 650,000-sf, 34-story art deco 744 Broad St., also known as the Newark National Building. While it will be eclipsed in the near future by new construction in Jersey City, the tower has been New Jersey’s tallest commercial building since it was erected in 1930.

Details of Bender’s lease agreement with building owner Cogswell Realty haven’t been disclosed, other than the publisher will take three floors. The building’s largest floorplates are around 25,000 sf, and prevailing rents for comparable space in the market is $25 per sf.

Matthew Bender, a unit of Lexis-Nexis, is one of the top legal publishing firms, producing legal forms and treatises authored by top judges, lawyers and law professors. The company has 1,000 employees in three New York cities and San Francisco; 250 employees are involved in the Manhattan-to-Newark HQ move.

Long Island-based Cogswell Realty is a four-year-old company that has snapped up and repositioned a number of older properties in several states, including New York and New Jersey.

“It’s a great location and a wonderful building,” according to Jean McGovern, Bender’s SVP of operations. “It’s also a good buy from the standpoint of real estate rentals.” She also admits, “the perception of Newark hasn’t caught up with reality.”

With another block of office space grabbed up in Downtown Newark, Alfred Faiella, deputy mayor for economic development, is predicting that new speculative development might be right around the corner. “The office market is getting very hot,” says Faiella. “It’s about time to build some new buildings.”

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