MONTVILLE, NJ-First Industrial Realty Trust, based in Chicago and with its New Jersey operations based in Livingston, has acquired the 1.3-million-sf Montville Business Center, Montville, NJ from CalPERS, a California pension fund. For this latest deal in the highly charged New Jersey industrial market, the sale price was $83 million.

“This is one of the most successful and strategically located business parks in Northern New Jersey,” according to First Industrial regional director Hayden Tiger. “This acquisition is part of our effort to continue to be one of the most active industrial acquisition and development companies in the state. It also means we now have a presence in almost every major market in the state.”

The asset is sited on 82 acres near the intersection of I-80 and I-287. Its tenant roster includes MCI, WorldCom, JVC, NCR, Pitney Bowes, Trane Air Conditioning, Bergen Brunswig Corp. Einstein Moomjy, Savin and Danka. The dozen-building campus is made up of eight flex buildings and four bulk distribution facilities.

First Industrial is currently marketing a 258,240-sf building within the portfolio. A $3-million renovation of the building has just been finished, including a $1-million re-roofing project and updated common areas and building system upgrades. It features 24-foot clear ceilings, loading to suit, office to suit, and 40-foot by 60-foot bays. With the renovation, the building is being marketed as “new construction,” divisible into units as small as 30,000 sf.

With the acquisition, First Industrial now owns more than 4.5 million sf of space in New Jersey. In addition to this latest deal, the company has also started the planning and development of more than 200,000 sf of new construction in two park locations in Sayreville and Somerset.

While the company’s regional HQ will remain in Livingston, NJ, its Northern New Jersey headquarters will be moving to Montville Business Center, where it will carry out on-site leasing and management functions.

Cushman & Wakefield of NJ brokered the Montville transaction. The company’s Andy Merin, Frank Caccavo and Jack Fraker represented CalPERS.

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