ELIZABETH, NJ-With the New Jersey office market tight on space, OENJ Cherokee, based in Bayonne, NJ, wants to bring a significant amount of class A product to the market, but its plan is a little unconventional. Rather than put it on the Jersey City waterfront, or Downtown Newark, or in a suburban office park, the company is marketing a 40-acre site just off the New Jersey Turnpike near Newark International Airport, where most of the surrounding development is industrial, especially warehousing and distribution.

The project is called BridgeView Center, and company officials figure it’ll fly because “there’s no class A product between Jersey City and Woodbridge [NJ],” says Henry Feld of New York-based CB Richard Ellis. Ellis is marketing the site to potential users for OENJ.

“Today’s market is tight, and it’s likely that demand will remain steady, or even rise,” says Irving E. Cohen, president of OENJ Cherokee. “There are a lot of compelling factors supporting this project.”

Two Danish entrepreneurs started OENJ Corp. in 1992, buying a larger 166-acre brownfield parcel, remediating it, and selling 130 acres to Glimcher Realty Trust, according to Cohen. Glimcher subsequently built the 1.3 million Jersey Gardens outlet mall, and will shortly open a hotel. Last year, Cherokee Investment Partners bought a big piece of OENJ, renamed it OENJ Cherokee and began planning BridgeView Center for the rest of the original site.

While nothing is etched in stone regarding the size and scope of the project, OENJ is trying to compete with Jersey City for New York-based tenants looking for 50,000 sf to 700,000 sf. The owner will also consider non-office commercial uses.

CB Richard Ellis projects that rents will be in the range of $7 to $10 per sf cheaper than comparable space in Jersey City, which has been a solid magnet for New York companies. “The site is also in an urban enterprise zone, so there will be a lot of incentives, both in taxes and relocation packages, for New York companies to come here,” according to Cohen.

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