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FLEMINGTON, NJ-Lincoln Equities has gone a little outside of the box–to a “big box”–with its latest acquisition. The Rutherford, NJ-based company is known mostly as a developer and owner of class A office properties, but its latest pick-up is the 851,055-sf former Lipton Northeast distribution and production facility in this Hunterdon county seat.

“Our view is that this complex represented an overlooked asset in a niche market which afforded excellent upside potential,” according to Lincoln Equities partner Joel Bergstein. “We plan to reposition this asset from a single- to a multi-tenant complex. We will be significantly investing in upgrading the facility as well.”

Indeed, Lincoln Equities has already begun the process. While the new owner was closing on the acquisition, it was also in the process of negotiating and signing a long-term lease with C & S Grocers for a total of 305,000 sf of space. C&S will similarly use it as a distribution center.

The Garibaldi Group, based in Chatham, NJ, represented both the buyer and the seller in the sale. The firm’s James J. Garibaldi and Joseph J. Garibaldi, IV represented Lipton, a subsidiary of Unilever, while John J. Garibaldi represented Lincoln Equities. Edward Dudzinski of Atlantic Realty represented C & S Grocers in the subsequent lease transaction. Neither the sale price nor other details of the two transactions were disclosed.

The 108-acre former Lipton site is off of I-78 in this western New Jersey county, and is accessible to both eastern Pennsylvania, just to the west, and to northern New Jersey. According to Bergstein, the available space can be built out for manufacturing, distribution and high-tech uses. It has 20-ft. to 50-ft. clear ceilings, heavy power and loading capabilities, and heavy water and sewer capacities.

The site itself is a little off the beaten path from the state’s main warehousing/distribution corridor, which follows the New Jersey Turnpike to the east and south of here. But, according to Bergstein, “the Flemington/Hunterdon market is one of the most diverse and fastest growing in the state. It’s also experiencing a boom in new residential construction.”

“The sale is a very beneficial transaction for both parties,” agrees Joseph J. Garibaldi, IV. “This disposition is in keeping with Lipton’s business strategy, and it affords Lincoln Equities the opportunity to enter the I-78 Hunterdon/Somerset County corridor in a large-scale manner.”

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