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FRANKLIN TWP., NJ-SJP Properties, owner of the 175,000-sf Somerset Research Center here, has tapped Cushman & Wakefield to lease the currently vacant asset. Until this past spring, the 73-acre complex of four interconnecting buildings had been used by pharmaceutical giant Aventis as a full-service research facility.

“Aventis continued to operate this property until recently, and the facility was fully validated for the company’s use,” according to C&W’s Bill McCaffrey, who is teaming with the firm’s Joseph Sarno, Jonathan Meisel and Bill Brown to market the property. Located at 101 Mettlers Rd. in this Somerset County community, the complex is currently available in its entirety. The complex itself occupies only 25 acres, and the rest of the site offers expansion capability.

“Somerset Research Center is one of the most attractive opportunities of its kind in the market today,” adds Meisel, who notes that his group is targeting pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other research-based organizations. “It provides a great deal of flexibility and infrastructure to suit a broad range of technical uses.”

To get the ball rolling, C&W has kicked off an architecture-based effort to analyze the site’s adaptability for potential tenants. Launched last year, the group offers services for government, private and academic research organizations and corporations looking to develop or lease R&D and high-tech pilot and production facilities.

“Our goal is to help New Jersey maintain its status as the nation’s pharmaceutical hub by integrating technology companies and their operations with the institutions and real estate owners that can help them,” McCaffrey explains.

Aventis, of course, is the result of the merger in 1998 of Rhone-Poulenc and Hoechst AG. The Strasbourg, France-based company maintains its North American headquarters about 10 miles up I-287 in Bridgewater, NJ. The space became available as a result of the company’s restructuring of its North American facilities.

SJP Properties, owner of the asset, is headquartered in Parsippany, NJ. The company, founded a dozen years ago and headed by Steven J. Pozycki, currently owns and manages a portfolio of more than 12 million sf of office space with additional development potential of six million sf.

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