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HACKENSACK, NJ-The good news is that locally-based Alfred Sanzari Enterprises has turned a run-down square block here into a sleek granite and solar reflective glass structure. The even better news is that the 84,000-sf medical arts and retail building has just opened fully leased.

The Alfred N. Sanzari Medical Arts Building, named after the firm’s founder, has supplanted four obsolete buildings in this city’s downtown. It’s also part of a larger redevelopment effort in this county seat of Bergen County.

“Very few urban projects end up with facilities actually within the urban corridor,” says David Sanzari, president of the company. “This new medical building is an important first step in what is hoped to be an ongoing and successful revitalization of the city of Hackensack.”

The building lies directly across the street from the Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC), one of the country’s top teaching hospitals. Therein lies the success of leasing the facility up so quickly: HUMC has fully leased the top three floors of the four-story complex, amounting to a total of 66,000 sf. The ground floor retail package totaling 18,000 sf has been fully leased to a variety of tenants, including Fleet Bank, Starbucks and Duane Reade, as well as a number of local retailers. The complex also includes a parking capacity of 350 cars.

The square-block redevelopment project on Essex Street is the result of a bidding process initiated by the City of Hackensack, according to Sanzari. His company was picked by the city from a total of seven developers who submitted proposals. While the cost of the project has not been released, Sanzari funded the entire project privately without any public money.

This city’s revitalization has been one of the leading efforts in a state where urban redevelopment is a key component of state government’s stated “smart growth” policies. The Sanzari organization, meanwhile, is no stranger to redevelopment: Among its projects are the 335,000-sf Court Plaza, also in Hackensack, and the 650,000-sf mixed-use Glenpointe complex in nearby Teaneck, NJ.

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