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SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ-In three separate transactions, Sappi Fine Paper North America has signed leases for a total of just over 1.2 million sf of industrial space in New Jersey, GlobeSt.com has learned. The key deal is a 500,000-sf build-to-suit in this Middlesex County community, said to be among the largest such projects in the Garden State this year.

While financial details of the three deals are not available, the build-to-suit project will rise at the new 1.25-million-sf Heller Industrial Park here, according to Jeroen Diderich, supply chain and customer service director for Sappi. The company will use the new facility, which is expected to be ready in about a year, for manufacturing, warehousing and distribution purposes.

At 100-120 Industrial Ave. in Edison, NJ, meanwhile, the company renegotiated an existing lease encompassing 220,000 sf of distribution space. The transaction is decidedly short term: Sappi will continue its business operations at the location only until the new build-to-suit facility in South Brunswick is ready for occupancy.

And at 100 Liberty Way in Cranbury, NJ, the company inked a new short-term lease for 575,000 sf within Sudler Management Co.’s Corporate Park Cranbury. Sappi will close and relocate its Allentown, PA distribution facility to the site.

All three transactions were arranged for Sappi by Trammell Crow Co. Heading the effort were Dirk Hrobsky, a vice president in the firm’s New York City office, and Mitchell Katz, who holds the same title in Trammell Crow’s Florham Park, NJ office.

“This series of transactions required an extensive understanding of Sappi’s strategic business plan, financial models and specific real estate requirements,” Hrobsky explains. “Our knowledge of the New Jersey industrial marketplace enabled us to complete this assignment within the client’s tight time constraint,” he says, adding that the separate deals were all put together “in less than six month’s time.

“The real estate solution addressed such issues as product stacking strategies and quantitative transportation/distribution analysis, among numerous others,” Hrobsky continues.

The Sappi deals add to a string of recent big box transactions adding up to two million sf that Trammell Crow has done in New Jersey’s industrial market which, at an estimated 750 million sf, is among the country’s largest. The companies involved include Volkswagen, Staples, Nestle Waters, CHEP/Millwood, Ryder Integrated Logistics and George Weintraub & Sons.

Sappi Fine Papers North America, which makes coated paper products, is part of the London-based Sappi Fine Papers. The latter, in turn, is a division of the Johannesburg, South Africa-based Sappi Ltd.

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