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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ-The 80,000-sf former Middlesex County Administration Building, built in the mid-’60s but vacated three years ago when county government moved into larger quarters, was slated for demolition until Pennrose Properties and the New Brunswick Development Corp. (Devco) stepped in. Now, the building has been reborn as Skyline Tower, combining 70 luxury rental apartments with three floors of office space.

“This creative conversion of the county administration building into rental apartments and office space is a model of adaptive re-use,” according to Christopher Paladino, president of Devco, speaking after Pennrose and local officials officially opened its doors. “This partnership has resulted in expanded office space and an increase in the city’s inventory of apartments.”

The effort entailed gutting the 14-story building right down to its shell at an estimated cost of $13 million, according to officials of Devco, which is the master developer of the larger urban redevelopment area in which the project is situated. Skyline Tower was completed with the help of tax-exempt bond financing, private equity and Fannie Mae guarantees.

“This opening is a significant step in the continued revitalization of this city,” according to New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill. “Not only does it offer new housing in the heart of the business district, it also provides new ratables for the city and new residents with disposable income that will be spent here.”

The 11 residential floors sit atop the three floors of office space and an amenities core, and residents are guaranteed one parking space per apartment in the adjacent, city-owned Ferren Deck parking garage, according to Paladino. The neo-classical style structure is located at 60 Paterson St. in this city’s downtown area.

And one way or another, county government is back in the building. The asset’s office component, which totals approximately 17,000 sf, will be utilized as overflow space by the Middlesex County court system.

“We have already received substantial interest from prospective tenants,” according to Tim Henkel, development officer for the Philadelphia-based Pennrose Properties.

The redevelopment of Skyline Tower was performed simultaneously with the complete renovation of the county courthouse building, also supervised by Devco.

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