PERTH AMBOY, NJ-Matrix Development Group had gone ahead with its new two-building, 450,000-sf Perth Amboy Business Park on spec, always an iffy prospect. But industrial real estate moves quickly in the Garden State, especially the warehouse/distribution variety, and close to one-quarter of that space has quickly been gobbled up, all in one bite.

Shalom International, a distributor of fashion accessories and general merchandise, has inked a lease for 101,460 sf of space, or close to half of one of the two buildings Matrix has planned for the 26-acre site. Shalom, which will be using the space for headquarters and an East Coast shipping and receiving center, will move here from substantially smaller quarters in Carteret, NJ, just a New Jersey Turnpike exit or two to the north. Terms of the lease were not disclosed.

“This transaction is in keeping with our emphasis on investing in New Jersey’s urban centers,” says Matrix COO Alec Taylor. Perth Amboy Business Center, which is currently under construction and slated to be ready for occupancy by the end of this year, is rising on a reclaimed Brownfield site.

“We are pleased to be playing a role in creating jobs, new investment and the long-term economic viability of Perth Amboy, and to construct this new facility for Shalom,” says Taylor, whose Cranbury, NJ-based company is also involved in a big way in other such New Jersey cities as Newark and New Brunswick, as well as in Philadelphia.

“We are confident the site will suit our current business needs and provide a facility that will provide us with the ability for future growth,” adds Ed Baranoff, president of Shalom, whose company has registered substantial growth since it acquired another specialty distributor five years ago.

Matrix’s project is one of several that have quickly turned around this Middlesex County city of 45,000, located directly across the Arthur Kill from New York’s Staten Island. The city has already seen more than $1 billion of public/private investment flow in as part of its Focus 2000 redevelopment plan. And the Florham Park, NJ-based Kushner Cos. broke ground earlier this year for its Landings at Harborside, a $600-million residential/retail/hotel project.

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