PRINCETON, NJ-The figure $57 per sf is what decent industrial space usually trades for in New Jersey, but that’s the number for which the White Plains, NY-based GHP Office Realty picked up the 53,000-sf, two-story 29 Thanet Circle here. The price tag for the building was just $3 million.

The catch is that the building is currently vacant–built 30 years ago, it was formerly occupied by the Federal government’s Center for Communications Research. It’s also in need of some serious work, and GHP has already announced that it plans to spend upwards of $6 million to turn it into a class A, headquarters-quality facility.

According to GHP managing partner Andrew Greenspan, the property “constitutes the largest contiguous block of available office space in downtown Princeton. We are going to completely renovate the building. When we are finished, this will be a completely new headquarters-type building.”

GHP has commissioned Hillier Architecture of Princeton to effect the changes in the building, which sits on 10 acres. Gus Castaldo of Houlihan Parnes/iCap Realty Advisors placed the construction financing, and Pepper Hamilton LLP of Princeton repped GHP in the transaction. Thomas Romano of GVA Williams/Buschman Partner, Lawrenceville, NJ is the leasing agent for the property.

The acquisition is part of GHP’s move to grab market share in the Greater Princeton market. Last year, the company and its affiliates bought the 37,000-sf 300 Alexander Park in a deal valued at $6.2 million which, at $167 per sf, is more in keeping with local property values, as well as the former Lockheed-Martin property in East Windsor, NJ. The latter was acquired from the Pennsylvania-based Brandywine Realty Trust for an undisclosed price.

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