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WEST WINDSOR, NJ-Mack-Cali Realty Corp. has acquired a land site of just under 60 acres located along Route 1 at Meadow Road in this Princeton submarket community. The Cranford, NJ-based REIT is paying $20.5 million for the tract, which is adjacent to the Carnegie Center office complex. The seller is the Roseland, NJ-based Steiner Equities.

And the site is already approved for the development of approximately 770,000 sf of commercial space, according to Mitchell E. Hersh, president and CEO of Mack-Cali. “The site is fully entitled, approved, permitted and ready to go,” Hersh tells GlobeSt.com.

“The site is absolutely magnificent–it’s ‘Main and Main’ in terms of its location, and it’s got tremendous access,” Hersh says. “With the scarcity of developable land in the region, this transaction allowed us the opportunity to acquire land in what is perhaps the top location in the Princeton submarket.

“We look forward to adding to our holdings in this core submarket, which is home to the headquarters of several pharmaceutical firms, as well as a broad spectrum of diversified industries,” he continues.

The site is currently cleared for four office buildings totaling 607,000 sf, as well as for a hotel. And it’s the hotel that’s likely to move ahead first. “There’s a very high level of interest on the part of various hotel operators to do something on the site,” Hersh tells GlobeSt.com. “So we’re exploring all options right now.”

As far as a build-out of the office space, “I can tell you that the site has certainly attracted a high level of interest at this point, and we’re looking at some situations right now,” he says. “Saying anything else would be premature.”

Mack-Cali currently owns or has interests in 270 office and office/flex properties in the Northeast, totaling some 30 million sf. The REIT’s current holdings in the Princeton submarket include five class A office properties totaling more than 750,000 sf, as well as land for the development of more than one million sf of additional space.

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