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SECAUCUS, NJ-Hartz Mountain Industries has sold its two-building, 212,000-sf Meadowlands Plaza office complex here, GlobeSt.com has learned. Sources confirm that the property traded for roughly $30.3 million or about $143 per sf. Hartz, which is also based here, did not respond to requests for comment on the transaction.

The new owner, according to sources, is the Rye, NY-based Willett Cos., a first-time investment buyer in the Garden State. Willett, a group that is largely made up of Irish investors, bought the buildings in a joint venture partnership with the Dublin-based Warren & Partners.

The property, which is located within Hartz Mountain’s master planned Harmon Cove mixed-use community in the Meadowlands submarket, consists of the four-story, 128,000-sf 150 Meadowland Parkway and the two-story, 84,000-sf 200 Meadowland Parkway. The two buildings were originally built in the late 1970s, and 150 Meadowland Parkway recently underwent $4.5 million worth of renovations to repair smoke damage. The redo upgraded the building’s finishes and mechanical systems, according to sources.

According to information provided to GlobeSt.com, the two buildings are fully leased to eight tenants, including three anchor tenants that combined occupy about three-quarters of the total space. The three anchor tenants are locked in through 2010, according to a source. Corporate neighbors include MSNBC and Panasonic, which fully occupy adjacent but unrelated buildings. Both buildings had been listed for sale in late 2002 or early last year, according to sources.

In any event, the sale is described by industry observers as an example of the growing influx of first-time investors, including foreign sources, in New Jersey commercial properties. The acquisition by Willett, for example, is said to be the first major investment of off-shore capital from Ireland in the state’s commercial real estate market.

The price per sf Willett paid for the buildings is generally considered to be a mid-level number for office product in the northern part of the Garden State.

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