NEWARK, NJ-Washington Park Fidelco LLC, an affiliate of the Millburn-based Fidelco Group, hired Newmark Real Estate as the exclusive leasing agent for its newly acquired One Washington Park office building here, has learned. The new owner is also preparing to launch a renovation of the currently empty building that will cost upwards of $20 million.

Fidelco bought the 17-story, 400,000-sf asset from Siete Urban Associates, a local group, in a $26.5-million deal co-brokered by Christian Benedetto of National Redevelopment Partners and David Bernhaut of Cushman & Wakefield of NJ. Other bidders for the building, which had been on the market for just over a year, were the Gale Co. and Heritage Management, according to sources. The building itself sits in a portion of this city that’s targeted for a larger redevelopment effort.

“The appointment adds an important element to reinforce One Washington Park as a business address,” says Marc Berson, managing partner of Washington Park Fidelco, who also co-owns the Newark Bears minor league baseball team. “The building is well on its way to advancing the revitalization of the North Broad Street district.” The renovation program, according to Berson, will include upgraded common areas and building systems, and will add new ground-floor retail, concierge service, a fitness center and a new conference facility.

“The opportunity to work on Fidelco’s behalf is important to us,” says Norman Baker, managing principal in Newmark’s Rutherford office. He is joined on the leasing team by Jon Karnick, director, and Jim Sousa, managing director, in the Rutherford office, and by executive managing director Arthur Draznin of the firm’s Manhattan office. Newmark has been involved in recent years in a number of lease and sales transactions in this city, involving such properties as 744 Broad St., 375 McCarter Hwy., 494 Broad St., One and Three Gateway Center and 550 Broad St.

Built in the early 1980′s by Turner Construction as a build-to-suit for Bell Atlantic, now Verizon, the building went vacant a year and a half ago when the telecom company relocated its regional headquarters to smaller, newly renovated quarters just across the street.

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