FREEHOLD, NJ-Mack-Cali Realty Corp. has picked up yet another asset in Monmouth County, an area in which it has become a highly active player. The latest acquisition is Monmouth Executive Center, a four-building, 236,338-sf class A office complex here.

Mack-Cali bought the complex for just under $32.8 million, a sale price that translates into $139 per sf. The seller, a locally based entity that was not identified, was represented by Steven Schultz of the Schultz Organization/TCN Worldwide, based in Woodbridge. Mack-Cali was represented in-house.

“With this transaction, we leveraged our industry relationships to acquire this complex at an attractive price,” says Mitchell E. Hersh, president and CEO of the Cranford-based REIT. “And we further increased our presence in the Monmouth County submarket.”

The complex is currently just more than 75% leased to a total of 15 tenants. The individual buildings are located at 100 Willowbrook Rd. and 2, 3, and 4 Paragon Way. The latter building is the newest of the four, having been developed by the now-former owner on a speculative basis.

Work on the 67,000-sf 4 Paragon Way, which completed the project’s build-out, began in early 2001 and was completed in mid-2002. During construction, specialty insurer Proformance Insurance Co. signed a lease for more than 44,000 sf, becoming the asset’s major tenant. The Proformance lease was similarly arranged by Schultz.

With a total portfolio of 271 properties and 30.2 million sf, Mack-Cali’s Monmouth County holdings now add up to 17 building totaling more than 1.6 million sf of office space. Earlier this year, the REIT bought the remaining 37.5% ownership interest in One River Centre, a three-building, 460,000-sf class A building in Middletown, spending $10.5 million for that remaining share. Mack-Cali had been managing the complex for its developer and part-owner, One River Associates.

Shortly thereafter, Mack-Cali spent $24 million for the 359,000-sf 23 Main St. in Holmdel, a former Prudential operations center that had been largely vacated by the financial services company, which was the seller. Simultaneous to the acquisition, Mack-Cali signed Vonage, the fast-growing ISP, to a full-building lease for its headquarters operations.

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