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WOODBRIDGE, NJ-The New Jersey Turnpike Authority has approved a deal under which it will lease 100,000 sf of office space for administrative purposes. The move will merge two headquarters locations currently used by the state agency, which operates the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, both of which are toll roads.

According to a published report, the authority is set to sign a 10-year lease worth $25 million. The space amounts to about half of Woodbridge II, an eight-story, 200,000-sf office building adjacent to Exit 11 of the Turnpike here. The two toll roads intersect at Exit 11.

The building is owned by Mack-Cali Realty Corp. of Cranford, NJ. A spokesperson for Mack-Cali declined comment, saying only that, “the lease has not been signed.”

“It has been our goal to consolidate the authority in one location,” says Michael Lapolla, the authority’s executive director, in a statement. In details released by the authority, it will pay $24.50 per sf for the initial three years of the lease, $25.25 for the next three years and $26 per sf for the last four years. The building’s available space has been listed on Mack-Cali’s website for $26 to 27.50 per sf.

The authority’s dual headquarters locations resulted from the fact that it was once two separate state agencies. Two years ago, in a move precipitated by the administration of former Gov. James McGreevey, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority was merged with what was then known as the New Jersey Highway Authority, operator of the Garden State Parkway, in a cost-cutting effort. Nearly 1,000 jobs are involved in the consolidation.

According to information released by the authority, its original headquarters building in East Brunswick, NJ, off Exit 9 of the Turnpike, about 10 miles south of here, will be put up for sale. The existing building, renovated just two years ago at a cost of more than $1.3 million, sits on an 11-acre site. Industry sources estimate the site could fetch upwards of $10 million.

The second location, the original headquarters of the New Jersey Highway Authority, will be retained, according to authority officials. Located not far from Mack-Cali’s building here, it will be converted into an operations center for the two highways and for their E-Z Pass electronic toll collection operations, as well as a New Jersey State Police substation.

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