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CRANBURY, NJ-Innophos Inc. has signed a lease for a total of more than 35,000 sf of mixed-use space in two buildings at Preferred Real Estate Investments’ Mid-Atlantic Corporate Center here. The signing coincides with the imminent start of a major redevelopment of the campus, which Preferred bought from Rhodia Group, a Paris-based chemical company, earlier this year.

“This signing signifies a new beginning in the redevelopment of Mid-Atlantic Corporate Center,” says Michael O’Neill, Preferred’s chairman and founder This location is generating a great deal of interest because of its location and its existing R&D facilities.”

As reported by GlobeSt.com, Preferred closed on the acquisition of the 83-acre, 14-building, 347,000-sf Rhodia campus back in April. The sale price was not released, but several industry sources put the transaction in the $35-million range. As part of the original sale agreement, Rhodia retained an option to lease back up to 100,000 sf of office space and 50,000 sf of lab space on the site. However, Rhodia has since decided to move its operations to new space at Preferred’s the Bridge Business Center in Bristol, PA.

Innophos, which is actually a spinoff of several segments of Rhodia’s North American operations, is an international producer and distributor of chemical grade phosphates, which it sells to manufacturers of food products. The company’s deal at Mid-Atlantic Corporate Center includes 17,480 sf of headquarters space in one building, which will undergo extensive interior renovations. The company will also occupy 17,711 sf of space in an adjacent building to house its food laboratories and test kitchens. The company is currently housed at 259 Prospect Plains Rd. here.

Major work on the redevelopment of the campus is slated to begin in November, according to O’Neill. Current plans call for seven of the 14 buildings to be razed and the remaining buildings will undergo extensive interior and exterior renovations. Also part of the plan is the clearing of 50 acres in the center of the site to accommodate a new pond and extensive landscaping, O’Neill notes.

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