PARSIPPANY, NJ-The Hampshire Cos. is getting set to launch a major overhaul of 8 Sylvan Way, a 100,000-sf, three-story office building. Cost of the renovation hasn’t been announced. The Morristown-based Hampshire acquired the asset not quite a year ago on behalf of its Hampshire Partners Fund VI, buying the building from Parsippany Colonial Corp., the leasehold from Colonial Parsippany Associates and the 15-acre site from the Chubb Institute.

Hampshire bought the property with Chubb still occupying about half of the building with a lease through early 2007. But Chubb will be out before then, according to Norman Feinstein, Hampshire’s EVP, allowing the renovation to kick-off.

What Hampshire expects to emerge from the makeover is a class A headquarters building. “When we acquired the property, we knew that its primary attribute was its location,” Feinstein says, noting that location is just off Interstate 287. “With merely some cosmetic changes, this building would be a winner for our investors.

“But our aspiration for this property is focused on more than just modernizing and upgrading its appearance,” he continues. “We view this as one of the few remaining opportunities in Northern New Jersey for a corporation looking for approximately 100,000 sf of headquarters-quality space.”

And Hampshire has brought in the New York City-based architectural firm HLW to design the makeover. Among HLW’s credits are the Fox Broadcasting world HQ in Manhattan, the Harborside Financial Center in Jersey City and ABC-TV’s Good Morning America studio in Times Square.

“This is a great building,” says Howard Leist, HLW’s architectural design director. “By renovating the building, improving its appearance and its systems, we can create a premier class A offering in the market.” According to Leist, the redesign will organize the building around a glazed atrium. Granite-clad walls will flank the atrium, and the building’s new exterior wall will be a combination of stone, metal and glass.

And, according to Feinstein, the 15-acre site can support expansion of the existing building. “We believe that the ability to expand it, either immediately or over time, adds substantial additional value to this offering.” And to find a user for 8 Sylvan Way, Hampshire has given the leasing exclusive to Robert Rudin of Cushman & Wakefield of NJ, East Rutherford.

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