(For more retail coverage, click GlobeSt.com/RETAIL and to read more on the industrial market, click here.)

SECAUCUS, NJ-The Children’s Place has signed a lease for 245,200 sf, representing the entire building at 2 Emerson Lane here. The asset is owned by the locally based Hartz Mountain Industries and is located within that company’s Harmon Cove warehouse district in the Meadowlands submarket.

For the Children’s Place, the signing marks a headquarters relocation, albeit a short one in terms of distance. The retailer will be moving its corporate offices, as well as related warehousing and distribution operations, to 2 Emerson Lane from the nearby 915 Secaucus Rd., another Hartz-owned property, where it currently occupies 183,000 sf. That relocation is expected to be completed by early 2007, according to a Hartz spokesman. Terms of the lease were not disclosed.

“Harmon Cove has been the location of our corporate office since 1999,” says Steve Balasiano, senior vice president and chief administrative officer for the Children’s Place. “Our corporate headcount in Secaucus has grown from approximately 100 employees to more than 600 employees in that time to support the growth of the company. A larger facility is necessary to facilitate our continued growth and expansion.”

The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. designs, contracts to manufacture and sells merchandise under the proprietary “the Children’s Place” and licensed “Disney Store” brands. The company currently owns and operates 811 the Children’s Place and 317 Disney stores in North America.

Meanwhile, leasing activity remains strong at Harmon Cove, Hartz Mountain’s 750-acre Harmon Cove mixed use development, according to Emanuel Stern, the company’s president and COO. “Surging interest in the New Jersey Turnpike’s Exit 15X continues to fuel the Meadowlands industrial and office market.”

Stern says the opening of 15X has established a highly visible second point of entry into Harmon Cove, which is one of the factors contributing to the heavy leasing activity. “15X is a win-win situation with its location, the [Frank Lautenberg] rail station, access to Manhattan and the ports. Anytime there are industrial properties within a few miles of mass transit options, there will be tenants who will take advantage of the opportunity.”

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