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NEWARK-Completing a deal announced in April, Rutgers University has acquired 11 floors of the 17-story 1 Washington Park tower. After renovations and a two-story addition, which will add a new glass lobby, the university will relocate its business school from its current multi-building location a few blocks away.

The university is paying $31.5 million for the 11 floors, which collectively amount to approximately 266,500 of the tower’s 400,000 sf, or about $116 a foot. The renovation and expansion will cost an estimated $51.5 million, bringing the total project cost to $83 million. Fidelco Realty Group of Millburn will retain the top six floors of the building for multi-tenant occupancy.

“Moving our business school to this location will contribute significantly to strengthening our business programs and increasing the visibility and reputation of the school, and at the same time contribute to the development of downtown Newark,” says Rutgers-Newark provost Steven J. Diner. “Rutgers-Newark has an opportunity to expand space for other current and future uses of the campus, including plans for increased enrollment.”

“A new building for Rutgers Business School has been envisioned for many years,” says acting RBS dean Rosa Oppenheim. “Our students and faculty will derive tremendous benefit from state-of-the-art facilities for teaching, research and study.”

According to university officials, the project is being financed through an $18-million FY 2006 appropriation from the State of New Jersey, and at least $7 million from new market tax subsidies. The rest of the cost will be financed by the university through donations and bonding. Rutgers, which has its main campus in New Brunswick, is New Jersey’s state university.

Fidelco, headed by Rutgers-Newark grad Marc Berson, bought the then-vacant building out of default proceedings from Siete Urban Associates two years ago for $26.5 million, or about $66 a foot. The building went vacant in early 2003 when original tenant Verizon moved its regional headquarters to a newer building across the street. Fidelco subsequently spent $20 million to renovate the asset to make it ready for multi-tenant use.

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