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WARREN, NJ-Normandy Real Estate Partners has picked up 20 Independence Blvd., a 120,800-sf class A office building here. The acquisition of the four-story asset was made on behalf of the firm’s Normandy Real Estate Fund LP. The seller was Hines VAF 20 Independence LP, an entity controlled by Hines Interests. The deal was brokered by CB Richard Ellis’ New York Tri-State Investment Team. The sale price was not disclosed.

While the building is 90% leased, Normandy is looking at it as a deal with upside potential. It will have significant near-term availability because of expiring leases, according to Giorgios Vlamis, the firm’s vice president for New Jersey acquisitions, and Normandy has hired CB Richard Ellis as leasing agent to find tenants for those pending availabilities.

“This represents a key acquisition in one of the state’s leading submarkets,” Vlamis says. “The opportunity to acquire a property with near-term cash flow and considerable re-leasing upside in a well-positioned submarket is a great fit for the value-creation objective of the fund.”

Normandy plans to launch a major overhaul of the property’s common areas, according to Vlamis, as part of the re-leasing effort. In the works is a redesign of the building’s two-story lobby and the construction of a new café. Normandy will manage the asset.

The building at 20 Independence Blvd. is located off an exit of Interstate 78 in Somerset County and is within the Somerset Hills Corporate Center. The corporate campus, which consists of a half-dozen class A office buildings totaling about 800,000 sf, was constructed in the 1980s and 1990s by Bellemead Development Corp., a subsidiary of Chubb Insurance. The various buildings have since been sold separately and are currently in the hands of multiple owners.

The Morristown-based Normandy, meanwhile, recently closed on Normandy Real Estate Fund LP, a discretionary real estate fund with projected total purchasing power of about $1.8 billion. The company is targeting investments in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets of Boston, metro New York, Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

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