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MOUNTAIN LAKES, NJ-Grosvenor Investment Management US, on behalf of a public pension fund client, has teamed up with Vision Equities to buy the 18-acre Mountain Lakes Corporate Campus, which sits on this community’s border with Parsippany, for $15.2 million. The sale price computes to $135 per sf for the existing 113,000 sf of building space, although the property does have additional development capability. The seller was TIAA-CREF, and the deal was brokered by Grubb & Ellis.

“We made a market for the offering on a multi-state program and received a high percentage of offers from out-of-state investors,” says G&E’s Matthew Schnurr, who teamed with colleagues John Hoffman and Michael Harrington to put the deal together. “The ability to plant the flag in New Jersey with a combination of stabilized and value-added components was compelling.”

The property consists of the 49,477-sf Mountain Lakes I, which was built in 1978 and redeveloped in 2000 after TIAA-CREF, the mortgagee, took the long-vacant building over. It is currently 100% occupied by Pinnacle Foods Corp. and Omnova Solutions. As reported by GlobeSt.com, Pinnacle expanded its headquarters space in 2004 from 17,000 sf to 42,000 sf, effectively filling the building and completing its redevelopment program.

The value-added opportunity comes from the 63,528-sf Mountain Lakes II. Built in 1981, it is largely leased to Computer Horizons, which renewed on a long-term basis in 2004. But Computer Horizons has downsized within the property, opening up the redevelopment opportunity, says Schnurr. Finally, the site includes a land parcel zoned for as-of-right development of an additional 64,000 sf.

“This is a value-creation opportunity through a full-scale redevelopment program for Mountain Lakes II,” confirms Dick Layman of GIM, which is the Philadelphia-based North American operation of the UK’s Grosvenor Fund Management. “And the additional land parcel is one of the few available land sites located at a four-way controlled intersection of Route 46.”

“This is an investment in a property that includes a class A stabilized building, a redevelopment project and a ground-up development component,” summarizes Sam Morreale of Vision Equities, who co-heads the group with partners Fred Arena and Larry Mazzei. According to Morreale, his two-year-old group will be relocating its offices to the property, specifically to Mountain Lakes II.

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