HAMILTON, NJ-Mack-Cali Realty Corp. has completed a 120,000-sf build-to-suit office development in its Horizon Center Business Park here for automotive service provider AAA Mid-Atlantic. Mack-Cali has also acquired two office buildings and a development parcel from AAA for $8.8 million. “It was a fairly complex transaction,” Mitchell Hersh, CEO of Mack-Cali, tells GlobeSt.com.

AAA has preleased the building at 700 Horizon Dr., which it will use as an operations center, for 15 years. Added up, AAA is roughly doubling its space through its consolidation and expansion, and bringing in 32 jobs from out of state. AAA was represented by Robert Bull, Philip Lipper and Michael Kennedy of Studley in all transactions.

“It was a relationship transaction,” says Hersh, who knows both AAA executives and the Studley team. “We hope to do a lot more together.”

Mack-Cali’s two purchased structures are at 2 South Gold Dr. and 3 and 5 AAA Dr. Two South Gold, a 33,962-sf office building on 9.5 acres, was formerly occupied by AAA, who will continue to lease 9,784 sf of it for 10 years as a retail location. It can be redeveloped for up to 120,000 sf of commercial space. 3 and 5 AAA Dr., totaling 35,270 sf on 17 acres, will be vacated by AAA. It can be redeveloped for 161,000 sf of commercial space.

Mack-Cali has already signed a seven-year lease with Kleinfelder Inc. for 15,736 sf at 3 AAA Dr. Hersh says the rest of the space in on the market, and they are in discussion with potential tenants.

The development parcel, at 6 AAA Dr., is 2.4 acres and can hold up to 32,000 sf of commercial space.

When initially announced, Mack-Cali would also have bought a third property, a 13,800-sf office/flex building at 6 South Gold Dr. That building has instead been sold directly from AAA to Northeast Spa & Pool Association. Mack-Cali was in preleasing talks with Nespa for occupancy when Nespa made an offer to purchase, and so Mack-Cali acted as facilitator for the deal, which closed simultaneously with the build-to-suit and other AAA closings. Mack-Cali was scheduled to play $1.2 million for it, and Hersh confirms that Nespa paid about the same price.

Construction costs of the building have not been released. The original completion date of the project was in the Q3 of 2006 Hersh says they weren’t any unusual delays in the construction process. “Frankly, everything was on schedule.”

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