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SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ-The I-287 corridor still has a high office vacancy rate, but the people who brokered the sale of the 160,000-sf Southfield Center office building here see the deal as a sign of “the growing strength of the Middlesex upper 287 corridor,” says Cushman & Wakefield’s Andrew Merin. Southfield Crown Realty, a subsidiary of the New York-based Navika Capital Corp., bought the building from Florida-based Realty Associates Iowa Corp. for $19.6 million, or $122.50 per sf.

“Southfield Center has an institutional-quality image,” says Jose Cruz, who teamed with Merin, David Bernhaut and Gary Gabriel, all of C&W’s Metropolitan Area Capital Markets Group, to orchestrate the sale. “As such, it presented an attractive investment opportunity.”

Built in 1982, the three-story class A asset was 92% leased at the time of sale, with a tenant roster including such organizations as design and contracting firm Gannett Fleming Inc., the International Planning Alliance and Bright Horizons of Southfield, a private child care institution. The building, situated on 15 acres at 1 Cragwood Rd. and Hadley Rd., has its available space currently listed with an asking price of $19 per sf.

“The I-287 corridor in Middlesex, which has been inundated with excess space from the telecom industry during the past several years, has shown fundamental progress with several tenant commitments this year,” Merin says. “From an investment standpoint, some 3.7 million sf in office sales have occurred in Central New Jersey since the beginning of 2007. “Sixty-four percent of that activity occurred in Middlesex County.”

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