MORRIS COUNTY, NJ-Work is under way for a 100,000-sf office/lab building within the US Army’s Picatinny Arsenal here. And while the building is relatively modest, it’s the first step toward build-out of the Picatinny Applied Research Campus, which will ultimately total 1.1 million sf of space. The project is a joint venture of the Bedminster-based Advance Realty Group and InSitech Inc., an intermediary for the US Army’s Picatinny Arsenal/Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center.

“There is s significant amount of local and national interest in this project due to its potential,” says Peter J. Cocoziello, president and CEO of Advance. “The manner in which Picatinny Arsenal is moving forward in conjunction with mission-related private-sector firms is unprecedented.”

Picatinny Arsenal itself is a federal facility that occupies some 6,500 acres of land in Northern New Jersey. The site has a history of armament and munitions development and production dating to the 18th century, and today’s installation employs more than 4,000 government and contractor personnel.

“We believe this is an opportunity to provide technology transfer,” Cocoziello says. “We have demand from firms that already have a presence at Picatinny, as well as national companies and research organizations.”

What the developers have in mind for the new research campus is a combination of one- to three-story build-to-suit and multi-tenant buildings with labs, office and multi-purpose space for high-tech, defense and academic tenants and users. The latter will have access to Picatinny Arsenal’s existing amenities, which range from meeting and conference facilities, to food services, to a golf course. The existing installation also has an estimated $1.5 billion of high-tech equipment on-site, including more than 60 labs and other intellectual assets.

The development will proceed, as well, under the terms of US Army’s Enhanced Use Leasing program. EUL is a program for non-excess real property that gives Department of Defense installations the authority and incentive to pick up a broad range of in-kind consideration in exchange for leasing revenue.

PARC will offer class A office and flex space as its construction proceeds. According to Cocoziello, the individual buildings are being designed “for maximum flexibility in floor-plan layouts and tenant fit-outs.”

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