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BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ-Construction is just under way for a new 187,000-sf office building for cosmetics giant L’Oreal USA. The four-story building, rising on 16 acres within Connell Corporate Park, is slated for completion in 2009. Cost of the project hasn’t been released.

When it’s done, the new facility will consolidate some 300 employees currently working at five separate locations in New Jersey: Clark, Cranbury, Cranford, South Brunswick and Westfield. Another 100 or so employees will move over from L’Oreal USA’s corporate headquarters in Manhattan, and company officials are terming the new building “L’Oreal USA’s New Jersey headquarters.”

“It’s a relocation, and it’s an upgrading of our employees’ environment,” says company SVP David Greenberg. The building will rise on a portion of the 170-acre Connell Corporate Park, a project of Connell Realty & Development Co. that has been under development since 1981 and has a projected build-out of nearly 1.8 million sf. The multi-building property currently has a building stock in the 1.4-million-sf range.

Connell will own the building and lease it to L’Oreal USA under terms that were not released. L’Oreal USA, whose parent L’Oreal is based in Paris, is also getting a Business Employment Incentive Grant from the state that New Jersey EDA officials say will pay the company nearly $1.5 million over the next 10 years.

The new L’Oreal USA building is one of two projects currently under way at Connell Corporate Park, which is located just off I-78 in Union County. Connell Realty is also moving forward with a 100,000-sf, eight-story Westin Hotel on the property.

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