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LINDEN, NJ-Duke Realty Corp., owner of the former General Motors assembly plant site here, continues to build the team that will turn the more than 100 acres along Routes 1 and 9 into a mixed-use redevelopment. The Indianapolis-based Duke has hired CB Richard Ellis to find tenants for the industrial space that will combine with a retail component to complete the yet-to-be-named project.

Specifically, CBRE SVPs Mindy Lissner and William Waxman of the firm’s East Brunswick office will handle the assignment in collaboration the Duke’s vice president of development and leasing for the East Region, Bob Grossi, on the assignment. Grossi was recent promoted to that position to specifically oversee the GM/Linden project for the company.

As reported by GlobeSt.com, Duke, backed by the San Francisco-based Stockbridge Real Estate Fund, bought the property from General Motors in 2007 for more than $75 million. “Duke purchased this facility for its prime location and development potential,” Lissner says, in a statement. She terms it “an historic redevelopment project.”

Duke Realty is currently in the process of getting its approvals from the city to proceed with the redevelopment. Demolition of the 2.7-million-sf, multibuilding GM plant began earlier this year, the first step in a two-year effort to ready the site for new construction. Once the buildings have been demolished and removed, remediation work will continue into early 2009, and company officials anticipate new construction to start by mid-2009.

The former GM plant opened in the late 1930s, and after numerous expansions remained operational until early 2005 when it fell victim to the automaker’s restructuring of its manufacturing facilities. Duke and financial partner Stockbridge subsequently won out over 20 other bidders for the property. The site is near Exit 13 of the New Jersey Turnpike, as well as the Port of Newark/Elizabeth and Newark Liberty International Airport.

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