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CRANBURY, NJ-Hardware and housewares importer and manufacturer Howard Berger Co. is signing a lease for just less than 237,000 square feet of warehousing and distribution space at 324 Half Acre Rd. here, filling up the two-year-old, 680,000-square-foot, cross-dock facility in the New Jersey Turnpike Exit 8A submarket. For the Howard Berger Co., which besides its own products also packages and consolidates goods from China, the deal adds up to a consolidation and relocation of its headquarters operations from Monroe Twp., NJ.

“The company was looking to consolidate its operations from those two buildings in Monroe to one centralized location as a means of achieving a more efficient system of distributing its products,” says Scott Belfer of CB Richard Ellis, one of the brokers who put the deal together. “With its amenities and its proximity to the largest ports in the region, the building suits the company’s expansion needs.”

Belfer co-brokered the signing with CBRE colleagues Stacey Weinberg, Mindy Lissner, Lou Belfer and Brittany Smith. Terms of the deal were not released; the space had been listed with an asking price of $5.25 per square foot and comparable space in the submarket is generally listed in the $4.75 to $5.25 range.

The building is owned by the San Antonio-based USAA Real Estate Co.’s US Industrial REIT II. It was constructed beginning in 2006 by joint venture partners Rockefeller Group Development Corp. and IDI, who completed it in 2007 after signing Swiss-based logistics company Kuehne & Nagel Inc. to a 444,000-square-foot, five-year lease. In early 2008, RGDC and IDI sold the asset to the USAA fund for an undisclosed price.

The building at 324 Half Acre Rd. occupies 55 acres within the 115-acre former Carter Wallace consumer products campus. A collection of obsolete lab, office and manufacturing building were razed in early 2006 to make way for the new building’s development.

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