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WHIPPANY, NJ-Breeze-Eastern Corp., a publicly-traded designer of lifting devices for military and civilian aircraft, has entered into a 10-year, 117,268-square-foot lease agreement to move its corporate offices and manufacturing facility to Hartz Mountain Industries-owned 35 Melanie Ln. here.

FirstService Williams represented Breeze-Eastern in the transaction; specifically, managing director Lori Zuck and senior managing director Marvin Rosenberg negotiated the lease.

The FSW team began negotiations in December 2006 and was involved in every phase and aspect of the multi-faceted assignment, which included assisted Breeze-Eastern in defining its operational requirements and location preferences, identified the new location, assisted in assembling a project team that included project managers, architects and engineers.

According to Rosenberg, the firm did a zip code analysis of Breeze-Eastern’s employees to determine the relocation parameters. He tells GlobeSt.com that the search, at one point, extended into Pennsylvania. But ultimately, the decision to stay in-state was made, in large part so it could retain its 200-person labor force, adds Zuck. In fact, the new facility is only 11 miles from Breeze-Eastern’s current 168,000-square-foot facility at 700 Liberty Ave. in Union.

Robert L. G. White, president and chief executive officer of Breeze-Eastern, tells GlobeSt.com that one of the key selling points was the added efficiencies the company expects to gain in the new space, which will be designed and outfitted to its specifications. “When we made the decision to sell and lease back our existing facility some 18 months ago, it was with the idea that we would locate a facility that would better serve the needs of our growing and changing business,” he says.

The FirstService Williams team also created and implemented a “controlled auction” for the sale of Breeze-Eastern’s current facility. After receiving 10 bids, Bed Bath & Beyond ultimately purchased the 168,000-square-foot building in 2007 for $10.5 million, a price considerably in excess of the original pro-forma estimate. In addition, the FirstService Williams arranged a short-term leaseback of the current facility to allow time for Breeze-Eastern’s relocation.

“The impressive part about this deal is that Breeze-Eastern retained its employee base in New Jersey and took more space off the market,” Zuck tells GlobeSt.com. She adds that having a manufacturer in New Jersey is also a major coup.

The move to the Whippany facility is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2010. Breeze-Eastern will spend approximately $5 million to build out its new offices.

In the past quarter alone, Hartz Mountain has completed lease agreements with Eisai Medical Research for a newly renovated, 118,000-square-foot office building at 155 Tice Blvd. in Woodcliff Lake, and Children’s Place, which will establish new headquarters at the 120,000-square-foot 500 Plaza Dr. in Secaucus.

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