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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-Baby Playtime recently picked up 38,317 square feet of industrial space for five years at 450 Murray Hill Pkwy. here. NAI James E. Hanson’s associate vice presidents Tom Vetter and Jeff DeMagistris represented the landlord, Safer Development, in this transaction.

“East Rutherford is an ideal distribution point for companies relocating out of New York City due to its convenient location, just seven miles west of Midtown Manhattan,” says Vetter. “In this transaction, the tenant was in search of a well-located, industrial facility in Northern New Jersey that could be utilized as the company’s distribution hub in the Northeast region of the state.”

Located near Routes 3, 17, 21 and the New Jersey Turnpike, 450 Murray Hill is a 340,000-square-foot industrial building with 15-foot ceiling heights and loading docks. The tenant will utilize this space for warehousing and distribution of children’s furniture and accessories.

“Completing industrial transactions of this size is not an easy accomplishment today and requires a lot of hard work, dedication and creativity by brokers and the parties involved in order to successfully negotiate agreeable terms,” says DeMagistris.

In fact, the struggling economy, increases in unemployment and the decline of manufacturing have all made a significant impact on New Jersey’s business climate. These factors, among others, have directly affected the overall industrial availability rate in the state, which increased 32% in the last 12 months to 11.7%, the highest availability since 1992, according to a recent CB Richard Ellis report.

It appears that the industrial market is bumping along the bottom, says CBRE. Net absorption, at negative 6.5 million square feet, matched last quarter and increased 100% over the negative 3.24 million square feet recorded in the third quarter of 2008. In Bergen County, specifically, average asking rents for industrial space are running around $8.

On the sales side, NAI has been tapped to market an 85,109-square-foot industrial building, located at 60-80-100 Willow St., also in East Rutherford. NAI Hanson’s Joshua Levering, senior vice president, is spearheading the marketing of this property on behalf of the owner, Kessler Development.

The property sits on two acres, with 60 Willow comprising 6,881 square feet. This space can be used or re-rented by new ownership. Two other units, 80 and 100 Willow are leased on a long-term basis.

According to the CBRE report, average asking sales rates declined in New Jersey for the third straight quarter. The current price of $73.11 per square foot represents a nearly 10% decline in asking prices since the beginning of the year and an 11% decline from the market high of $82.97 per square foot reached in the fourth quarter of 2007.

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