CARLSTADT, NJ—Students who save a few shekels feasting on ramen noodles can rest easy about the noodle supply in Northern New Jersey.In a major expansion of its New Jersey operations, Sun Noodle, which manufactures and distributes custom-made, authentic Japanese-style ramen noodles and related products, has purchased a 42,000-square-foot industrial building at 40 Kero Road in Carlstadt.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Andrew Schiffer and James Yamauchi represented Sun Noodle in the purchase. Greg Sholom from Team Resources served as broker for the seller, A.S. Willemsen.
The Honolulu-based Sun Noodle is well known as an artisan of custom-made ramen noodles. The 35-year-old family owned and operated company, which has another factory in Los Angeles, produces noodles for high-end restaurants as well as consumers. Its three locations house 125 employees and produce up to 200,000 servings per day for ramen shops, general restaurants, in-flight meal catering, hotels, supermarkets, hospitals, school lunch programs, military commissaries, food wholesalers and other establishments.
Sun Noodle initially leased a 5,000-square-foot factory in Teterboro in 2012 to serve its growing client base of New York City restaurants.
“We have been fortunate in our rapid growth in our East Coast Operations, and by early 2014 we recognized the value of expanding and investing in New Jersey,” says Kenshiro Uki, Sun Noodle’s vice president of operations. “That’s when we met Andy and Jimmy and engaged them to help us find a facility that can accommodate our growth.”
According to Schiffer, Sun Noodle’s initial site requirement was 20,000 square feet. “We had a difficult time finding a building that met our parameters for location, quality and size,” he says. “We then opened the search for a slightly larger building, with the idea that Sun Noodle could lease part of it to a tenant.”
When the former Ralph Lauren building at 40 Kero Road came available, Uki saw an opportunity. “Our initial plan was to focus on growing the fresh, custom ramen noodle production in New Jersey,” he says. “However, purchasing this larger property will enable us to bring other products available exclusively in Hawaii to the mainland. And it will accommodate our growth for years to come.”
Many of those additional items require steaming, boiling or freezing. “While these items have been selling very well over the past few years, freight charges involved in shipping them have become burdensome,” Uki says. “Our new, larger space in Carlstadt will accommodate the equipment and staffing needed to produce them right here.”
Uki added that his company’s desire to remain in the Meadowlands market hinged largely on providing a comparable commute for its employee base, which has grown from two to 25 team members since the Teterboro operation opened.
Schiffer noted that the market always has been attractive for companies serving the Manhattan restaurant industry. “For anyone with a client base in the city, the Meadowlands is an ideal location,” he says. “Sun Noodle made its purchase at an opportune time. As market fundamentals continue to improve, property values are beginning to increase.”
The Meadowlands industrial market recorded 3.2 million square feet of leasing YTD, according to Cushman & Wakefield Research. “Over 2 million square feet of industrial product has been sold thus far in 2015 in the Meadowlands, slightly behind last year’s pace at this time,” according to Jason Price, Cushman & Wakefield’s director – Tri-state Suburbs, Research. “As a result of steady leasing, the submarket’s vacancy rate has continued to dissipate, with the warehouse/distribution rate falling a full percentage point since the same period last year to 6.8 percent.”