New Jersey Real Estate: Timely Information, Trusted Analysis and Valuable Resources Online: Verizon NJ Sells HQ Building

Verizon New Jersey is under contract to sell its downtown headquarters building here to Accordia Realty Ventures. The landmark 20-story, 450,000-sf art deco building at 540 Broad St., which dates to the late 1920s, was officially put on the market late this past summer as part of a three-building portfolio. The offering was tied to Verizon NJ’s need to restructure its real estate holdings in the Garden State.
Both sides declined to reveal the sale price, but industry sources put the number around $35 million. If correct, that number would factor out to about $78 per sf. In terms of financing, “we’re going to be looking for institutional debt, and we’ve got private equity for the deal,” Accordia partner Joseph Romano tells GlobeSt.com.

“The deal is not complete,” Romano says, noting that it still needs approval by the state Board of Public Utilities, and there are other contingencies. “But we’re excited about it. It’s a phenomenal landmark building.”

The deal also calls for Verizon NJ to stay in the building under the terms of an 18-month lease as it seeks another location within New Jersey. Company officials have also said that they plan to maintain an executive presence at the site, and in Newark, indefinitely.

And the new owners plan major upgrades on the building, which will be largely vacant once Verizon NJ departs with all but its long-term executive presence. “We’re going to be marketing it–we’re looking for tenants,” Romano says. “It’s great in spite of its age. The logistics of the building, the size of the floorplates will accommodate modern uses. The 20,000-sf floorplates are unusual for a building of that age.”

Accordia Realty is a Fairfield-based group headed by partners Romano and Jason Bogart. Since the company’s founding in 2005, it has picked up several other assets, including the 201,000-sf Greenbrook Executive Center in Fairfield, the 84,000-sf River Drive Center II in Elmwood Park and the 57,000-sf GM Building at 9 Sylvan Way in Parsippany.

The two other assets put up for sale by Verizon NJ in September remain on the market. They include 175 Park Ave. in Madison, a 210,000-sf building currently in use as a switching center and for general offices. The other is the 30,000-sf 1000 Cellar St. in Scotch Plains. The operations from the various sites will presumably be consolidated at Verizon NJ’s eventual new location.

The 540 Broad St. sale was brokered for Verizon NJ by Matthew Schnurr and John Hoffman of Grubb & Ellis, who continue to market the other two assets. Accordia represented itself.

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