New ownership plans for upgrades in centrally-located building
PRINCETON, N.J. January 11, 2021 – Bergman Real Estate Group, a full-service real estate company based in Woodbridge, New Jersey, announced the acquisition of 500 College Road East in Princeton, N.J. The 160,000-square-foot, four-story office building is part of the prestigious Princeton Forrestal Center, a 2,200 acre master-planned, mixed use development community located at the interchange of U.S. Route 1 and College Road, within minutes of Princeton University and downtown Princeton.
The acquisition is a joint venture between Bergman, Hornig Capital Partners, and Eightfold Capital. The partnership acquired the building from Mack-Cali, making this Bergman’s third acquisition from the commercial REIT. Acquisition financing provided by Amherst Capital Management, led by Gabe Boyar, Managing Director, was arranged by JLL’s New Jersey Capital Markets team of Michael Klein, Greg Nalbandian, Michael Lachs and Biagio Caruso.
“500 College Road East is Bergman and Hornig’s first acquisition in the greater Princeton area,” said Michael Bergman, President and CEO, Bergman Real Estate Group. “Situated in the heart of the Princeton Forrestal Center surrounded by prestigious companies and institutes of higher learning, research and development, makes this an attractive location for businesses looking to establish offices in the central Princeton market.” Princeton Forrestal Center is home to more than 175 businesses and numerous mixed-uses including academic, research, office, residential, hotels, conference centers, retail and dining facilities, as well as 700 acres of preserved open space.
Bergman has tapped real estate brokerage firm JLL as exclusive leasing agent for the property, led by the local Princeton team of Vinny DiMeglio and Erin Moran. There is currently 76,000 square feet available in the building ranging from smaller units of 1,500 SF to a full floor of 41,000 SF. “We are very excited to take on this project and partner with Bergman as they enter the Princeton market,” explains DiMeglio and Moran. “500 College Road East has always been one of the premier office buildings in the Princeton Forrestal campus. The planned improvements and upgrades to the common areas and amenities that Bergman will implement this year will offer tremendous value and opportunities for all business types.”
Plans are underway for a $4 million capital improvement program, including improvements to redesign the central, 4-story atrium lobby and the exterior entrance to the building. “We will be making complete upgrades to common areas throughout the building, including the floor lobbies, corridors, restrooms, café and fitness center,” explains David Iacobucci, Senior Investment Officer at Bergman. “We plan on adding a multi-media conference and training center for tenants to hold larger meetings, and in the Spring, we will be implementing our successful Bike Share Program, which is a perfect environment with an existing network of bicycle paths in the Princeton Forrestal Center.” Other improvements include upgrading the building’s mechanical system with new, energy-efficient HVAC equipment.
Bergman has contracted Ware Malcomb to design and develop renovation plans, which are currently underway. “We are thrilled to be working on this project,” says Marlyn Zucosky, Director, Interior Architecture & Design of Ware Malcomb’s Princeton and Newark offices. “The improvements we are designing will truly transform 500 College Road into a modern, class A office building, featuring all new finishes, furniture, touchless fixtures in all restrooms, new LED lighting, and other features that tenants will enjoy. Our overall design strategy focused on maximizing the long-term real estate value of the property,” explains Zucosky.
“Our new partners share our vision to reposition 500 College Road East, transforming it into a modern office complex that will serve the next generation of talent in the workplace,” said Michael Bergman …“and we are confident that the improvements and amenities we are bringing to 500 College Road will help attract new tenants looking for a first class and a safe work environment, as well as to retain existing tenants who we aim to satisfy their long-term occupancy needs.”
About Bergman Real Estate Group
Founded in 1988, Bergman Real Estate Group is a privately owned, full-service real estate investment and management company. With more than 32 years of history operating in New Jersey and other select markets, Bergman has earned a solid reputation as a reputable and trustworthy owner/manager. The company’s fully integrated platform includes acquisition, ownership, asset and property management, leasing and construction supervision. Bergman, which has built its success on acquiring and successfully repositioning under performing properties, currently owns and manages 18 office buildings comprising 2.1 million square feet.
About Hornig Capital Partners
Based in New York, Hornig Capital Partners LLC (HCP) is a privately-held real estate development firm specializing in value-added investments in the New York metropolitan area and choice markets throughout the U.S. Led by Daren Hornig, a real estate industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, HCP pursues purchases of fee simple interest assets, as well as select joint venture structures, with capital appreciation opportunities and risk-adjusted returns. In the past seven years, HCP has successfully closed on more than $1.5 billion worth of property and development projects.