A ‘WHITE ELEPHANT’ NO MORE
Red Bank Corporate Plaza, showing off its backside along Wall Street. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Four months ago, when redbankgreen first reported on the impending pizza renaissance in Red Bank, we described the slated location of one of those pie joints, Pazzos Coal Fired Oven Restaurant, as a nearly-empty “white elephant.”
Boy, did we get an earful. Suzanne Macnow, who brokers the leases for Red Bank Corporate Plaza at 141 West Front Street, took issue with the characterization, citing actual occupancy, signed leases and others that were nearing signature.
Whether our terminology was apt then was a matter of disagreement. No more. Today, we’re eating our words as if they were served atop an airy, coal-fired pizza crust.
The 88,000 square-foot brick and glass behemoth, at the corner of Pearl Street, is defying economic gravity and filling up with cubicles and workers. And Macnow is confident it will soon be at capacity.
“We don’t really have much space left,” said Macnow, who works for C.B. Richard Ellis. “My expectation is to have that building fully leased by the end of the summer.”
It could happen at the pace Macnow says she’s signing leases. About 12,000 square feet remain available on the third floor and a couple small spots on the ground floor, all zoned for office use, she says.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of activity in this building and a steady demand,” she said.
Opened in early 2007, the complex is owned by Mack-Cali and the PRC Group and leased to Hovnanian Enterprises, which committed to take the entire space as an adjunct to its sparkly HQ building across the street. But as the economy deflated, the battered homebuilder changed its plans and looked to sublease.
The first tenant, V12 Group, was in by the end of 2007. Since then, others have slowly made their way into the building, most of them suit-and-tie type of operations, like Rochdale Securities and former Newman Springs Road tenants, Genova, Burns & Vernoia.
But the last few months have seen a lot of activity, especially from relocating locals, says Macnow.
In November, Deutsche Telekom inked a lease and moved its approximate 30 employees into the fourth floor from a building on Route 35 in Middletown. Mayor Pasquale Menna is scheduled to do the honors at a ribbon-cutter on Friday.
The technology consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton, decided to ditch its Eatontown digs in December to occupy all 24,000 square-feet of the plaza’s second floor.
Most of the tenants, Macnow said, came from a 10 mile radius of Red Bank. With an attached 339-space garage, there’s at least one reason the plaza is a draw, she said.
“I think that the parking is a big part of it. It’s also new construction. You can’t really get that in Red Bank,” she said. “It has everything people are looking for.”
Pazzo’s Coal Fired Oven Restaurant is expected to start buildout of its 4,900 square feet at street level in a couple weeks, Macnow says