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Advance Realty acquires Sanofi site in Bridgewater

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The Sanofi site.
The Sanofi site.

Advance Realty and a Boston-based investment partner have acquired the former Sanofi U.S. research and development complex in Bridgewater, where the Bedminster-based developer will soon relocate its headquarters, the companies announced today.

NJBIZ Grapevine first reported the deal April 15.

Under a joint venture with CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC, Advance said it's also exploring whether to redevelop parts of the 1.2 million-square-foot campus on Route 202/206, which the pharmaceutical company vacated in 2011. Efforts to fill some of the lab, office and production space that was left behind have been fruitful in recent months, but its new owners will seek to further reposition the 110-acre site.

Peter Cocoziello

"Our first task will be to continue to evaluate the property's master plan to make sure that it meets the market's needs," Advance Realty President and CEO Peter Cocoziello said in a prepared statement, adding that the firm will work with township and county economic development officials. "We are confident we will be able to position it in a way that will make it attractive to a wide range of tenants."

The deal follows Advance's recent sale of 445 South St. in Morris Township. The 320,274-square-foot office building was acquired by China Construction America Inc. for $71 million.

Advance said it will rebrand the Sanofi campus as the New Jersey Center for Excellence. Its new tenants already include Amneal Pharmaceuticals, which is leasing 143,000 square feet, and Ashland Specialty Ingredients, which said last month that it would move into a 200,000-square-foot space there later this year. Brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle has been marketing the complex since Sanofi's departure, with Managing Director Dan Loughlin representing the company in the sale.

In a news release, the new owners said the property is move-in ready for "highly technical pharmaceutical companies and other lab users" because of capital improvements and infrastructure put in place by Sanofi. CrossHarbor Capital Partners executive Neal Opper called it "a perfect site for small and mid-sized tenants."

Real estate consulting firm JM Zell Partners also advised Sanofi, the news release said. Gregory Nalbandian, a senior vice president and managing director with NorthMarq Capital, represented Advance in forming the joint venture with CrossHarbor.

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Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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