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Retail group opens 195,000 s/f American headquarters property

Ascena Retail Group Inc. and dressbarn held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch their new 195,000 s/f North American headquarters at 933 MacArthur Boulevard in Mahwah, N.J.

The project was the first headquarters property in the state of New Jersey to receive incentives under the Economic Development Authority’s Legacy Grow New Jersey Assistance Program.

Dressbarn moved into the larger premises on the site in February 2014, and Ascena relocated into the newly constructed adjacent building earlier this month.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony included New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, Mahwah Mayor William Laforet, Ascena Retail Group President & CEO David Jaffe, and dressbarn President Jeff Gerstel.

The project entailed the complete renovation of the original 145,000 s/f office building at the site along with the construction of a new 50,000 s/f office building adjacent to the existing facility, with both structures connected by an enclosed walkway.

The North American headquarters for the national specialty retailers of apparel for women and “tween” girls features a new glass curtain wall system, a glass atrium slicing through the existing building, a full-service café, a fitness center and a roof-top garden.

“The long-term investment that Ascena Retail Group and dressbarn have made in New Jersey demonstrates the effectiveness of the Christie Administration’s economic policies,” said Guadagno.

“Ascena Retail Group had a choice and they chose New Jersey. The company’s new headquarters facility brought hundreds of new jobs to Mahwah and surrounding communities. This efforts shows that by working collaboratively with New Jersey’s business and community leaders, we can create jobs and further grow our economy.”

JLL was selected as project manager for the renovation and expansion of the facility in 2013, and to provide the energy and sustainability services to assist Ascena Retail Group and dressbarn in reaching Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

The firm is striving to achieve LEED Gold certification for the project, as the headquarters facility was required to maintain at least LEED Silver certification to be eligible for incentives under the Legacy Grow New Jersey Assistance Program.

The JLL team overseeing the project management assignment was led by Scott Lesh, senior vice president, and included Erik Egger, senior project manager; Susan Pady, project manager; and Eric Brown, assistant project manager. The group handling LEED certification was led by Dana Schneider, senior vice president, and included Jasmine Davis, project manager.

“It is truly impressive how dressbarn and Ascena have invested so significantly in their people by creating a unique environment that changes how they are going to work,” said Lesh. “The positive feedback we’ve received from associates has been glowing — everyone is raving about the space and the new workplace design.”

Other companies involved in the project included architect Gensler; general contractor Structure Tone Inc.; civil engineering firm Bohler Engineering, engineering, design and commissioning firm Syska Hennessy Group; and structural engineering design firm Gilsanz Murray Steficek.

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