WHIPPANY, N.J., Nov. 8, 2013 – The October ribbon cutting for Bayer’s new North American headquarters at 100 Bayer Boulevard in Whippany marked a key milestone for the award-winning redevelopment of a 194-acre, former Alcatel-Lucent campus located there, announced Sam Morreale, managing partner and chief investment officer of Vision Equities.
Vision Equities, with Rubenstein Partners, acquired the property comprising 1.4 million square feet of functionally obsolete office and laboratory space in 2010. In 2012, the partnership sold 94 acres to Bayer Healthcare. In less than 18 months, the company’s sustainable, 700,000-square-foot facility on the site was designed and constructed in collaboration with Bayer and its engineering and design partners. The additional, 94-acre “south campus” parcel is being master planned for development of new retail, hospitality and residential uses.
“Bayer has relocated about 2,400 employees from four locations to Whippany, wrapping up the first phase of a project that will have a tremendous, ongoing economic benefit,” Morreale said. “It already has replaced lost municipal tax revenues and retained thousands of corporate jobs for New Jersey. Additionally, in a submarket that has struggled with high office vacancy rates, the Bayer site introduced a new modern worksite while reducing the region’s corporate space inventory.
“Moving forward, the second phase of development will generate years of construction jobs, retail commerce and new housing,” he added. “The multiplicity of uses also will provide employment diversity and balance. Simply put, this campus provides a benchmark illustration of how strategic public/private partnerships can transform our state’s underutilized, antiquated facilities into vibrant, modern ‘live/work/play’ environments.”
Situated just off Route 10, approximately two miles from I-287, the Whippany campus is located in a New Jersey-designated metropolitan planning area, which means that it is within a target growth area on the state’s development plan. The entire theme of this project is consistent with New Jersey Smart Growth, modeling positive redevelopment strategy.
Vision’s and Rubenstein’s accomplishments in Whippany have been recognized in 2013 with a number of prestigious honors. NAIOP New Jersey honored the Bayer headquarters transaction as Office/Mixed Use Deal of the Year. The headquarters development also received United Way’s 2013 Impact Award. The Morris County Economic Development Corporation recognized the project with its Real Estate Award – Office Category. Finally, the transaction provided a featured case project for the Villanova Real Estate Challenge, a competition for students from top real estate programs nationwide.