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Onyx Equities and JLL unveil redevelopment options for blank-canvas headquarters opportunity in Summit, NJ

JLL has been retained by Onyx Equities as the exclusive leasing agent for Summit East, a 640,000 square foot, 11-building office campus in the northern New Jersey commuter town of Summit.

The gated 46- acre campus includes two newly modernized Class-A, LEED-certified buildings interconnected by two enclosed pedestrian bridges to nine additional buildings that may be reconfigured or redeveloped for virtually any purpose.

Led by Ed Shim and Chris Townsend of New York City-based design, architecture and planning firm HLW, the brand-new renderings illustrate two potential redevelopment concepts. The first option embraces the great outdoors by razing the nine interior buildings to maximize green recreational space, encouraging community engagement across a dynamically programmed great lawn. The second rendering redevelops the nine interior buildings into one totally customized 190,000 square foot modern office building with ample landscaping and parking. Both concepts maintain the two new Class A buildings currently on-site.

“This opportunity offers two of the best Class-A office buildings in the state, a superior location walkable to one of the most desirable downtowns in New Jersey with a highly educated labor pool, exceptional infrastructure, and unbeatable commuting options,” said DJ Venn, executive vice president of asset management for Onyx Equities. “Summit East is a move-in ready headquarters location with a unique opportunity to be reconfigured to meet the market’s demand.”

Building L, the first of the two newly renovated Class-A buildings, is a 191,448 square foot, two-story office property with a four-story parking garage. Built to LEED Gold specifications in 2015, it features a cafeteria with a two-level seating area, conference space, 56 meeting rooms and a skylighted atrium with collaborative work areas.

Building J, the second Class-A building, is a 153,528 square foot, two-story, LEED Silver certified office building that boasts a 17,000 square foot state-of-the-art fitness center, private executive red eye travel relaxation suites, a 5,000 square foot ballroom and catering kitchen, over 20,000 square feet of executive conference space, four 20-foot waterfall features, two skylighted atriums with collaborative work areas, and video conferencing infrastructure throughout.

The remaining nine interconnected buildings include various one-to-three-story office, R&D, storage, , and administrative spaces set within landscaped grounds and outdoor seating. These nine buildings serve as the potential redevelopment site as shown in HLW’s renderings.

The campus’s amenities extend outside with an electric bike station and 10 entry points to the Summit Park Line, a brand-new 1.2-mile pedestrian path that connects the development with all that downtown Summit has to offer. Centrally located, Summit East is one mile from Routes 24 and 78, 15 minutes from Newark International Airport via the Garden State Parkway, and easily accessible to Midtown Manhattan via direct NJ Transit service in under 42 minutes from Summit train station. In good company, the property’s corporate neighbors include Nokia, BMS, KPMG, McKinsey & Co., and Morgan Stanley, among others.

JLL executive managing directors Tim Greiner and Jim Medenbach, along with managing director Blake Goodman, will lead the marketing of the property.

“Onyx Equities has built a world-class reputation for reinventing large scale projects to meet the ever-evolving needs of tenants seeking a next-level working environment to grow their business and engage a talented and innovative workforce,” said Greiner. “Coupled with a superior location with scenic bike paths and within walking distance of what is arguably the best suburban downtown in New Jersey, Summit East presents an opportunity for a large user to customize an incomparable site.”

Added Goodman, “This site was previously owned by a life science company who invested over $200 million on capital improvements across the campus. Summit East provides multiple options to create a landmark hub that is tailor-made for a corporate tenant seeking a unique suburban location close to a thriving downtown.”

A recent survey by JLL found that more employers are seeking the very best of space for their employees as they negotiate the post-COVID working environment. Over the past year, 65% of New Jersey office leases for space over 50,000 square feet were concentrated in what are considered the “premier” class buildings. Vacancy has tightened in the sector while it has ticked up in the “regular” Class-A market.

“Summit East offers residual value in terms of its current infrastructure, $220 million in recent capital expenditures and two brand-new Class-A LEED-certified properties that position it for immediate occupancy,” said DJ Venn. “We anticipate a great deal of interest from end users across the corporate spectrum as this is a rare opportunity for a blank-slate parcel in an ideal location.”–

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