The Birch Group has purchased two office properties in Princeton, New Jersey, for $47.3 million, bringing its total acquisitions in that commercial real estate sector to nearly $800 million in the past three years. 

Nanuet, New York-based Birch Group, along with a group of local investors including 2020 Vision Group, has purchased 600 and 700 Alexander Park from BentallGreenOak of Toronto. The 213,000-square-foot portfolio includes those two Class A office buildings located on separate parcels, including a three-story building at 600 Alexander Drive with 141,176 square feet and a three-story building at 700 Alexander Drive with 71,934 square feet.

The sale builds on Birch Group’s recent $255 million portfolio purchase in Short Hills, New Jersey, from Mack-Cali Realty and “further enhances its keen focus on acquiring high-quality office assets in premier suburban submarkets across Northern and Central New Jersey, particularly as more organizations seek to establish locations closer to their employees’ home bases,” the developer said in a statement Monday. 

With the Princeton acquisition, the Birch Group has now acquired roughly $797 million of commercial office assets since 2019 as it moves forward with its suburban office expansion strategy. 

“As we consider new markets to expand The Birch Group’s portfolio of high performing Class A assets, Princeton was a key regional target that continues to experience heightened demand due to its location, access to top local talent, and storied history as one of the most prestigious and sought-after areas in the state, largely driven by the appeal of and proximity to Princeton University,” Mark Meisner, Birch Group founder and CEO, said in a statement. 

Several large companies have recently relocated to or expanded in the Princeton area, “including leaders in the pharmaceutical, life science and financial industries,” according to Meisner. 

The office property at 600 Alexander Drive is a single-tenanted building leased to Mathematica, a 50-year-old, national policy research firm that uses its Princeton location as its headquarters. The second building, 700 Alexander Drive, is currently 70% leased and has a tenant roster that includes Robert Half International, a publicly traded recruiting

company, and Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, a national law firm with 15 locations across the country. 

The prior ownership recently completed renovations at 600 Alexander Drive. The property features a cafeteria with indoor and outdoor seating, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a tenant lounge and two-story atrium lobbies. The property also features an impressive pond with a decorative fountain between the buildings, which is surrounded by manicured walking paths offering employees fresh air and space outdoors to relax and recharge. 

For the Record 

Kevin O’Hearn and Jose Cruz from JLL represented BentallGreenOak, as well as the buyer in the transaction, and JLL’s Greg Nalbandian secured the debt. The Birch Group has also retained JLL as the exclusive leasing agent for the properties.

Source: CoStar