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Advance Realty Acquires Former Sanofi U.S. Research & Development Campus


A joint-venture partnership of Advance Realty and CrossHarbor Capital Partners, LLC, today announced that it has acquired the former Sanofi U.S. Research and Development Campus in Bridgewater, N.J.

One of the country’s premier research and development campuses, the property is located in the heart of New Jersey’s life science corridor on U.S. Highway 202/206 in Bridgewater Township.

Encompassing approximately 1.2 million square feet of lab, office, and GMP production, the campus, which is currently home to Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Ashland Specialty Ingredients, will be branded as the New Jersey Center of Excellence.  

“The former Sanofi U.S. Research and Development Campus is a jewel of Bridgewater and one of the most dynamic properties in the State of New Jersey,” Bridgewater Township Mayor Daniel J. Hayes, Jr., said. “The Garden State’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are recognized national and international leaders, and this campus is surrounded by the type of highly skilled and educated workers that are integral to the success of these sectors. We look forward to working with Advance and CrossHarbor to fill the property with a vibrant mix of companies.”

Advance Realty, which is currently based in neighboring Bedminster, will relocate its headquarters to the campus. Additionally, the new owners are exploring the possibility of redeveloping a portion of the property into a mix of uses.

“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. “We look forward to collaborating closely with local officials as we develop a plan for the site that fits into Bridgewater Township’s and Somerset County’s comprehensive economic development strategy. 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 former home of the property’s seller, global healthcare company Sanofi, the New Jersey Center of Excellence is a modern facility that will serve as an ideal location for the region’s life science firms. A Jones Lang LaSalle team led by Managing Director Dan Loughlin represented Sanofi in the transaction, while Advance and CrossHarbor were represented in-house. JM Zell Partners also advised Sanofi. Gregory Nalbandian, a senior vice president and managing director with NorthMarq Capital, represented Advance in the formation of its joint venture with CrossHarbor.

“This transaction is excellent news for the overall economic vitality of Somerset County,” said Mike Kerwin, president and CEO of the Somerset County Business Partnership. “The former Sanofi campus is a tremendous asset, and the Somerset County Business Partnership felt it was important for the new owner to have an understanding of the County’s economic environment.  Advance Realty has that understanding and has demonstrated it through the integral part they’ve played in the county’s business landscape for over three decades.”

As a result of the significant amount of capital investments made by the previous owner, the property is in immediate-move-in condition for highly technical pharmaceutical companies and other lab users.

“Ashland and Amneal were drawn to the property specifically because of the infrastructure that’s already in place,” said Neal Opper of CrossHarbor Capital Partners. “We see it as the perfect site for small to mid-sized tenants that seek amenities-rich, move-in ready research and development space in an environment that was expressly designed to meet the needs of a cutting-edge company.”

Advance has been an owner and developer of real estate in Somerset County for nearly 35 years. The company has developed multiple properties in Bedminster and Bridgewater.

“As an extremely hands-on, full-service real estate company that is hyper focused on meeting tenants’ needs, this is the perfect project for us,” Cocoziello said. “We are based in Somerset County and are committed to furthering the economic vitality of the region by creating jobs and ratables. Not only was this purchase a great opportunity to expand our presence in the region, it also adds to our portfolio a property that is going to spur innovation and help maintain the State of New Jersey’s position as the country’s leading home to bio and pharma companies.”

Situated on 110 picturesque acres directly off Route 202/206, with more than a quarter-mile of frontage on Interstate 287, the property is centrally located. It offers convenient access to Interstates 78 and 287 as well as the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike/I-95 and Routes 22 and 28.

Tenants enjoy access to various on-site amenities, including a full-service cafeteria, fitness center and conference center. The property also features an active on-site helipad.

For more information on Advance Realty, visit

About Advance Realty

Advance Realty, headquartered in Bedminster, New Jersey, is a privately held real estate development, investment and management company. Since its inception in 1979, Advance Realty has acquired or developed more than 10 million square feet of commercial, residential, mixed-use and industrial projects. Advance continues to be one of the most active and respected real estate companies in the Northeast.

Advance Realty is well positioned for smart growth in its core markets. The company's strong capital base, outstanding talent and flexibility as a privately held, fully integrated real estate company ensure continued success at the forefront of the commercial real estate industry.

About CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC

CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC is a Boston-based alternative investment management firm that invests in value-add and opportunistic commercial real estate transactions. The firm seeks short and medium duration debt and equity investments that offer a compelling case for generating high absolute returns. CrossHarbor was founded in 1993 and has invested in more than $13 billion of commercial real estate on behalf of a diversified and highly regarded group of endowments, foundations, public and corporate pension plans, family offices and sovereign entities.

04/25/2013 - 10:30


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