NAI Hanson Represents United Water in Unique, $11-Million Land Sale in Weehawken, N.J.
NAI HANSON REPRESENTS UNITED WATER IN UNIQUE, $11-MILLION LAND SALE IN WEEHAWKEN, N.J.
- Deal Preserves Open Space in Highly Populated Weehawken/Union City Area -
NAI James E. Hanson, a leading New Jersey-based commercial real estate firm, today announced the firm represented United Water New Jersey Inc. in a unique deal that will preserve the largest privately owned, remaining undeveloped property in densely populated Weehawken, N.J. with views overlooking the Palisades above the New Jersey entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel as a new public park.
NAI Hanson Senior Vice President Andrew Somple, SIOR, and Director of Capital Markets Gregory M. James oversaw the $11-million transaction on behalf of United Water, which had approached the firm in early 2010 about exploring sale opportunities for the 14.4-acre reservoir site, which was zoned for high-density residential use. The company had not used the property since 1996.
After marketing the property to just a handful of prospective buyers, United Water received four offers on the property from developers that hoped to build multifamily projects on the site. Negotiations were just beginning when, in the summer of 2010, the Township of Weehawken expressed a strong interest in preserving the site, according to Somple.
To complete this transaction, The Trust for Public Land — a national conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens and natural areas — facilitated the acquisition of the reservoir and recently conveyed the property to Weehawken, Union City and the State of New Jersey's Green Acres Program. The effort of all parties working together culminated in the completion of this transaction.
The property will be transformed into a passive public park, enhanced with a walking and running trail. Portions of the reservoir will continue to function as a water storage facility, and United Water will retain an easement to construct and maintain a 10-million-gallon underground water storage tank located beneath the future park.
"This is a true reflection of Governor Christie's commitment to preserve land through the Green Acres Program through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust," NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin said.
“Weehawken and Union City are two of the most densely populated areas in the country, so when the possibility of preserving the space came about, United Water was extremely interested in pursuing an opportunity that would greatly benefit their community,” Somple said. "While complex, this transaction ultimately provided a wonderful situation for all of the involved parties. The Hanson team is pleased to have worked on a deal that will have such a tremendous long-range impact."
The reservoir, surrounded by a thin strip of land, is located on Weehawken’s border with Union City, and will be maintained by both municipalities.
To fund the purchase, the Township of Weehawken received a New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust loan of approximately $8.7 million. The New Jersey Green Acres program, part of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, contributed $2 million, while Weehawken and Union City contributed $168,000 each.
"The people of Weehawken and Union City will enjoy this park for generations to come," United Water President Bob Iacullo said. " We are proud to be part of this historic transaction that enables our customers to retain the benefits of an underground water storage tank on the site and preserves the unobstructed view the city residents have enjoyed for close to a century."
About NAI James E. Hanson
Since 1955, NAI James E. Hanson has been a leading independent full-service brokerage commercial real estate and property management firm serving a diverse client list. NAI Hanson offers its clients strategic solutions and provides comprehensive value-added services such as office, industrial and retail brokerage, investment sales, land sales, management, government services and financing expertise.
NAI Hanson is also one of the original members of NAI Global, an international commercial real estate network with over 350offices spanning the globe. For more information on NAI James E. Hanson, contact William C. Hanson, SIOR, at the company’s Hackensack office at 201-488-5800 or visit www.naihanson.com.
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