February 13, 2018

4 Min Read
The Hampshire Cos. to Convert East Rutherford, NJ, Property to Self-Storage and Convenience Store

Update 2/12/18 – The East Rutherford Planning Board voted 2-5 last week against the latest self-storage plan from HPVIII 33 Route 17. The denial came despite the developer agreeing to lower the height of the structure to more than 1.5 feet below the height-variance requirement and alter traffic flow. He also guaranteed that rooftop equipment would comprise less than 5 percent of the area and be screened, according to the source.

Residents and nearby businesses continued to strongly oppose the project, with some bringing attorneys to the meeting to make arguments against the plan. Though some cited potential for increased traffic and safety issues for high school students nearby, some argued the building should move closer to Route 17 to mitigate problems, the source reported.

Attorney Robert Inglima, representing a neighboring gas station, told planners the revised plan was too similar to the one the board had already rejected. “You would be trading one type of litigation for another,” he said. “It’s a joke. They have to put more before you. They’ve had two tries now. It’s not even a Plan B; it’s a Plan 1A.”

Attorney Tom Bruinooge, representing the developer, argued that traffic wouldn’t be an issue under the proposed plan. He also reminded planners that their votes should be a “fair application of the law,” according to the source.

12/1/17 – Hampshire Cos. affiliate HPVIII 33 Route 17 LLC has submitted a revised application to develop self-storage on the Landmark Catering building site. The new plan calls for a four-story structure with a footprint of 24,650 square feet and 17 parking spaces. Variances are needed for conditional use, fence height, loading space and signage, according to the source.

The East Rutherford Zoning Board of Adjustment is scheduled to review the new plan on Dec. 7. HPVIII won an appeal after the zoning board denied its variance application in March, the source reported. The developer filed a complaint in court but submitted a revised plan after reaching a settlement with the borough.

The original mixed-use plan included a five-story self-storage facility. In February, HPVIII indicated it decided not to convert the former catering building and demolished structures at the site, according to borough documents.

The revised application comes just as East Rutherford officials have proposed new zoning regulations that would make self-storage an allowed conditional use in the borough’s I Light Industrial District. However, the Landmark site is in the Regional Commercial Zone.

4/14/16 – The Hampshire Cos., a real estate investment firm and self-storage operator, has purchased a 3.2-acre property in East Rutherford, N.J., on which it plans to build a 100,000-square-foot self-storage facility as well as a convenience store and gas station. The property at 33 Route 17 S. is currently home to a former catering hall and industrial building. It’s not known whether the existing structures will be demolished or used in the conversion, according to a source.

Known as “The Landmark,” the 225,000-square-foot, three-room catering facility was built in 1976. It closed in 2013 after parent company Markland Inc. filed for bankruptcy liquidation. The site was host to “Sweet 16” parties, political fundraisers, weddings and other events for nearly four decades. The accompanying industrial building is 55,000 square feet.

Prior to the sale, environmental and zoning issues had to be resolved, according to NAI James E. Hanson, the commercial real estate firm that brokered the deal. There were also some existing tenant and lender problems.

“We were able to see the vision for this site and were able to identify a buyer for this mostly vacant property who could bring higher ratables to the Borough of East Rutherford,” said Andrew Somple, senior vice president for NAI James. “The excellent location of the property in terms of accessibility and proximity to the American Dream [Meadowlands] and [Meadowlands] Sports Complex made this an interesting opportunity for the right developer. Through our marketing efforts, we were able to identify the top developers in the state who would share our vision of redeveloping the property and be most qualified to get this deal done.”

The location fits with Hampshire Cos. portfolio and investment strategy, according to Todd Anderson, principal for Hampshire. “We take pride in seeing real estate through a different lens, and we believe that once our vision for this property is fully developed, we will have provided value for our investors and the community.”

Somple and Greg James, director of capital markets for of NAI James, represented the seller.

Based in Morristown, N.J., The Hampshire Cos. is a privately held, fully integrated real estate firm. Its diversified portfolio of 259 properties in 28 states totals more than 25 million square feet.

NorthJersey.com, Self-Storage Facility Again Stymied for Former Landmark Site Off Route 17

East Rutherford, N.J., Borough of East Rutherford Zoning Board of Adjustment Special Meeting Minutes February 16, 2017

NorthJersey.com, Landmark Banquet Hall Site in East Rutherford Sold

NJBiz.com, NAI Hanson arranges sale of industrial property in East Rutherford to The Hampshire Companies

NorthJersey.com, East Rutherford Updates Self-Storage Code, Hearing New Proposal for Route 17 Site

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