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15 Independence Boulevard sees renewal of leases.

Mitsui Sumitomo Marine Management, Inc., part of the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, and Morgan Stanley have renewed and expanded their long-term leases at 15 Independence Boulevard, Warren Township, N.J., announced Dennis McConnell of Cushman & Wakefield of New Jersey, Inc.

The companies' respective 55,000 s/f and 6,500 s/f commitments coincide with a capital improvement program now underway at the 107,150 s/f, Class A office property.

15 Independence Boulevard has served as the U.S. domestic headquarters and regional claims and underwriting office for Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group for the past three years since the former Mitsui and Sumitomo Insurance companies merged. The organization is owned by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Ltd., one of the world's top property and casualty insurance companies.

The new Mitsui Sumitomo lease combines a previous sublease and direct lease, as well as additional space for expansion.

MSI Property Inc., which owns the building, has launched a five-phase construction plan to retrofit and upgrade the firm's offices.

Morgan Stanley has been a tenant at 15 Independence Boulevard since 1999 and also is expanding its operation there.

The global financial services firm houses a brokerage office at the building. A market leader in securities, investment management and credit services, Morgan Stanley has more than 600 offices in 28 countries.

MSI Property also is retrofitting the building's entire HVAC system. The building's central mechanical system recently was upgraded to Direct Digital Control. This allows it to be monitored both locally and remotely, ensuring consistency and energy-efficient operation.

Currently, MSI Property is enhancing the air distribution system on each floor to incorporate zone control, which will ensure the highest comfort level year-round.

MSI Property also is redesigning the lobby on the fourth floor, which totals 29,000 s/f and is available in its entirety. An additional 3,660 s/f unit is available on the first floor.

The building is located directly off Exit 33 of I-78, with immediate access to I-287 and Routes 202/206. Tenants there enjoy ample parking, card-key access, and nearby restaurants and hotels.

According to McConnell, who serves as exclusive leasing agent for 15 Independence Boulevard with Jodie Matthews of Cushman & Wakefield's Parsippany, N.J. office, the Mitsui Sumitomo and Morgan Stanley expansions and other recent transactions in the local market reflect an upswing in regional demand. "Somerset County offers some of the best fundamentals in the New Jersey commercial real estate market," he said.

"Its central location, strong labor pool and prestigious, existing tenant base create an extraordinary appeal. Within this context, we are seeing a significant amount of interest in the available space at 15 Independence Boulevard.

"The planned improvements will further strengthen its position as one of the area's most attractive leasing opportunities for a mid-size user."
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Title Annotation:NEW JERSEY
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 28, 2005
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