Real Estate NJ: Rubenstein inks $57 million loan for buyer of Honeywell campus in Morris Plains

By Joshua Burd

A division of Rubenstein Partners LP has closed $57 million in financing to the buyer of the 465,000-square-foot former Honeywell International building in Morris Plains.

Rubenstein Mortgage Capital, a private mortgage lending platform, announced Tuesday that it was providing the first mortgage loan to an affiliate of Argent Ventures. The borrower used the initial proceeds to fund a portion of the acquisition cost for 115 Tabor Road, which it recently purchased from Honeywell, while future loan advances are meant to substantially cover the cost to reposition and re-lease the property as a multitenant asset.

The lender noted that, as part of this transaction, Honeywell leased back a significant portion of the property for 11 years. In addition, Global Aerospace recently executed a 27,000-square-foot, 11-year lease at the building, in a sign of interest from outside tenants.

“Even with the ongoing pandemic and market uncertainty, there is still a strong opportunity for alternative lending on high-quality transitional office buildings that are well-positioned for value enhancement, like 115 Tabor Road,” said RMC’s Andrew Murray, who originated the loan. “The property’s location and fundamentals made this a compelling deal for RMC, while our team’s understanding of this regional market and our financing creativity allowed us to deliver a seamless execution of the loan to the borrower.”

RMC is a debt investment platform headed by Fred Harmeyer of Rubenstein Partners, a real estate investment adviser focused on value-add office property equity and debt investments. The RMC platform has fully discretionary investment capital and targets nonrecourse first mortgage loans of $25 million to more than $100 million in markets throughout the country, the firm said, with a focus on office properties in need of debt capital for acquisition, repositioning or for ground-up construction.

Argent Ventures closed on its acquisition last month, following a transaction brokered by CBRE. Honeywell opened the property in 2015 before recently announcing plans to move its headquarters to North Carolina.

The company will continue to have a sizable presence at the 40-acre campus, which has a five-story parking structure with a total of 1,335 spaces. The building also offers amenities such as a cafeteria, an auditorium, a basketball court and fitness center.