Novo Nordisk HQ Lands $211M Refi

The company has been the New Jersey property’s sole tenant since 2013.

Novo Nordisk HQ. Image courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

Hana Financial Group, a Korean investment firm, has received $210.7 million for the refinancing of Novo Nordisk’s North American headquarters in Plainsboro, N.J. Deutsche Bank provided the financing, while a Cushman & Wakefield team helped structure the note on behalf of the borrower.

Hana Financial Group acquired the property in 2016 from a joint venture of Intercontinental Real Estate Corp., Ivy Equities, and LCOR Inc. The company paid $305 million for the nearly 762,000-square-foot office building. A Lee & Associates team represented Intercontinental, while Cushman & Wakefield worked on behalf of the minority owners and as a representative for Novo Nordisk’s lease expansion plans.

The Cushman & Wakefield Equity, Debt & Structured Finance team that arranged the recent refinancing on behalf of the borrower included Executive Managing Directors John Alascio and Alexander Hernandez, as well as Senior Directors Alex Lapidus and Associate Meredith Donovan. Executive Vice-Chairmen Andy Merin, David Bernhaut and Director Frank DiTommaso from Cushman & Wakefield Capital Markets also represented Hana Financial.

Capital improvements

The three-story property consists of nine interconnected buildings sitting on 58 acres at 800 Scudders Mill Road within the Princeton Forrestal Center. Developed in the 1980s as a retail area, the 2,200-acre masterplan is now home to nearly 5 million square feet of office space and to several Princeton University research centers.

Built in 1985 as a Merrill Lynch corporate center, the property underwent gut renovations between 2011 and 2013. Following the upgrade, the asset received LEED Silver certification.

The $215 million capital improvement program was customized to fit Novo Nordisk’s needs. The Danish pharmaceutical giant initially leased 563,000 square feet at the location in 2013 and announced expansion plans. At the time, the company relocated some 1,500 employees to the modernized headquarters, NewJersey.com reported.

New Jersey market

The New Jersey office market is on a long way to recovery, a recent CommercialEdge report shows. Overall vacancy was up 40 basis points in the 12 months ending in September, reaching 18.7 percent, considerably higher than the 14.9 national vacancy rate. Over the same period, the average rent saw a 2.9 percent increase, clocking in at a listing rate of $33.14.

Mitigating the drop in demand, office construction activity slowed down in the market. Projects under construction accounted for 0.3 percent of existing inventory, the tightest pipeline among major metros.

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