Pharma company signs new 100,000 sq. ft. lease to return to Hunterdon campus

Joshua Burd

Published On January 28, 2021

A global pharmaceutical company has leased 100,000 square feet at a Hunterdon County office building, marking a new commitment to a space that it previously occupied.

Shelbourne Global, the landlord at 53 Frontage Road in Hampton, said Thursday that Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals will return to the property after inking a new five-year lease. The tenant is relocating to the 288,280-square-foot property known as Perryville III, which sits along Interstate 78, from Bedminster.

The building is now 90 percent leased after a flurry of recent activity.

“Shelbourne locations weathered the storm well in 2020 but the Hunterdon County site in particular has prospered as interest in living and working along the west New Jersey I-78 corridor continues to grow,” said Ariel Brenner, the firm’s vice president of leasing, noting that the company is in discussions with additional tenants. He added that Mallinckrodt was a previous tenant at 53 Frontage Road up until about five years ago, when it consolidated locations as part of its move to Bedminster.

The pandemic-driven push toward more suburban and rural locations may be playing a role in the site’s recent success, Brenner said, but he also noted that Shelbourne has invested in the facility while offering aggressive rents. The building also has strong anchor tenants, including those from the life sciences sector such as Celldex Therapeutics Inc. and Visikol, a recent spinoff from a New Jersey Economic Development Authority incubator.

The latter recently expanded in the building.

“The facility in Hampton has provided and will continue to provide Visikol the space that it requires as it grows and does so at an affordable price such that Visikol can keep its overhead costs low and provide its clients the highest level of services at an affordable price,” Visikol CEO Michael Johnson said. “In the next two years, Visikol plans to double the size of its staff.”

Brenner said that, because the building hosts several life sciences tenants, Shelbourne is exploring whether to design a micro life sciences incubator and organize a periodic life sciences network event on site. The event would cater to local executives, scientists and those seeking to learn more about the latest medical breakthroughs and trends in the industry.

County officials, meantime, say they intend to continue supporting the commercial real estate firm’s efforts as they promote the region’s educated workforce, competitive lease pricing and communities that provide a live-work-play environment.

“Shelbourne’s management team has done an incredible job and continued to do so in spite of all the obstacles that 2020 provided,” Hunterdon County Commissioner Matt Holt said. “The commissioner board has met with their management team and met with their companies. The Perryville III location is an exceptional site and we expect it to contribute to the local economy for years to come.”

Brenner echoed the importance of Shelbourne’s partnership with the county economic development team, noting that the firm is considering other acquisitions in Hunterdon. It’s also planning improvements at Perryville III including lobby and amenity upgrades.

“We have Hunterdon’s premier office facility currently and work hard to promote that fact,” Brenner said. “And knowing that the town and county work hard to make it easy to do business in Hunterdon certainly helps.”