News Column

JPMorgan buys building it leased

July 3, 2014

By Linda Moss, The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)

July 03--JPMorgan Chase Bank, which is getting $224 million in tax incentives to stay in New Jersey, has paid $14.7 million to buy a building it was leasing at the Jersey City waterfront, according to a company that tracks commercial real estate transactions.

The bank acquired 575 Washington Blvd., a 22-story building in Newport Center, from its landlord, the LeFrak Organization, according to CoStar. The transaction closed June 6, CoStar reported.

The price reported by CoStar, based on the building's deed, is way below market price for an 838,090-square-foot Class A office building on the Hudson Gold Coast, leading several local real estate officials to question the figure. Sources say other considerations may have been involved in the transaction. The purchase price listed by CoStar translates to only $17.54 a square foot. By contrast, the 15-story Metropolitan Center Class A office building in the East Rutherford Meadowlands sold last week for $108.7 million, or $257 a square foot.

A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment on the price Wednesday, and officials at LeFrak could not be reached for comment.

Last week, JPMorgan Chase Chief Operating Officer Matt Zames said the company was buying its Jersey City building and planned to invest $75 million to improve it.

About a month ago, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority awarded JPMorgan the tax break, which will span 10 years. Zames said the bank will be adding 1,000 jobs in New Jersey, where it already has 2,600 employees.

The plan is to create a technology and operations hub in Jersey City.


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Source: Record (Hackensack, NJ)

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