Jersey City & Margules Properties: Perfect Together
By Chris Fry -
May 11, 2016
NYC-based Margules Properties closed last week on yet another property in Jersey City, this one at 2800 Kennedy Boulevard, further demonstrating their confidence in the rebirth starting to take place in the Journal Square neighborhood.
The 9,500-square-foot two-story building, a retail facility formerly home to Empire Beauty School, sold for just over $1.5 million. The sale follows the company buying up five properties in Jersey City near the Journal Square hub last fall, mostly of the mixed-use variety.
Margules Properties president Eric Margules says that the company plans to lease the new building to another business. The purchase of 2800 Kennedy Boulevard now gives the company more than 1.25 million square feet of development rights in the Journal Square neighborhood, making them a significant stakeholder in the future of Jersey City.
The splurge comes at a time of significant change in the area. The first 52-story tower in KRE Group’s Journal Squared project should open later this year and 240 residential units at 3 Journal Square are on track to be completed early next year. There are also many proposed developments, like One Journal Square and Baldwin Place , that haven’t broken ground yet, but appear to be coming soon.
Margules told the New York Times back in January that working in Jersey City has its advantages for the company. “In Jersey City, you have mostly local brokers. People know us. We have a pretty big presence there, so brokers come to us first. We get a lot of off-market deals and we’re able to buy those kind of things for pretty good prices,” he told the paper.
Independent broker Gardner Rivera, who represented both Margules and the seller in the latest transaction, told Jersey Digs that the deal wasn’t without its hurdles. “One of the challenges was getting two parties with distinctly different business models to agree to things that were important to the other but not necessarily important to them,” he said, adding that he was thankful he had “capable parties on both sides.”
Rivera also appreciates that Margules Properties saw the value in Jersey City very early on and has expanded their presence. “The reason I enjoyed working with them is not because I know they can complete a transaction, but because of the type of individuals they are,” he said.
Rivera is also a managing member of Paper City Investments, which he says he founded “to focus on urban areas in New Jersey that were overlooked.” The company is building their first multifamily luxury project in Red Bank, N.J. and is currently looking at a few sites in Jersey City to develop. He’s looking forward to opportunities to develop locally.
“Even the fringes are being developed, it’s like pioneering in a major city,” he says.