Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Life for Old Complex

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Life for Old Complex

Article excerpt

The company that purchased the massive Passaic Industrial Center plans to convert part of it, the space along Dayton Avenue, to stores and restaurants, its president said Tuesday.

Joseph Smouha of Mynt Properties LLC in New York said he is already talking to potential tenants. He envisions using 100,000 to 150,000 square feet -- a small fraction of the the complex's 1.64 million square feet -- for retail use.

"Our goal is to leave the industrial park as it is and just put retail on the main street," he said. "We're looking to convert the Dayton Avenue side. We would put stores there. ... We have no intention of [demolishing] or converting the whole complex."

The company is considering clothing and dollar shops, furniture stores, fast-food chains, pizzerias and furniture outlets as potential retail tenants, Smouha said.

Mynt Properties has already started upgrading its new acquisition and will spend more than $3 million on the improvements, Smouha said.

The historic complex, built in 1894, has brick buildings with features such as decorative arches, white marble and a Tiffany window.

Real estate broker CBRE Group Inc. announced Monday that the Passaic Industrial Center had been sold. Mynt Properties purchased the property, on 31 acres adjacent to Route 21, for $10 million, according to CoStar, which provides commercial real estate data. The seller was Passaic Industrial Center Associates.

"We own almost a mile on Route 21," Smouha noted.

'Opportunity is there'

Mynt Properties' specialty is commercial and industrial -- it owns five such complexes in New Jersey, three of them in Passaic, Smouha said.

"We're probably the largest landowner in Passaic," he said. "We own about 2.5 million square feet and total about 60 acres just in Passaic, all industrial."

Mynt Properties decided to venture into retail because of the Passaic Industrial Center's location on Dayton Avenue and the rents that retail space can command, which are higher than for industrial space, Smouha said. …

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