A joint development venture between SJP Properties and Scotto Properties has topped out construction of Valley National Bank’s new headquarters, a 120,000-square-foot build-to-suit office project in Morristown, N.J.
The building is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2023. Valley National Bank will bring more than 660 employees to the new development, as it relocates its operations from Wayne, N.J.
Designed by Gensler, Valley’s new headquarters is being constructed over five lots of vacant structures, with both sustainability and the current office working environment in mind. Aiming to achieve LEED certification, the project will include energy-efficient and health-focused designs and engineering in its operations, such as MERV filtration, UV light purification, energy-efficient lighting fixtures, digital controls, as well as more accurate energy and consumption monitoring.
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The building’s amenities include moveable glass walls that lead to open-air indoor and outdoor terraces, as well as concierge services and 14,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The development is located across from many of the area’s chief retail, dining and entertainment offerings, as well as its NJ TRANSIT public transportation node; it is located within 15 miles of Newark and 30 miles of New York City.
The changing office landscape
Construction of Valley’s new base of operations takes place as office managers and operators nationwide take the industry’s irrevocable changes into account. A recent survey of office managers and operators from the Building Owners and Managers Association as well as several from major commercial real estate service firms reveal an increasing desire for flexible, sustainable office space, particularly as actual occupancy rates vary, and remote work appears to be here to stay. Such a desire for change was expedited by the pandemic and health-related concerns, but also takes into account elevated energy, construction and maintenance costs.
A slightly cheaper alternative to New York City and Newark, the suburbs have witnessed a wealth of leasing and development activity. For its part, Northern New Jersey’s office market holds steady, with its suburban areas signing many new development and leasing deals. Morristown in particular has experienced the highest net absorption rate, with 100,888 square feet coming under occupancy in the third quarter of 2022, according to data from a Newmark report from the same period.