New Jersey’s commercial real estate market is continuing its slow recovery with activity in 2012 showing a slight improvement, according to Vincent Marano, vice president and chief operating officer of Princeton-based National Business Parks.

“Our rental rates are holding constant, and we are doing deals without making any major concessions,” he said. “We are also benefiting from the lack of new inventory, especially in the Princeton and Morristown markets, where we manage nearly 1.4 million square feet. It’s made our buildings more attractive to both existing and prospective tenants.”

Most recently, NBP has signed leases totaling nearly 65,000 square feet for new and renewing tenants. Among the deals are IH Engineers, which expanded from 5,000 to 9,000 square feet at Princeton’s 103 College Road East. New Princeton tenants include DataCede which leased 2,000 square feet at 2 Research Way and Biozone with 4,000 square feet at 305 College Road East. In Morristown, Atlantic Health System leased 40,000 square feet, KLG Integrative Medicine leased 4,000 square feet, and Kelmar Associates LLC doubled its space to 5,000 square feet, all at 465 South Street.

While NBP expects activity to continue improving, its biggest challenge this year will be filling 80,000 square feet being vacated in November by the downsizing of The Bracco Group at 107 College Road East in Princeton.

“The availability of this full building in the College Park at Princeton Forrestal Center campus offers a tremendous opportunity for a user with a large requirement,” said Marano. “Totally renovated a few years ago, it is move-in ready, except for tenant-specific improvements.”

Among the three-story building’s superb amenities are its own cafeteria, new entranceways, a granite lobby, wood-paneled elevators, and a new roof and HVAC system.

Marano is optimistic that all or a good part of the building will be leased by year’s end.

“More companies are out there looking and we’re seeing many prospects whose leases are expiring this year and are planning ahead,” he said. “It also helps that we are known as a quality landlord, well regarded for taking care of our tenants.”

National Business Parks is the management arm of Lawrence Zirinsky Associates and has responsibility for a portfolio that includes the 814,000-square-foot College Park at Princeton Forrestal Center, Southgate Corporate Center in Morristown, as well as other New Jersey properties.

National Business Parks. 609-452-1300.

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