Joint Venture Acquires 2 MSF Merck Life Sciences Campus in New Jersey

by Jeff Shaw

KENILWORTH, N.J. — Biopharmaceutical giant Merck (NYSE: MRK) has agreed to sell its 108-acre office and research campus in Kenilworth to a joint venture between private investment firms Onyx Equities and Machine Investment Group. The price was not disclosed.

The life sciences campus, formerly Merck’s headquarters, features 1.4 million square feet of laboratory space, 500,000 square feet of Class A office space, 30 acres of developable land, a 25-megawatt cogeneration plant, three cafeterias, a fitness center, auditoriums, conference centers, outdoor amenity areas and more than 3,200 surface and structured parking spaces.

The property sits off Garden State Parkway and is located near to Route 78, the Route 22 retail corridor, the New Jersey Turnpike, Newark Liberty International Airport and the Port Newark Elizabeth Marine Terminal. Kenilworth is located just across the Arthur Kill waterway that separates New Jersey from Staten Island.

The buyers plan to market and lease out the site’s laboratories and support facilities to biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and technology companies. Merck will vacate the property in phases over the next several years while expansion progresses on the firm’s new headquarters in nearby Rahway.

“New Jersey receives two forms of good news today as one of the pillars of our business community chooses to commit its long-term future to New Jersey and one of our leading developers prepares to build a high-tech life sciences hub, consistent with our vision for New Jersey’s economic future,” says New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

Dan Loughlin, Jose Cruz and Kevin O’Hearn from JLL’s New Jersey office represented Merck in the transaction. Onyx’s development team handled the transaction internally.

MRK’s stock price opened at $106.33 per share on Friday, Feb. 17, up from $76.36 one year ago.

— Channing Hamilton

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