MIDDLETOWN - The new owners of River Centre, a large office complex on Newman Springs Road, will spend more than $25 million on upgrades as part of a plan to transform the property and create the feel of a west coast tech campus.


Crown Realty and Paramount Realty own River Centre, a six-building 668,107-square-foot office campus just off Exit 109 of the Garden State Parkway.


“River Centre is on the largest office assets in the region, and we are deploying a significant amount of capital to revamp the property to create a campus-like setting that is more akin to a modern and amenitized tech campus in Silicon Valley,” said Maurice Zekaria, president of Paramount Realty in a statement.


River Centre’s owners, who purchased the complex from Mack-Cali in mid-2021, have just hired Newmark, a commercial real estate brokerage, as its office leasing agent. The agents are Jamie Drummond, senior managing director, and Andrew Perrotti, associate director.


River Centre also has had some recent lease activity, including Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, which is renting the four-story building at 100 Schultz Drive for a new animal hospital; Sycamore Medical, which has leased 25,000 square feet; and 15,000 square feet to Alliant Insurance.


They join a mix of financial services, insurance and law firms at River Centre, including UBS, Withum, Wells Fargo, Innocar FXI and Achieve 3000.


The landlord also has hired architecture firm Blackey Hayes to overhaul the campus, ”bringing the feel of a west coast tech campus to the east coast,” the statement said.


The upgrades will include new entrances, facades, activated terraces, a new heating, air conditioning and ventilation system, roof enhancements, building management systems, new corridors and upgraded common space.


"Over the past few years, we've witnessed a major flight to quality for office users looking to locate in modern, creative and amenitized spaces," Drummond said in a statement. "The commencement of the major overhaul of River Centre will further the center’s ability to attract and retain some of the best firms in the region." The complex has already has a recently renovated amenity building that houses a fitness center, cafe, conferencing center and tenant lounge.


The property also will undergo outdoor upgrades to create a more walkable environment with pedestrian only spaces and improved landscaping and recreation areas.


A landscape architects LRK and Ground Level have been hired to revamp the property’s exterior and include a river walk that allows tenants to experience the adjacent Navesink River.


River Centre’s northern campus will feature a 120,000-square-foot Life Time luxury fitness, health and sports club. A new Starbucks retail site will be on the southern campus.


"We look forward to further cementing this campus as an integral part of the community,” Zekaria said.


 


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Mika Matikainen is a Design Founder & Advisor, Berlin School of Creative Leadership Executive MBA participant, Zippie advisor, Wolt co-founder, and Nordic Rose stakeholder.

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